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. Ephesians 5:22-24
It's treated a little like a dirty word.
Many women cringe when the topic comes up.
I read a post this week over on Prodigal Magazine that provoked quite a frenzy of comments. I read about 350 of the over 500 comments on this topic of a woman submitting to her husband. It made my head hurt. But I couldn't stop reading. I was so surprised at the sheer amount and utter indignation from this crowd of what I believe are mostly christian women.
Over and over again so many commenters said that it isn't biblical to say the wife must submit to her husband. (I think many people's sticking point was that submission should be mutual).
Why this topic? Why do those verses above send so many women into a tizzy? The next 9 or so verses in Ephesians talk about just how much a husband should love his wife. And then ends with a reminder that wives need to respect their husbands.
Strong women make strong families. Head strong women strip men of their value as leaders and fulfill our silly self imposed prophecies: that we can do it better, more efficiently and with more grace than these men.
So generations are missing models of healthy marriages where mom builds up dad and dad knows the family's welfare is on his shoulders.
And some woman write to remind us about what being a wife is supposed to mean and people are all up in arms. Emily, talked about what a beautiful picture of Christ's love a wife can paint when she loves her husband and serves him in spite of his sin and shortcomings. She spoke of a woman who stayed with a husband who knocked out her teeth and led him to Jesus because of her example of unconditional love. The commenters, they shout that submission leads to abuse and how can a person ever condone staying with an abuser. Well Emily sure wasn't recommending that but really isn't that the kind of love we're called to? Aren't we to mimic our Messiah in our relationships?
Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Matthew 24:13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
There are many, many times that we are called to submit, love or serve or whatever you want to call it. Jesus said it over and over, how we're expected to bend low, even if it costs us. But when a large group of (probably well meaning) woman get at this subject suddenly it seems the whole matter is suddenly up for discussion.
The article (and all the comments) showed me just how wide spread this train of thought is. I believe it's part of our curse, our consequence for sin. God says our desire will be for our husbands. But in the link look at this little note on the word 'for'; it can also be translated as 'against'. Hebrew is an inflected language. It's prepositions change depending on noun/verb choices. This specific word is va-el (or wa-el). It is a word that means toward, to, to move toward, against, about, before.
If this is the curse we bear, the consequence for sin, we should really be aware. It's a struggle we should expect to have and it's a struggle we're expected to resist.
So really, I don't see what all the fuss is about. Unless, it's just about us ladies not wanting to be humble enough to submit to the truth...