The “S” Word

I wanted to start this post with talking about submission, but I found myself having difficulty in trying to explain it in detail.  I then realized that I cannot talk about submission unless I talk about love.

The word submission is considered to be a nasty word in our society.  Just thinking about the word usually sends most of us running for the hills!  We don’t like authority in our society, and to be honest, when it comes to marriage we don’t like the idea that someone is over us telling us what to do.

But if I was to say that we have the idea of submission wrong? What if the idea of submission does not mean what we think it mean? In our society, we think submission means:

  • The husband should make all important financial and other decisions for the relationship.
  • The husband and wife should work together on all important decisions, but the husband has the final say.
  • The husband should go out to earn the family’s daily bread, and the woman should stay home to bake it.
  • The husband is the president, and the wife is the executive vice-president.
  • The husband should control the tv remote (actually, I’ve never heard preachers say that; I just threw that in)    (Source)

If anyone has the idea that submission means that the man is the “boss” and the woman just has to take the orders with a smile is sadly mistaken.  Wives are not inferior, or a subject of their husbands, she is his partner, his “help mate” who helps forms is sanctity and helps him along his road to heaven.

If anything, husbands have large shoes to fill!  If husbands are to love their wives like Christ loved the church, we must remember that Christ died on the cross for his church.  Period.  That’s a huge amount of love right there!  Not saying that our husbands have to die for us (because no one really wants that), but the point was that husbands are to make sacrifices for their wives, as wives make sacrifices for their husbands.  These sacrifices are done in love for one another.

They must love their wives even when they don’t deserve it (think back when we snapped on our hubbies for something that they didn’t do).  Or, they have to love us even when they don’t like us at that moment (think back when we really wanted to buy something but it was just out of the budget and we did it anyway).  

 Submission :the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.

Women, when we submit to someone, we are making a decision to do so.  We are not being forced to, because then that would be called oppression.  But submission is given freely, and in trust.  It’s not something that we are all forced to do, but when we do finally decide to submit to our spouses, we do find that things go a bit smoother.

Again, that doesn’t mean we don’t have opinions and we cannot address our concerns.  We can (and rightfully do all that) because sometimes we all need to see two sides of the coin before making decisions.  However, when one partner knows that you trust them to lead the family in the right direction, you’ll find out that your council is needed even more!  

In an honest and trusting relationship, each person has the freedom to grow individually without fear of rejection.  When one of us stray too far from our principals, the other one is there to keep us grounded.  

In my take, it’s not just a submission of power to one person, but it is the submission of oneself to another.  To freely give yourself to another, as they will give themselves to you.

This may not be hard for women, for (I sense) we were built for nurturing and caring, which is why the next couple of verses in Ephesians tells men to love their wives as they love their own flesh.  It’s how they would want to be treated, that is how they treat and show love for their wives.  

Ephesians 5:25-33English Standard Version (ESV) 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

 After reflecting on all of this, maybe learning and knowing about how to submit is not a bad thing.  

Maybe we as members of society needs to stop looking down on a man when he loves his wife as being “whipped” and a woman who submits to her husband as being “weak.”

What about you? Have you learned how to submit to your spouse?  Do you think a loving man is whipped, and a submissive woman is weak?


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MarissaKalleyC (Deb WolfYum Yucky Recent comment authors
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Yum Yucky

A loving man can sometimes be weak when he is mistreated by the woman. I’ve seen this happen and it’s terrible. WHY does the man allow himself to be bullied, disrespected and ordered around? I’m not really sure.

On a another note, I think of myself as submissive, but this is surely an area that could use some renewed self-examination and prayer. Just to be sure.

Deb Wolf

I’ve taught on this subject often and completely agree with you. I’ve always said it’s easy to submit to someone who is loving perfectly. I love your last sentence, reminding us that what the world calls whipped and weak . . . God calls love and respect. Visiting from W2W. So glad to be here.


Wonderful discussion on the S Word… so glad you shared with Salt & Light!