Monday, December 8, 2008

AT THE WELL...submissive to my man

LAURIE ANN is our host today over AT THE WELL. The women are gathered around the well discussing what the meaning behind Titus 2 is all about. Does it really say we are to be "subject" to our husbands? To hear more of the chatter about this subject, stroll on over to A MAGNOLIA'S HEART BEAT aka Laurie Ann's place as she leads us in the following discussion:

  • Would others view you as being subject to your husband?

  • Does the phrase "being subject to your husband" bring to mind positive or negative thoughts?

  • Do you find being subject to your husband an easy command to obey or a hard one to follow?

  • How can you teach other women to be subject to their husbands?


EPHESIANS 5:22 " Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord."

Now here is a verse in the Bible that is recited over and over. Unfortunately, over the years I have heard this particular passage misused, most of the time it is in fun, poking fun that the woman should do whatever the husband wants. (of course we know how far fetched that can be!)

In all honesty, putting all kidding aside ~ there is truth to the woman being submissive. But you cannot stop at just reading this one passage...there is so much more in understanding what it means to be submissive!

When we read Ephesians 5:22, some will assume that this means women have no say in family matters or that their opinion is second-rate. This verse, taken out of context, has been twisted to mean that the husband is the boss and the woman must obey his every whim. We portray marriage as a hierarchy, with husbands on the throne and wives at the footstool.

This is not a Christian view of marriage at all!

The first rule of understanding the Bible is looking at ALL of Scripture, to clarify the meaning of a particular text. So before we can understand this one particular verse, we must look at what the Bible in general teaches about submission and authority.

More than once, Jesus taught that a true leader in the kingdom of God is a servant. He said the greatest must be the least. He told His disciples that they must become as children. He said in Mark 10:44 that "whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all."

So, how do we apply this passage to marriage?

Certainly it should be clear that if a man is called to lead a family, his leadership must be Christlike.

  • He must serve, not dictate.
  • He must display humility, not a know-it-all attitude.
  • He must lead from a position of meekness, not from prideful superiority.

To understand Paul's teaching on marriage in Ephesians chapter 5, we must start with verse 21:

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (NIV)

In a loving marriage, a man and woman will submit to one another as they make decisions. Paul encourages all believers to submit to one another "in fear of the Christ". He is promoting an attitude of submissiveness in the entire church, thus, Paul instructs the wives to submit to their husbands, husbands to wives, children to parents and slaves to masters.

Submission, not in the sense of domination or rulership over another, but in the sense of preferring one another and not demanding personal rights, should be operating in the entire body of Christ in order to reveal the love of Christ to the world.

The Greek word for submission is "HUPOTASSO". Meaning: something that an individual imposes upon himself or herself. It means to choose to yield to another, rather than demanding one's own way.

Submission remains the freewill right of the one choosing to yield. It cannot be demanded or imposed upon from one person to another. When this occurs, it stops being "hupotasso" and becomes domination.

The theme of marriage in the Bible is that of unity and oneness. Couples should develop a deep level of intimacy and trust that blossoms as they work out differences, share dreams and walk through hardships together.

The charge is not just to the wives, but Paul also instructs the husbands: "this is how you love your wives, by giving up your life, your way and your rights, as Christ gave up His."

Christ was Lord of the universe and laid down His crown by submitting Himself unto death. The Bible says He took on the form of a servant. He laid down His life to raise us up.


Now, that we understand what it means to submit to our husbands..what about those questions that Laurie Ann just HAD to ask:

In the past 27 years I would have to be honest and say that I have not always been a "submissive" wife. First of all, I did not understand the meaning and second of all, I have some mean polish blood in me! As I have studied the meaning of my role as a submissive wife, I see that I am to "prefer" my husband and I need to "choose" to be united with him.

PREFER? like prefer him over Tom Cruise or what?

No silly!

Preferring our husbands would be to honor him, obey him and encourage him in EVERYTHING he does. Respecting him as the man of your home, the spiritual leader of your home and telling him (verbally and physically) that he is the man of your dreams!

To do anything less would make it difficult to be united. So the next time someone pokes fun at women being submissive... don't grit your teeth or roll your eyes. Remember that God has placed a call on you as a godly wife to PREFER and SERVE your husband (or SUBMIT...whichever word suits you!)

"Making marriage work is like running a farm. You have to start all over again each morning!" - AUTHOR UNKNOWN


Go and do some "preferring" on your farm... (I mean your house!)

Go ahead and jump over to Laurie Ann's place and see what all of the other ladies are saying about this topic today. You will be blessed. Find the chatter over HERE!


Daniel's Mom said...

Thank you for your great post! I like how you said we are to prefer and choose our husbands or to submit to them. Very neat and I've never looked at it that way! :)

Laurie Ann said...

I absolutely love your take on this topic. This jumped out at me, "Submission, not in the sense of domination or rulership over another, but in the sense of preferring one another and not demanding personal rights, should be operating in the entire body of Christ in order to reveal the love of Christ to the world." I will be thinking on this all day. It is a way to let our light, His light, shine forth into the world! As one of my friends says, "GMTA" or great minds think alike - we were on the same page! Thank you, my friend, for joining us At the Well

Debra said...


Our home's motto is 'love always yields...always'. It works quite well for us!

This is a beautifully written post!

Blessings to you today sweet sis!

JesusRulzMe said...

Amen sister. Our Lord Jesus certainly repeated that the one whom God esteems is the one who has a humble heart and willingly serves others.

Bless you,

Jennifer said...

Beautifully put!

P.S. I have an award waiting for you today at my "place"...come on over and pick it up.


a woman found said...

Sounds like you have a great sense of humor and a healthy understanding of the heart of our awesome God!!!
His ways our perfect!


momstheword said...

Beautifully put! Thank you for sharing!

Patty Wysong said...

That closing quote really sums up so much and puts things into a great perspective. Definitely a fun way to view the work that goes into a good marriage.

Peggy said...

no comment...but it's GREAT!

Blessings Laurie...I know that you were given these by others because I was too slow and we both received the first from Mae...but please come over & visit (I named you towards the end)