So I had a mini rant about the world’s misunderstanding of what Biblical submission means….and then I read Lainey Gossip’s post on the same topic.
Ms PR is right…the world will probably just never understand what Biblical submission means and will think we’re crazy. Lainey questions whether the wife will have to ask permission from her husband for everything she does to make sure he’s ok with it first. Seriously? That’s NOT what Biblical submission is about. It’s not about the wife leaving her brain at the altar when she says “I do”. Remember, Biblical submission is for husbands AND wives…and all believers. It’s built on a relationship of mutual love, care and respect for each other.
I imagine in Candace’s case, she and her husband would’ve already talked about what they are comfortable with her doing in her acting career. With Biblical submission, she would respect what they had discussed. Maybe the line is no nudity…or no kissing. So if there’s nudity or kissing in the script then right away Candace already knows what to do. She doesn’t have to ask further. And it’s not just one way….I imagine they would’ve also talked about what she’s comfortable with her husband doing. Maybe the boundary is not having any one-on-one meetings with someone of the opposite gender. So he would respect and submit to her back. This mutual submission would build trust and respect in their relationship. They wouldn’t have reason to second guess/suspect/doubt one another. How refreshing! Makes sense right? Not too crazy right?
But it’s an interesting question Lainey asks about whether Candace would still submit though she’s likely the main breadwinner. Or whether her husband would still lead if he’s not the breadwinner. My question is what does money have to do with it? Or why should money have anything to do with who leads? But that is a crazy concept in this world where money talks and money is power.
I asked Skywalker for his perspective…if he made less money than me, would he find it difficult to lead our marriage and household? He replied, “No. But, if I wasn’t working at all…and had no good reason to not be working (i.e. wasn’t on disability of some sort)…then I would feel like a non-contributor. And a capable but non-contributing man should probably not be leading…since he isn’t even leading himself.” I married a wise man. =)
And maybe, as Ms PR suggests, all this talk is just to promote Candace’s new book.
At the end of the day, respectful submission and loving sacrifice (from both husband and wife) is what makes a marriage solid. Not sure why people wouldn’t want that. *shrug*
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.
Staying married is part of God’s best plan for us. I think staying miserable is a bit of a choice. =P
I partly come back to this thought, “If an arranged-marriage can develop into a lifelong relationship with deep respect and love for each other….then ANYONE who has chosen to marry the person they did should be able to do the same thing.”
I think we’ve become more a culture of throwing away things that don’t work the way we want, instead of trying to fix it. (Yes it’s a two-way street…and I’m not talking about unrepentant unfaithfulness or abuse here.) A marriage doesn’t suddenly become miserable. Something triggers a slow slide towards “miserable”. Maybe it’s that time you felt under appreciated. Maybe it’s a word or action that makes you not feel loved or respected by your spouse. That little seed takes root. And every time your spouse “did it again” or “failed to do it again”, it adds to the tally, which waters that little seed. Then that seed starts to grow deep roots of apathy, resentment and bitterness….before finally producing the fruit of a miserable marriage.
Each step towards misery is a choice to NOT communicate honestly. It’s a choice to NOT forgive or extend grace. It’s a choice to not admit wrong. It’s a choice to hang onto your pride. It’s a choice to keep records of wrongs. It’s a choice to believe the worst in your spouse instead of the best. It’s a choice to not find out what makes your spouse feel appreciated/loved/respected. It’s a choice to insist your way is the right way. And it’s a choice to keep your own interests/comforts/priorities #1. These choices build walls. So it’s hard to see how a couple who actively seeks to do the opposite to the above list won’t have a great marriage. I’m not saying it’ll be easy…but I’m pretty sure it won’t be miserable.
Granted sometimes you might not know HOW to do the opposite or even realize that it was a choice…but does it ever get to a point where it’s impossible to undo? That I don’t know. Could a clean break and fresh start be the only solution in certain situations? I don’t know. We live in a broken world….as broken people. What I DO know is that God can take a broken marriage and make it whole again. He can take a broken person and make him or her whole again. I think that’s ultimately where God’s heart is and as we submit to that, “miserable” will be a temperary state.
Showing love to Skywalker is an easier practice for me. I try to go through 1 Corinthians 13, the famous passage on what love is and isn’t, and do what it says. Of course following through on this isn’t so easy, but at least I know what to practice. Am I patient? Was that kind? Was I being self-seeking or looking out for him? And I can very quickly determine whether or not that word or action was loving.
I also try exercising love languages. Skywalker’s love languages include receiving acts of service and quality time spent together. I like to throw in little gifts once in a while…for variety…but it has to be practical ones as he’s not sentimental much. So I pack him good lunches (or try to), try to have nice dinners for him to come home to, give massages, occasionally surprise him with snacks he likes (but know aren’t so good for him) and I guard our schedules to ensure we have sufficient time to ourselves through the week.
As for respect…I DO respect him, but I’m learning this is a hard one to show. I believe it’s hard for a lot of wives out there too. Not nagging or mothering Skywalker is showing huge respect. It goes both ways but not speaking “down” to each other shows respect. I’m also learning to respect his sense of timing or trust his words that when he says he’ll take care of it, he’ll do it. It might not my way or in my exact timing, but he’ll do it. Me keeping quiet demonstrates my trust and respect for him. Of course, there’s been a couple times where he’s said he’ll do something, then DIDN’T do it…so then I have right to be mad about it, but even then, respect is about extending grace by not purposely trying to lay guilt on the other person.
I’m not one to compliment much…but am learning he NEEDS to hear that I respect certain things/characteristics/decisions he made or that I admire different qualities he’s shown. Hearing I respect him is as important to him as hearing he loves me is to me.
In general, I think it’s also in calling each other to be better versions of ourselves…in ways that motivate and nourish us as individuals. He is not me, I am not him. It’s easy enough to find buttons that set the other person off, but loving and respecting each other is about finding buttons that add boosts of energy, well-being, emotional nourishment, etc. Those are the ones a marriage NEEDS. So….learning and practicing.
How do you show love, and in particular, respect to your husband?