Submissive Wife

This term has been used incorrectly for a while by many different religious groups. I feel and I believe that’s why most people associate submissive women with weakness and oppression. I don’t believe that definition that to be true.

To see what submission is, I think the first thing we need to learn is what submission isn’t.

An article written by John Piper explains briefly six things submission is not… “1. Submission is not agreeing on everything. 2. Submission does not mean leaving your brain at the alter. 3. Submission does not mean you do not try to influence your husband. 4. Submission is not putting the will of the husband before the will of Christ. 5. Submission does not mean getting all of her spiritual strength through her husband. 6. Submission does not mean living or acting in fear.”

A big misconception is that when a woman submits herself to a man (her husband) she must do everything he tells her to. Some believe she will no longer be entitled to an opinion, that she gives her self-worth over to this man. Submission as a wife to her husband does not mean she is less than him. And submission never means a husband now has a right to abuse his wife. {Abuse [verb] – treat (a person or an animal) with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly}

A writer in says this, “First we must understand that… …believers must submit to one another (5:21)” [Ephesians 5:21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. NLT] The writer goes on to explain in the original Greek, the word used for submit was a military term meaning to rank yourself under another person. This does not mean there is a literal hierarchy, but rather have the mindset that you are to serve one another. Not only is the wife to submit to her husband; and the husband to Christ, but we are all supposed to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” {Reverence [noun] – deep respect for someone or something.}

Wives submit to your husbands, as the church submits to Christ.

In a sermon I was listening to once, the speaker made a point that has since stuck with me. When the church submits to Christ, who is winning? (I don’t know if that was exactly how the speaker said it, but that’s how I remember it.) The church is winning. We as the church are allowing Christ to have our hearts and we are trusting that he has the best intentions with it. A husband will make choices with the betterment of his wife and family in mind. He is not called to be selfish, (none of us are) but to be to his wife what Christ is to the church. This means he (the husband) gives himself up for her (the wife), husbands are called to be sacrificial as Christ scarified himself for the church. Husbands are called to nourish and cherish their wives, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, as Christ nourishes the church. [Reference: Ephesians 5:21-32] I really love what the writer in this article says… “as wives are called to submit, husbands are not called to lead, but rather to love.” Ladies, we are not called to let our husbands be our bosses. We are called to be clothed with strength and dignity, to not have fear for our future (Proverbs 32:25). The church doesn’t fear for its future, the church knows it’s future is in the hands of our loving God.

I’m not ashamed to be called a submissive wife. I’m not ashamed to have a part of my identity as Jacob’s wife. I love having security that my husband loves me, and that he knows I trust he will do what is best for us and our family. I am submissive, but I am not oppressed. Jake fills me with love and calmness and protects me, not because I can’t protect myself, but because I am his, and he is mine.

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