Ask Funto- Does being submissive as a wife make you a slave?

Ask Funto- Does being submissive as a wife make you a slave?

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So I got this question during the week-

“Good evening, can you please shed light on submission in marriage. Does being submissive as a wife make you a slave to him? Apparently my being submissive to my husband means that he is my husband and I am a slave? That’s what I am being told.”

Taking it from the very beginning, when God said, “It’s not good for man to be alone, I will make a helper.”  Somehow we’ve domesticated this “helper” thing to indicate that a woman’s role is to take on supportive duties for her husband. But when God said that, the man was in the Garden of Eden, he didn’t have a house, clothes to wash or meals that needed to be prepared. God did not create Eve to be Adam’s slave or house help.

For you to be able to help someone, it means you’re in a position above that person. For instance if I need to carry a generator, I don’t have the power to do that; I will need to ask for someone who has more power than I do to help with it. So I believe that since God called the woman the ‘helper’ it’s obviously because He created her with more ‘power’ so she can help the man to become all God created him to be while also fulfilling her own purpose.

Submission is not about being weak, but about becoming aware of your power. We can certainly learn a lot about God’s design for women by studying how they impacted men in the Bible both positively and negatively. God created women with a subtle but undeniable power. The strongest man who ever lived (Samson), the wisest man who ever lived (Solomon), and one of the godliest men who ever lived (David) were all compromised by the power of women. In these situations, power was used for harm, but it was designed to be directed for great good.

 

1 Peter 3:1-6  says that wives can be powerful in winning their husbands through a quiet and gentle spirit. Having a quiet and gentle spirit is not the same thing as being weak and silent. Just look at who Peter cites as an example of such a woman: Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Have you ever really read about Sarah and Abraham? Sarah was not exactly a quiet woman. There are many times recorded in Genesis where Sarah spoke her mind. Sometimes she was right while other times… well, not exactly. But if she is our example of a submissive wife who was a blessing to her husband, then a quiet and gentle spirit certainly doesn’t mean being weak and silent.

So what does submission look like? Going through Ephesians 5: 21-25, we can draw some major truths about submission.

Truth 1: Submission is Spiritual

This is the sole truth about submission; other truths are rooted in this because unless you’re filled with the Spirit of God, it makes absolutely no sense to submit to another person. Unbelievers don’t and cannot understand submission; they think being submissive means you’re subservient and I think this is where the whole radical feminism started from.

In Ephesians 5:21 Paul says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” If you’re a follower of Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, then when you hit a power struggle in your marriage, you’ll be able to submit to your spouse because of your reverence for Christ; not because it will come naturally, but because it will come supernaturally through the Holy Spirit’s help. There’s no other way we can submit other than by God’s Spirit enabling us.

Truth 2: Submission is Personal

Notice that Paul did not say, “Husbands, tell your wife to submit” or, “Wives, tell your husband to step up and be spiritual head of the home.” Instead, he speaks to each person and asks each to work on his or her own attitude. So if you’re finding it hard submitting to your husband, maybe you should just take a few moments to look within and see if there’s something you need to work on in your attitude. If there’s nothing, then just do your own part as the Holy Spirit helps you.

Personally, I’m very strong willed (better way of saying stubborn LOL) and my husband can be strong willed too; earlier in our marriage, we were always having strong conversations (better way of saying fighting) about really unnecessary stuff but the root of it was we both wanting to have our own way. My attitude was the Bible says husbands should love their wives first then wives should submit; so anytime I felt my husband wasn’t loving me the way I wanted, I wasn’t going to submit. How very foolish of me. I had to get to that point where I decided that having peace in my home was more important than fighting over unnecessary stuff and I  realized over time that the more I submit to my husband, the more he honours and respects me. Even at times when I feel like he is wrong, I’m learning to still submit(Sometimes I still want to have my way)and just pray about the situation.In the end, it always turns out for good.

Truth 3: Submission is Mutual

When Paul writes, “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” that’s really just a nice way of saying Jesus chose to submit himself to the whip, the thorns, and the nails for our benefit. That’s the example for husbands. What Paul asks husbands to do is actually harder than what he asks wives to do. He asks the wife to show respect and submit; he asks the husband to die. So it takes both husband and wife deciding DAILY to die to self, die to their ego, die to their pride, die to their own way of doing things. And it sure takes the help of the Holy Spirit to DIE.

Truth 4: Submission is Practical

Submission doesn’t mean you give up your brain. It doesn’t mean that if the person you’re submitting to wants you to do something wrong, you can do it and tell God, “I was just submitting to my authority o” Submission is not the same as unquestioned obedience. Just as there are times you say no to a boss at work (of course with wisdom), submission in marriage isn’t blind. It doesn’t mean that you just go aheadand do what you’re asked to do even if it violates scripture, your conscience, or common sense. For instance if someone is in an abusive relationship where the husband beats her, submission doesn’t mean that you stay and let him beat you till you die. My dear, you’d die and God will ask you why you didn’t use the common sense He gave you.

Submission is basically about surrendering our power as women to God so that through the help of the Holy Spirit, we can harness this power to helping (not hindering) our husbands fulfil the work God has called them to while we also fulfil ours. It’s about stooping to conquer. So NO! Submission doesn’t mean you’re a slave to your husband.

4 thoughts on “Ask Funto- Does being submissive as a wife make you a slave?

  1. Hmmmmmm…. I got a point, I was wondering why the wives are to submit and why the Husbands just love and not also submit, now u get it that when the wives submit, husbands tend to respect and honour wives…. The Word of God definitely had a reason for this instruction….. ??

  2. This is indeed a wonderful one! It addresses a major issue in very many (young) homes. Balancing submission and use of common sense is indeed key!xx

  3. Thank you Funto. Very well said.
    One of my strategies as the Holy Spirit shared with me is this. Many at times we leave out our own duties ‘chooking eye’ into /at the other person not performing his(loving and respecting) while we have not even done our own part. We want the other person to do his own part first. He is human being as much as you am human being to. You get what you give. Hence he is waiting for you too. This can only birth chaos!
    2. The Bible says to “know ye no man after the flesh” . For me, I must be able to see through my husband and see Jesus(even when he is hurting me) . It’s the Jesus in Him that gives him that position of authority , hence its actually the Jesus we are to submit to, not the physical person! His position as a representative of God in your home makes him the head.(some men even though God has conferred that position on them do not represent God in any way and that makes it hard for the woman to submit trully.-that’s a whole topic to deal with another day) And when we remember that the bible also says that whatsoever ye do, do it as unto the Lord… We would submit as unto the Lord(note however that you can’t be dealing with your relationship/marriage from Gods perspective if the man you are with is not in sync spiritually with you, reveres God like you do and has a constant relationship with God)
    Lastly, one other way submission can be easier is when we have learnt to and made it a way of life to submit to Gods will(the God we cannot see) through our life as a single woman. Through it , God Himself teaches the dynamics of submission and when we have gone through his ‘training school’ we can come out , deliver and get “paid back” in exchange for the value we offer!

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