31 Days to Becoming a Better Wife: Day 15: 7 Misconceptions about Submission

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Today I would like to share with you all an interview I found at http://www.girlsgonewise.com. It takes a look at 7 misconceptions people have regarding submission. I found this article spot on and I know it will speak to you all as well.

Seven Misconceptions about Submission (Mary Kassian):

Misconception #1: Submission is universal—the directive can be applied correctly by all, even those outside of the faith community.

Christian submission is defined by the relationship between God the Father and Son. It cannot be properly understood apart from that mooring. Hence, I believe it is unwise for us to uphold the instruction for wives to submit themselves to their husbands as an achievable standard for those outside the faith community. People without the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit have neither the discernment nor the power to live out submission and authority in a godly manner.

Misconception #2: Submission is gender-exclusive—it’s just for women.

Men have a responsibility to submit too—it’s not just something that’s required of women. EVERY Christian, female or male, has the responsibility to submit to the Lord, and also to the authorities the Lord has placed in his or her life. What’s more, the biblical concepts of submission and authority cannot be disassociated. The two are indivisibly connected. A biblical definition of submission cannot be understood apart from a biblical definition of authority.

Misconception #3: Submission is generic—every woman submits to every man.

The Bible instructs a wife to submit herself to her own husband; not to men in general.

#4: Submission is a right—a husband has the right to demand his wife’s submission.

A husband does not have the right to demand or extract submission from his wife. Submission is HER choice—her responsibility… it is NOT his right!! Not ever. She is to “submit herself”— deciding when and how to submit is her call. In a Christian marriage, the focus is never on rights, but on personal responsibility. It’s his responsibility to be affectionate. It’s her responsibility to be agreeable. The husband’s responsibility is to sacrificially love as Christ loved the Church—not to make his wife submit.

Misconception #5: Submission is indiscriminate—it means mindless acquiescence.

A Christian’s first responsibility is to submit to the Lord and His standard of righteousness. A wife is not called to submit to sin, mistreatment, or abuse. The Lord does not want “weak-willed” women—women who lack the discernment and strength to respond to the right things and in the right way. Godly women do not submit to sin. They carefully and intentionally weigh and discern how to submit to sinful human authority in light of their primary responsibility to submit to the ways of the Lord. No brain-dead doormats or spineless bowls of Jello here! Submission is neither mindless nor formulaic nor simplistic. Submitting to the Lord sometimes involves drawing clear boundaries and enacting consequences when a husband sins. Submission is an attitude of the heart. A woman can have a submissive spirit even when saying “no” and refusing to go along with sin.

Misconception #6: Submission precludes mutuality—it creates lopsided, one-way relationships.

Submission and authority function hand-in-hand with all the other biblical directives about how Christians ought to interact with one another. Along with submitting to her husband, a Christian wife also has the responsibility to be transparent, speak truth, confront sin, and challenge her husband to ever increasing levels of holiness. As heirs together of the grace of life, both husband and wife have the responsibility to love, encourage, and build one another up; and to interact with forbearance, kindness and humility. Biblical authority and submission contribute to mutuality, and do not diminish or detract from it. (It’s “both-and” not “either-or.”)

Misconception #7: Submission promotes abuse—it encourages husbands to be domineering, self-centered boors.

When properly understood and enacted, the framework of hierarchical relationships within the Christian community serves a protective function, because every authority is accountable to a higher authority. This community structure encourages husbands to fulfill their responsibility to love as Christ loves, and holds them to account when they don’t. It fosters Christlikeness and prevents abuse. A wife whose husband is abusive can appeal to higher authorities for intervention and protection. It is the responsibility of the authorities to protect and seek the good of all those under their care.

Missy’s thoughts: Sometimes it is easier to define what something is not in order to understand what it is.

Look for my next post later today (and I will be all caught up).

God Bless,


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