Submission Is Not A Dirty Word

There–I said it. Really, the statement is for me, but I hope you find solace in it too. It’s taken me a long time to realize this, and it’s taken this storm to realize I wasn’t doing it.

I was listening to one of my Christian podcasts–Journeywomen–this morning. The most recent episode is on submission, and I really felt like God meant for me to hear it today. One of the concepts that stuck out to me was in the midst of the discussion on submitting to husbands: submission does not mean inferiority.

I think it is often the case that when us 21st century, independent Christian women hear “wives, submit to your husbands,” we mistake it for “wives, you are inferior to your husbands.” I hated that verse because of that connotation. But that is not the case. The process of submission involves communication and joint decision-making.

I’ve realized I did not submit to my husband–I fought him tooth and nail on just about everything, including, unfortunately, the calling he felt he had–because if it wasn’t my way, it was wrong. But that isn’t true–just because it’s not how I thought it would be doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

There is nothing wrong with being an independent Christian woman. Independence means not relying on anyone but Christ for your joy, including your spouse. It means knowing who you are in Christ and finding comfort, peace, and meaning in that knowledge. Independence means not being co-dependent.

And the way we do that is through submission. When we submit to God and His will for our lives, we find peace, meaning, and independence. When we submit to our husbands, we find it easier to navigate the ups and downs of life and marriage and our family roles can become more defined and better fit who we are in the Lord.

For me, not submitting to God or my husband meant I felt the need to control everything, and I felt like I was doing everything–from the everyday managing of a household to the spiritual upkeep. I hardly, if ever, allowed my husband the opportunity to lead, let alone figure out what it looked like for us.

The past few days have been a bit emotional for me, and I don’t think it’s coincidence I felt compelled to listen to that episode this morning. So, if allowed the opportunity, I want to submit. Now that I have a better understanding of what submitting to the Lord looks like, I can translate that better to submitting to my husband.

I’m going to try not cringe when I hear the verse about submitting to husbands or when I hear “submission” in general. I’m going to continue to strive to submit everything I am to God.

And I hope that, if you did before, you don’t cringe when you hear “submission.” Because it’s not a bad thing. It is the best thing.

. . . . . .

Do you struggle with submission? What does submission look like for you? How do you work to be in submission to the Lord?