Reintroducing Submission

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What would the world look like with a revival of the traditional roles of men and women in our generation? Could the possible adoption of past tradition do more harm than good in this modern, equality-driven society we live in today?

We are continually bombarded with reminders that by being a woman we’ve drawn the shorter straw. Whether it’s the gender pay gap, difficulty climbing the ladder to executive positions in the corporate world, the fight to have our say and the right to vote, for as long as we can possibly remember we have had to fight. We continue to fight to be taken as seriously as the men are in society and have our voice heard.

Women are often portrayed as being the lesser individual in comparison to their male counterpart. But we must understand that some people have no clue what it’s like to be a woman, so all they can do is make assumptions from what they see or hear.

There is no denying how amazing and unique we are as women. We have a significant part to play in the world. There are men and women for a reason; God took time to create us with all our intricacies and complexities, he didn’t make a mistake.

“There is neither…male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28, New International Version)

Men and women have been created equal. One is not valued more than the other. The order in which God created the man and the woman does not lessen our significance in the world.

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1:27, NIV)

Included in God’s perfect plan is the touchy subject of submission. You’d think it was taboo the way it’s avoided as a topic of conversation. But submission is not a dirty word.

Is submission a pill easier to swallow in the Christian context?

It is something we are called to do as a principle, but it doesn’t make it any easier. It requires sacrifice, patience and longsuffering. These characteristics can only be demonstrated with help from the Holy Spirit and the grace of God. In our natural state we want to do the complete opposite to what the Word instructs us to do. It’s in our nature to think about ourselves first.

Many women struggle with the idea of submitting to the authority of a man who is not in a position to lead their homes; some men lack vision and ambition, which is vital for leading a family. Some women have lost hope in finding a responsible, God-fearing man. We have too many single mothers, because the fathers decided they weren’t going to take responsibility for their actions. Some women may feel they will be controlled and loose their identity.

Men who abuse their God-given authority have often taken the concept of biblical submission out of context. They abuse women by putting them down, degrading them or highlighting scriptures that point to women’s responsibility - forgetting their own. They are called to love the women who have been placed in their care. Fear is what they instill, but God says there is no fear in love.

This wasn’t the intended plan for our men; they are purposed for greater than this. We need them in position as the head of the home. It is God’s perfect plan for us.

If men understood the magnitude of the responsibilities given to them would they take their rightful position? Would they continue to abuse their authority? If they led with a servant heart as Jesus did, many women would follow and choose to willingly submit to their men out of love and respect for stewarding their God-given authority in the correct way.

Submission is not easy, but it is worth it. All things God requires of us are to help transform us into who He wants us to become. We were initially created in His image, but we became exposed to the patterns of the world, the words spoken over us by others and have become more desensitised to God’s will for our lives.

Submission has the exact same meaning in the biblical context as it does in society today. The oxford dictionary defines submission as, The action of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.”

Biblically speaking, women are called to submit to their husbands…not anyone else. Not their boyfriends or their prospective partners. Submission is not conditional, it’s not dependant on what we’re given, but it’s a responsibility.

Ephesians 5:22-33 says wives should submit to their husbands and husbands should love their wives, the connecter of the verse being ‘and’ not ‘if.’ This makes it even more difficult to adhere to in a world of give and take.

When a man loves his lady sincerely, he will demonstrate that love in action. When your husband is honoring you with love and respect, tell me if you wouldn’t want to honor that man with the respect that he is due. It wouldn’t be so difficult for us as women to exercise submission if men were living up to their end of the bargain.

It’s time for our men to step up and take responsibility, taking their rightful place and begin walking in purpose.

For women, it is important we are with the right man that is in a position to lead us. This man values his role as a husband and a leader, he has vision and foresight, and he sees the end goal in sight.

Remember that if you find the right man who knows your worth and your value, he will love and treat you as such. He will love you as Christ loves the church, submission will come naturally to you and it will be something you want to do for the man you love and respect.

Next time you say no to submission, I’d ask you to think again.

Know your worth as a woman, despite what society may tell you. Submission is a beautiful thing when done the right way. It is God’s perfect plan and a demonstration of the relationship between Christ and the church. It is a privilege to be able to display this within our own marriages and relationships to give glory to God.

Submission is not where life ends, but where it continues. There is something God has purposed you to fulfill and exercising a submissive character can only set you up for the success you need to achieve that. It will teach you patience and selflessness, giving you the ability to see from different perspectives. 

Maybe, just maybe the revival of this archaic tradition called submission could just be the answer to the disunity and chaos we are experiencing in the world today.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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