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Kia Stephens


January 14, 2017

3 Reasons Women Can Embrace the “S” Word

January 14, 2017 | By | 21 Comments

“If he can lead me then lead me, but if he can’t . . . then I’ll walk all over him,” a popular music artist said in a radio interview.  She said this to the applause of men and women in the room.   Her statement came across as harsh, but I understood where she was coming from.


I too, inherited the strong willed personality trait from my great grandmother Eliza, so I can comprehend the struggle with embracing the word s-s-s-submission.     Being raised by an independent single mother, inheriting the I-can-do-it-by-myself gene, and attending a female college didn’t help me embrace the S word one bit.

In fact, it furthered my misconceptions.  And it wasn’t that I didn’t want to submit; I did.  I just didn’t get it, let alone know how to carry it out.  I had reduced submission to saying yes or remaining silent.

That’s not it.

Submission is so much more than rote behavior.  Submission is a matter of the heart, you can’t fake it!  It is a choice to willingly yield to another person.

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In the early days of dating my husband of 13 years, I thought submission would be a cinch. Right? Wrong.  

It took me getting married to realize I hadn’t seen a relationship between a man and a woman modeled out.  Which explains why I had to get on-the-job-training after I said “I Do”.  Everyday communication, conflict resolution, and yes the big kahuna, SUBMISSION, all had to be learned (and I am still learning).

But, I now understand that submission does not have to be banned from the speech of the modern day woman. It is a word we can all (hold your fire) embrace.  This is not my personal opinion but one I have grasped from God (He came up with the idea).  And so here goes my best attempt at laying down an argument for the infamous “S” word.

Reason # 1 Submission Is Mutual

When you hear the word submission, the common thought is that it is only for married women; not so.  Just before the apostle Paul instructed married women to submit he had this to say in Ephesians 5:21 (NIV), “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”    God’s design was for there to be mutual submission in the body of Christ and certainly within the marriage relationship.  

The original intent was for men and women to submit to God first before ever submitting to each other.  For the man, submission to God means that He choose to love his wife by laying down his life for her.  This selfless act on his part makes a woman want to submit to him.  

Reason # 2 Submission Allows God to Move on Our Behalf

But what if the man is not submitted to God?  

What if he is lazy or just plain difficult?

What if he is cruel?

Should the married woman just go rogue and abandon the Bible as some archaic and irrelevant artifact of the past?

If the husband is abusive the woman should seek help immediately!  However, if it is not an abusive situation the Bible provides clear instruction for wives.

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.  1 Peter 3: 1 – 2 (NIV)

A husband can be one over by the gentle and submissive nature of his wife.  This seems backwards in the 21st century but biblical principals don’t lose their power with the changing times. 

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You won’t find this perspective expressed in a magazine, voiced in movie, or subtly or overtly communicated on television.  Quite honestly, I can’t even tell you the last time I heard a message like this in church.  You would have to intentionally open up the Bible and read it for yourself.

Then comes the hard part.  Once we are exposed to truth we must decide whether we want to accept or reject it.  And this is not a one time acceptance but a decision we continually choose to make.  

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Reason # 3 Christ Submitted First

Lastly, we can submit because Christ demonstrated submission on our behalf first.  He submitted to His Father’s will, which required taking on flesh, placing the needs of mankind above His own and dying on a cross.  This is succinctly illustrated in the book of Philippians 2: 6 – 8(NIV) when Paul talks about the submissive nature of Christ.  

(Jesus) Who, being in very nature God,  did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!   Philippians 2: 6 – 8 NIV


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Before we knew life Christ willingly gave up His life for us: a people who would reject Him repeatedly. Jesus makes submission possible in the heart of every woman.  Viewing submission through the lens of the cross changes our perspective and makes embracing the “S” word possible.

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  1. Thanks for this. I’m beginning a study in I Peter and know that I’m headed for the “s” word — which is a good thing, since it is the duty of ALL believers to submit to one another and to Christ. We make it a thing just for women and we miss the point.
    Michele Morin recently posted…Till We Have Faces (2): Longing for the Grey MountainMy Profile

    • Exactly Michele. If we got the reality that it is for everyone and actually practiced that maybe it wouldn’t be that challenging in marriage. Thanks for joining the conversation today and be blessed! – Kia

  2. Submission is a daily choice to put our marriage at the forefront. Great points!

    • I would add daily and sometimes multiple times a day! Thanks for your comments Brittany and I’m glad you joined the conversation today. Be blessed! – Kia

  3. This is a great post! I know before God worked in my heart I was very anti-submission, but I’ve learned it can be a beautiful thing. It is a process though.
    Heather Hart recently posted…It Is Okay To Not Be OkayMy Profile

    • So true Heather. It is beautiful to trust in a God and watch Him move on our behalf as it relates to submission. Your story regarding submission seems to mirror so many women I’ve spoken to. May we embrace the process. Thanks for joining the conversation today and be blessed! – Kia

  4. This is a beautiful blog. And I enjoyed your message. It took many many years in my marriage to understand submission. I agree submission is not only for married people. We can learn how important it is very early. But I was not raised with the understanding of submission to my husband. Only when I grew in my Christian walk did I begin to understand it. We’ve been married 15 years next month. And we have a great marriage. It wasn’t always great. It fact, it was really bad early on. But godly submission is vital.

    • Thanks for your vulnerability Saleama. Happy early anniversary! I too have learned from tribulation instead of revelations; but those are often some of the greatest lessons. Prayerfully the challenges we both experienced can help other women. Thanks for joining the conversation today and be blessed! – Kia

  5. Reading this further drives home the point of using great wisdom when choosing a mate and fully understanding God’s plan for submission in marriage.

    As I’ve heard great teachers say, submission starts long before marriage.
    Yvonne Chase recently posted…New City, Same Mary Jane – Season 4, Episode 1 RecapMy Profile

    • Amen Yvonne. It helps when we choose a mate we don’t have a problem submitting to. If we don’t the marriage journey is much more challenging. Thanks for joining the conversation today and be blessed! – Kia

  6. My pastor, my niece and I JUST had this conversation this morning over breakfast. If we can’t/struggle with submitting to God, we likely won’t submit to a hubby.

    Excellent post, Kia!! 👏🏽
    BlenCouragesU recently posted…2016 Loopback | Our words: Do they hurt or heal?My Profile

    • Girrrrrrrrl ain’t that the truth. God is total preparation for the hubby. In fact once we’re hitched our submission to the husband is an act of obedience to God. I’m still learning this! (Shhhhhhh) Thanks for joining the conversation Blenda and be blessed! – Kia

  7. Wonderful post that gives us all much to think on. As the years passed in our marriage, I found it easier to submit as I remembered that my husband was also submitting to the Lord. Submission is not easy as it is a bending of our own will to the will of another. But when we all do it in obedience, it makes life work so much better 🙂
    Joanne Viola recently posted…From One WordMy Profile

    • Your statements are very true. I have found that submission has gotten a little easier with the maturing of my marriage as well. My heart in this post was to help the woman whose husband may not be submitting to God and just making like down right difficult. I pray that women who find themselves faced with these types of challenges will be able to trust God to work on their behalf. Thanks for joining the conversation today and be blessed! – Kia

  8. Thanks for sharing this. It’s not an easy topic, but important to understand, and it makes a big difference to realise that we are al meant to submit to one another.
    Lesley recently posted…The Day I Found My VoiceMy Profile

  9. I’m still working on the whole submission thing. I can tend to bulldoze through situations without even considering him sometimes. But thank you for sharing this- it’s just what I needed!
    The Messy Bun Mama

    • I think the ease of submission may be somewhat situational too. Where we eat for dinner is a little bit different from buying a new electronic. Thankfully God’s grace is not situational. Can I get an Amen! I pray God would empower you to be the wife your husband needs and that He would help you in your responses to him. Thanks so much for joining this conversation today and be blessed! – Kia

  10. Kia, you are a brave woman to tackle submission. Recently I was studying through the book of Ephesians. My fleshly soul began gritting its teeth from verse 1 because of its rebellious nature. But God is great and He’s blessed me with a gentle, encoraging husband. I’m learning that being a strong person and being a submissive one aren’t mutually exclusive. Thanks for taking on “that” topic. Blessings from your neighbor at Holley’s

    • Alice, I grit my teeth from time to time too. Truth can be difficult to walk out, especially when that truth is the “S” word. You are blessed that God has given you a gentle and encouraging husband. That makes a big difference. Thanks for joining the conversation today my friend and be blessed! – Kia

  11. I struggled with “say yes or be quiet” submission. It took me years (and quite honestly, I’m still figuring it out) to get a good sense of what godly submission in marriage looks like. Thank you for the clarifying post! Visiting from #livefreeThursday.
    Kelly R Smith recently posted…5 Ways to Help Give God Your First 15 MinutesMy Profile

    • Hi Kelly, I didn’t say this in the post but for me, a sometimes careless talker, sometimes I need to be quiet first before I put my entire foot in my mouth. Some days are better than others. I generally can tell how I’m doing by my husband’s response :). Hope that is an encouragement to you. So glad you visited today and be blessed! – Kia

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