If you are an intellectual who needs proof that the Bible is a legitimately relevant document today… I’m happy to help you with that. And I’m excited to see your comments and thoughts today. We’re just doing this arm-in-arm, aren’t we? On the journey together?
We are told in the Bible to “submit” to our husbands in a number of places.
And I confess, when I first heard this, it made me angry. It made me doubt God. It made me angry at Him, at the leader of the class, at the Bible…I thought I was giving something up.
Can you relate?
But here’s something I’ve finally learned. Took me a little too long to figure this out, but God’s wired men differently than He’s wired women.
The average man’s brain is wired to be on the lookout for perceived threats more than the average woman’s is.
And when we treat him with RESPECT, that helps… but it still feels pretty similar to what he deals with all day at work, where he’s wondering if someone’s going to attack him, in a place where he already feels inadequate.
So yes, be respectful, because the Bible tells us to do that, too.
But also combine submission, and know that the “submit” directions are placed in front of the directions for the man.
Why is that?
Think about it. Like “submission” is a “white flag” saying, “I’m not here to fight with you.”
So instead of putting him on the defense, we help the two of us stay on the same team.
If we are submissive first, wouldn’t that then disarm our guy?
Submission is gentle. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll talk about what it is, because we’ve already talked about what it’s not. Respect is common to men and communicates, “I’m not threatening you now.” At work, there is often an assumed, “but I might be later…” lurking in the back of a man’s mind.
But submission? Submission communicates clearly, “There is no threat here ever.”
God knows how He wired men. So He gives us great advice in how to communicate with them.
And we humans have done research which confirms what God knew eons ago. Check it out here if you like reading about brain research.
Dale Carnegie, of How to Win Friends and Influence People fame put it this way (for either gender, I might add…):
Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
What’s really interesting, is when it is phrased that way, we don’t have an issue with submission. I spent 15 years watching literally thousands of people apply this principle, and not one complained about it making them feel “less than.” We have an issue as a culture with the word, “submission.” Perhaps we wives just need to call it something else or accept the semantic issue and move on.
And submission doesn’t mean you don’t have an idea or are a doormat. It’s often just the difference between:
“You should stop by the store on the way home and buy milk,” (directive) and…
- “Baby, if it’s not too much of an inconvenience, and if you have time, do you think you could stop by the store on the way home and pick up some milk?” (submissive-respectful), or even,
- “Baby, we’re in dire straights here today with a milk crisis. If you have time and it’s easy for you, would you consider running a milk rescue mission on your way home for your little guys?” (submissive-respectful-esteeming) (and yeah, I know, maybe a little corny, but some men really dig that… it will look different in each marriage)
- or even, if blessed to be married to a super-mature man, “Honey, we are out of milk. Could you please stop by the store on the way home and grab a gallon?” (submissive-respectful)
“You need to take me out more. We never date each other and our marriage is suffering,” (directive-complaining) and…
- “I was thinking about that restaurant we went to back in March? You know the one that has the Alfredo sauce you liked? I really enjoyed your company that night… and what happened afterwards… any chance we could do that again sometime soon?” (submissive-respectful-esteeming)
- “I just love dressing up for you and showing off my handsome husband to the world…do you think we could go out for dinner this weekend?” (esteeming-submissive-respectful)
Submission will often garner a positive interaction with the average guy.
So check your motives James 4:3 style, and check your delivery – if it’s bossy and direct, you probably won’t get very far.
Be brief. Be sweet. Be feminine (whatever that looks like for you – just don’t be masculine in your delivery).
Be different than how others communicate with him in the daily work world he’s in. Push the reset button. Be gentle.
Create the contrast that disarms him.
And if you are dealing with a man who has been taking advantage of your submission over the years, read this. And, oh, baby, I’m so sorry. Tough stuff. He’s immature. Know you may have to be stronger than you are, so you’ll need to be even tighter with God to get through it.
And if you are interested, know you are invited… Starting next week, we’ll be walking through the Bible, talking through EVERYTHING it says about marriage. Dare you to subscribe so you don’t miss anything, and double dog dare you to invite a friend!
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
1 Peter 3:1-2 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
Ephesians 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
What about you? What are your thoughts or experiences with submission? Would love to hear them!
Love to you,