This is a subject that on more than one occasion starts an argument in a household…it did at one point in my relationship, sometimes still does. I’m going to try to explain it a little bit.
What does being submissive really mean? This is an interesting subject to speak about because many men and women don’t completely understand what it means to be submissive without giving up dignity. Being submissive does not mean that you have to be a doormat or that you put your feelings and thoughts aside like they don’t matter. Being submissive does not mean that men are to manipulate and control women by any means. Or that men are to overlook their obligation to care for and love his wife. This does not make you a slave to your husband.
It means that you give your husband the role that God gave to men. Men are to be the leaders of the family. Women are to be caregivers. But this doesn’t mean that you as a woman just don’t have a say at all. You do. In order for a marriage to work properly, you two have to work together as a team. Our bible does not say you have to be completely mindless to submit to your husband. I am a strong minded woman and I make decisions but I also ask my husband for his opinion, just as he does from me. It takes a woman that is humble and full of grace to do this. I am that way but I am also hardheaded and was raised to stand my ground or to hold my own in an argument. I am no where near perfect but the Lord didn’t say I had to be. Marriage, the way that God designed it is that one returns love for love and service for service. You two love and sacrifice for one another very differently. Husbands submit to their wives by protecting, cherishing, and serving them. Wives submit to their husbands out of of love and respect for him, meaning you let him lead (not always easy). But he also shows that your opinions matter as well and doesn’t just make decisions without you.
This is where in today’s society where it becomes hard to understand. Some men take it as you are supposed to just agree with whatever he says and that’s the bottom line. That is not how it is meant to be by any means. God did not mean that men are better or more superior to women. I had this conversation with a friend of mine last night. We both agreed that our husbands are the head of our families. We also agreed that our husbands are submissive to us as well, but in different ways. We, as women, are capable of making decisions by ourselves, it is mostly when we are making big purchases, “big ticket” items, where we ask our spouse what they think and if it is okay. We don’t need permission to buy pine-sol to mop the floors or groceries. Or things we want to buy such as a new dress or in my case, new pants when I lose enough weight to need them. Our husbands, yes, are the head of our families, but they do not treat us as if they are beneath us. We are equal in the sense that we, together are a united front, as she put it. We are a team, we work together towards a common goal. My money isn’t just my money and his money isn’t just his money. It is our money. We may have separate banks accounts but we both spend an equal amount of money and neither one of us wants for anything. He gives me money when I ask for it and I give him money when he asks for it. We both share the work load around the house. We both cook and clean. We both raise our kids. My friend’s family works in the same way. We became one flesh. We act as so. Together we build and raise this family.
Ephesians 5:21-33 English Standard Version (ESV)
21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives and Husbands
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her bythe washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same wayhusbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.