A month ago, when I was phoneless, I watched CTV Newsnet to remind me of life outside my spaghetti speckled walls. No, not wallpaper. Genuine spaghetti sauce. I’ll get to it. Anyways, they were discussing the entertainment news, and right after the highlights on the Beib saga, they mentioned a new autobiography by Gabrielle Reece, a pro beach volleyball player. I was only half listening at first, reading the scrolling news on the bottom. But then I heard the word “submissive,” and my ears perked right up. The pretty, blonde, blowhard of a news anchor was discussing Gabrielle’s status as a role model. “Here you have a beautiful, tall, powerful woman who talks in her book about being submissive to her husband. In this age of feminism and equal rights, this is not someone you want your young girls looking up to.” She kept talking, but the blood was rushing to my face so bad I couldn’t hear anything else. Now, I don’t know much about this Gabrielle lady, but she has at least one gold star in my book. She seems to have accomplished quite a bit, but the anchors or mouthpieces or whatever they are completely discounted everything she’s done, because of that one simple fact.
I have been through a lot. My teen years were a complete mess. I struggled with suicide, depression, drugs, drinking, partying, and I was even arrested (not for a big crime, but still. It was scary.) I absolutely hated myself, and the relationships I had certainly fed into my despair. I liked anyone who would give me attention. I was afraid to be different. Now, I have a relationship with Jesus. I know who I am in Him, and that’s all that matters. All my bonds have been broken. I have total and utter freedom, and I feel like I have something to share with the world. I feel like I am a good example of redemption. I try and be a good mommy. I mess up, but I always want to do what’s right. I’ve sacrificed for my family. But according to the media my own children, and especially our daughters, cannot even look up to me as a role model, because I both put my husband before myself, and submit to him in leadership.
Don’t get me wrong, I mess up. Just two weeks ago, I started a fight, based on a legitimate issue I had. I won, I was right, but I felt awful. I knew I didn’t do it the right way, and I felt completely stupid knowing that I was researching and praying about this post. So, please know that I am quite aware of my own shortcomings. I have been praying about this for over a month. Please hear my heart. My heart as a woman and as a wife is all about submitting to my husband. Now, before you start freaking out, forget everything you’ve heard about submission in the past. And then double check every single thing I say against God’s word. People (admittedly, probably men) have really wrecked something that can be the difference between happiness and strife, peace and conflict, marriage and divorce.
So what does the Bible say? These are some main ones:
Ephesians 5:21-29 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.
Most of us (even the unchurched) are very familiar with that first verse! But there is so much more to it. Just as Christ loves his church, covers his church and sacrifices for his church, so our husbands are to do for us. Just as we are to submit, obey and respect our husbands, they are to love us, cherish us and take care of us. Now, that may go against the grain. I know that gender roles are a thing of the past. But just as I don’t expect him to breastfeed our babies, he’d better not expect me to “man up” when I’m hurting or upset. It’s not part of my makeup. I feel things much more deeply than he does. I need him to protect my feelings and my heart. I need to feel wanted, loved and safe.
What if you don’t feel safe? What if your husband is abusive? What does the Bible say about that?
1 Peter 3:7 says “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” There are two parts here I want to touch on. First, “heirs with you.” That denotes equality under God. Women are not second class citizens. We are equal in worth and in heritage. Second, “so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” That’s big. He’s saying here that if you aren’t considerate, and you don’t treat your wife with respect, your prayers will not be answered. As a Christian, and someone who believes that you must have a personal relationship with Jesus to be saved, this tells me that if you treat your wife badly, Jesus will not have a personal relationship with YOU. He won’t answer your prayers. He may not even listen to them, until you deal with that huge problem you have (and mercy, He will help you through it if you ask.) That’s huge. God does not condone wife beating. Anyone who has used this excuse in the past while beating their wives into submission is in a whole different ballgame. And they do not have God on their side. It is incredibly dangerous to enact injustice in the name of God. And man, does it make me mad. Anyone who has used the verse, “Wives must submit to their husband” in an evil, degrading or abusive way will be in big trouble. I think they will be in more trouble than those who beat or abuse their wives out of fun. Our God is a God of love and justice. He often speaks about the broken-hearted, the captive, and the defenseless. See what happens if you try to use His name and His Word for evil or to hurt someone else.
So, the next few posts will be about just that. Submitting to our husbands. And why submissive wives are just as strong as wives who do their own thing.
Believe me. I want to hear what you’re thinking. Comment on here, or facebook me. But either way, let’s chat.