Girls Talk about Submission

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I do not dismiss the concept of submission in a Christian’s life; please refer to this post if you want clarification.

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John Piper describes a wife’s submission as “the divine calling to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.”

The ladies at Girl Talk assert, “We must determine how we can best use our gifts in service of our marriage to the glory of God instead of for our own selfish agenda.” ~  This quote assumes, without evidence from the Bible, that a wife’s most important purpose is to use her gifts, no matter what they are, to serve her husband in their marriage.  Anything outside of this aim is SELFISH.

Reading Girl Talk’s posts on submission could lead a girl to think the most important thing about her is how submissive she is.  But does the Bible actually teach this?

“The idea of a husband ruling his wife came as a consequence of sin entering the world (Gen 3:16b).  However Jesus came to deal with sin and its consequences.  Interestingly, the concept of a “ruling” husband is not picked up anywhere again in the Scriptures after Genesis 3:16; male authority is never put forward as an ideal in the Bible.” ~ read more at New Life.

Does the Bible have consistent examples of wives submitting to their husbands?

“As I go through the list of Bible women in my mind, apart from Sarah, I cannot find one single clear example of a  woman who submitted to her husband.  On the contrary the Bible gives us numerous examples of holy women who did not behave in (what much of the Church would consider) a submissive manner towards their husbands.[2]

Several holy women took the initiative in significant situations, without apparent permission, protection or cooperation from men.  These women include Moses’ mother (Exodus 2:1-3);  Rahab (Joshua 2:1-6); Deborah (Judges 4-5); Ruth  (Ruth 2:2-33:1-6); Hannah (1 Samuel chs 1-2); and a well-to-do Shunamite woman (2 Kings 4:8-37); etc. [3]” ~ Marg at New Life

Did these women ask their husbands for counsel?  Did they make sure they submitted to their husbands’ leadership?  Here are some examples:

Deborah

Huldah

Mary, mother of Jesus

If the ‘created order’ is so very important, and women are to be subject to their husbands, to follow their leadership, then why didn’t God admonish these women when they failed to seek their husbands’ counsel??  

The example of Mary, mother of Jesus, stands out.  An angel came to Mary and told her she would give birth to the chosen one.  The angel did not command her to go and ask her husband, to seek his council and submit to his leadership.  Wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect that God Himself, our creator and the author of the so-called “created order”, would make sure this woman was submitting to her husband?  Complementarians teach that a wife is to follow her husband’s leadership.  She must, or she is in sin!  She’s disobeying God Himself!  Yet even when an angel of the Lord presented this woman with God’s plan for her, he said NOTHING to her about her asking her husband’s council or following his leadership(being engaged was almost married in that culture).  She was making the enormous, scandalous decision to carry a baby out of wedlock.  She knew it would affect Joseph in a big way.  She also knew that giving birth to this baby, the Messiah, would work for her good and  glorify God.  It also meant she and her husband’s life would be greatly affected, yet she didn’t even mention this huge decision to Joseph at the time.  You’d think that if the created order and submission of a wife to her husband’s leadership was so important to God, then Mary would have been told to go and ask her husband first before making her decision.  But this isn’t even mentioned.

I think this is just one woman of the Bible that Christian wives can look to as an example, yet have often failed to do as a result of misguided teachings on submission.  This preoccupation with submitting to husbands as the most important thing we can do is a distraction.  It has kept women from obeying God and any calling they might have outside of what their husbands think is best.  We are responsible for ourselves.  There is no excuse for not obeying God, even if our husband has pressured us into saying no to God’s call in the name of submission.  There is one mediator between God and man, and it’s not a husband.

Now for humorous view on submission from Retha at Biblical Personhood ~

…”The biblical ideal is loving, humble headship and joyful, intelligent submission.” – Wayne Grudem

When submission has the meaning Grudem defines, what is the difference between stupid submission and intelligent submission? Is it:

  Stupid submission – “Hubby said it, so I do it.”

Intelligent submission – “Hubby said it, I know it is stupid, but I do it.”

For that matter, what is the difference, if headship mean what Grudem say it does, between humble headship and proud headship? Is it:

Proud headship – “Because I said so. That is why.”

Humble headship – “God made me no smarter than you, and I don’t even know if my way is God’s way in this. But he made me the head. That’s why.”

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About creativehomeschooler

I'm a homeschooling mom of two creative children. I created this blog to highlight the things I'm thankful for during my days. It can be a challenge to homeschool, but I try to look at the grace my children and I experience. And these kids come up with some neat projects, so I hope to encourage and inspire others who may be reading.

5 responses »

  1. I never thought about it that way! Where are all the examples of a submissive wife or woman? What can you expect from the Mahaney girls anyway? Can anything good come out of that family? I think not.

  2. Someone already mentioned Abigail. Sapphira and Zeresh are standouts too. Zeresh definitely believes in supporting her husband’s every whim, even when it’s self destructive and dangerous. When Haman tells her about his hatred for Mordecai, she joined right in with Haman’s friends and suggested that he has some gallows built and ask the king to hang Mordecai. She didn’t pray for Haman that God would give him proper direction or change his mind. She didn’t have any WISE words for her husband. She just joined his band wagon. After the king promoted Mordecai, Haman told Zaresh about it, and she tried to clean up her advice to him, but it was already too late. Haman was killed on the same gallows Zaresh encouraged him to prepare for Mordecai. His sons were killed too. Although, Zeresh SUPPORTED her husband’s whims and leadership, she failed to be the EZER – helper God designed her to be. Not only did she fail to be a helper to husband, but she failed to be a helper in her community to Haman’s sons. Zeresh was a foolish wife. Zeresh’s example is very powerful. She teaches wives what not to do. However, most commentaries about the Book of Esther tend to omit her example and it’s implications because it contradicts popular teachings that suggest that a “virtuous” wife must always go along with and encourage what the husband wants or thinks is best.

    Talk about foolish submission – Sapphira and Zeresh are both examples of that!

  3. I’ve been reading a soon-to-be-published book, and the wise author has commented that the difference between secular feminism and Christian feminism is servanthood. I think the author is spot on!

    I call myself a Christian egalitarian, and I have no problem serving and being submissive (deferential, humble and loyal) to my wonderful husband. But then again, he serves and is submissive to me too. A match made in heaven. (Pun intended.)

    Rebekah is another Bible woman who wasn’t submissive to her husband. She went against her husband’s wishes and tricked him into giving Jacob the first-born birthright. In fact it’s very hard to find a Bible woman who was submissive by “church” standards.
    http://newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/submission-respect-1-peter-3_1-6/

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