3 Reasons Women Can Embrace the “S” Word
“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.
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.
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.
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
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.