(Calling all girls.. Please comment and share with me and others what the Lord has taught you on submission)
The Bible is very called clear. We are to submit. To our leaders, to our husbands, & to God.
“BUT WHAT THE HECK. I am a strong, independent woman. Why do I need to submit to anyone?” (this was the question I began asking the Lord when I was about 18.. and over 4.5 years later I think I am finally beginning to understand)
I think my grandma was the best example of this to me. She is the most beautiful woman I know. She is courageous and bold, yet so kind, gentle, and SUBMISSIVE. I have always looked at the way that she submits to authority and to my grandpa and wondered, “is that really what we are called to be as women?”. (I thought she was amazing.. but no part of me wanted to be like that.. I have always leaned more towards the bold, tenacious, independent side of things)
And after running from it for a long time & then wrestling through it with God even longer, I have found that the answer to that question is a strong “yes”. We are to submit.
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
So clearly, yes, I am called to submit. However, I learned that how God calls us to submit is a little different than how some parts of the Christian church have seemed to call women to submit. The church sometimes views it as the man having all authority and control and the woman doing whatever he says. Somewhere along the journey of the church beginning to believe this view of submission, we forgot about the character of God I think.
In order to understand anything in life, really, we can best understand it by looking at the character of God. Everything he created and commands is a mirror of His character.
So when I took this to God it sounded something like this, “God, I trust you. I know your character is good. But I don’t feel like I was created to let a man dictate, even when I disagree. It goes against everything I am and doesn’t seem right. But you are clear that you want me to submit, and I trust that if that’s your design then that’s the best way to live. So help me to see and understand your heart in this”.
I then heard Him say, “Katy, you are so good at submitting to me, yet I NEVER control or dictate.. I don’t have to control or dictate with you.. I first wooed your heart.. then your only natural response was submission”.
This wrecked me. Ladies, I firmly believe that submission isn’t about a man who is in control and calls all of the shots. I believe it is Gods design for a man to first pursue, cherish, protect, and woo his wife’s heart. Then her natural response is to serve and submit. Because she has a good man who she can trust.
Some verses on who God COMMANDS men to be:
A husband is called to pursue his wifes heart. He is called to romance her, know her, fully enjoy her beauty and never stop pursuing her heart. (Song of Songs)
A husband is called to love his wife.. to never be harsh.. to be gentle and kind. (Colossians 3:18-19)
A husband is called to be understanding of his wife.. to LISTEN to her thoughts and perspective and seek her wisdom in decision making, He is called to treat his wife as an equal and grant her the highest honor.. God says later in this verse that He will not answer the husbands prayers if the husband doesn’t do this! WOW. (1 Peter 3:7)
A husbands is called to love his wife “AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH” and gave himself up for her. He is also called to pray over her and read scripture over her. Ephesians 5:25
A husband is called to walk in humility and count his wife as more significant than himself and to do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit (Philippians 2:3)
So now that we have a good understanding of the type of man God intended us to submit to..
a man who is kind and gentle, a man who listens to us & seeks our wisdom in decision making, a man who pursues & never stops pursing our heart, a man who prays over us and speaks scripture over us regularly, a man who ultimately lives his life in obedience to his number one calling (immitating Christ as he selflessly serves, loves, and gives everything up for us).
Now let me ask you ladies..
Who wouldn’t submit to a man like that?!
I don’t know about you.. but if I found a husband who was obedient to the Lord in these areas, my natural response would be to lay everything down to love, honor, and submit to him.
So now let’s move on to the question I know we are all asking then..
Do we still have to submit to a man who isn’t obedient to this calling as our husband??
It is a tough task, but YES.
(1 Peter 3:1) Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.
Why is it so hard to love, serve, and submit to a man who isn’t walking in his calling as a husband or father??
Even if our husband is an amazing, God fearing man, he will not always do all of these things perfectly. He is human.
And this same concept is true for the leaders that the Lord has established above us.
It is so hard to submit to someone who isn’t 100% good and 100% trustworthy. So how do we love and submit to an imperfect person?!
I think I have finally come to find the secret to this ladies..
When man is imperfect..
We submit to him anyways..
and we do it because there is a King standing behind him who is always good and who is always trustworthy.
He is a Perfect Husband and a Perfect Leader who is ever protecting our hearts and who is always worthy of our submission. And He is standing behind every husband and every leader established above us.
God, you wreck my heart. Thank you for being my Wild Romancer, Pursuer, Leader, and Husband. Thank you that you are always good. Thank you that you are so worthy of my trust and that my heart is in good hands. I am only beginning to understand how to submit. Continue to teach me and humble me. I submit myself now to you, LORD, and all that you call me to do.