HuffPost published this recently on what Candace Cameron Bure said regarding “submission”. I think she described it well enough but Huffpost only presented half the picture. Or maybe only a third of the picture.
The Google definition of “submission” is the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person. Nearly all the images related to submission was some kind of submission hold in wrestling…or some images of women in bondage. That is NOT biblical submission.
When the Bible instructs wives to submit to the husband, it’s not because he is superior to his wife. Or because the wife is weaker-willed, though physically and generally speaking, she is weaker. God made husbands and wives (men and women) to be equal in worth and value. Submission is yielding your will, voluntarily, by choice, to another individual out of respect and a cooperative spirit. And God intends that Love be a part of that relationship…because without it, submission could be an abusive thing.
To look at the quoted passage more completely…check out Ephesians 5:21-33 …there are three parts:
- Submit to one another. Not just wives to husbands. Or husbands to wives….but everyone in Christ should seek to cooperate with one another and not selfishly insist on or exert your own will and way. There is no hierarchy here. Christ is the only head.
- Wives submit to your husbands. This is out of a difference in ROLE in a household. Ms PR put it this way, “The husband is the head and the wife is the heart….but you need both to survive.” Just as the President and Vice President play out their roles in cabinet but have equal worth and value….or how a Captain and First Mate have their roles. One isn’t weaker than the other. They’re filling in the role that makes the household or cabinet or ship run in the most efficient and effective way.
- Husbands love your wives. Specifically, love them as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her. More specifically, Christ DIED for the Church to give her life. The instructions continue, “make her holy, cleansing her…and present her without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless…husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.” And I thought submitting was hard!
It’s much easier to do the wife part and submit don’t you think?? Honestly, when a husband seeks to care for and love his wife the way God intended for him to, it’s so easy to submit to him. And just because he struggles to do his part has husband doesn’t mean the wife can ignore what God has asked her to do. As God holds the head of the household accountable for how he has led his family, I would be held accountable as his wife, for whether I have done my best in my role. We are a team and need to work together, ultimately submitting to each other as unto Christ. If either of us tries to do it all, we exhaust ourselves and just strain the marriage.
So, let’s not freak out about submitting.
It’s part of a bigger picture where everyone wins as we do our parts.