About Submission

Women struggle with submission.

That’s just a fact.

Thanks to Eve, we are cursed (from birth) with a nature that seeks control.  (Genesis 3:16)

The fact that our culture- and I’m referring to our Christian culture- has veered so far from a Biblical pattern doesn’t help.  Many of us lack a basic reference point as to what true, Biblical submission even looks like in practice.

about submission

I don’t know much about submission, but I am earnestly seeking to follow God’s pattern for marriage and womanhood.  I am always learning, as you are, what it means to be a godly help meet to my husband.

Three aspects of submission have stood out very clearly to me recently.  Two things submission is not; one thing submission most definitely is.

  • Submission is not about being a door mat.

A lot of Christian women hear the word “submission” and automatically shut down.  They associate the command to “submit” or “obey” with being a mindless robot.  I strongly object that God meant for women to relate to their husbands (or to men in general) like a whipped puppy.

Read Proverbs chapter 31.  The “virtuous woman” was enterprising, confidant, capable, talented, wise, and had a good sense of judgment.

Lydia, an entrepreneur in the city of Thyratira, received Paul and Silas’ gospel message openly; she had a receptive spirit and a keen mind.  She  “constrained” them (does that sound passive to you?) to abide in her home (see Acts 16).

Another New Testament woman, Priscilla, worked alongside her husband in occupation and ministry (see Acts 18).

  • Submission is not about personality.

Being passive and being submissive are hardly synonymous.

A passive woman can harbor a resentful and rebellious spirit.  A strong-willed woman can cultivate a spirit of submission.

We each fight our own personal battles, and personality certainly plays into the challenge.  The act of submitting my will to God’s Word has a sanctifying effect on who I am as a person.  Because I am human, my personality is flawed.

Regardless if I am passive or willful by nature, my personality needs the sanctification of God’s Word and His Spirit to shape and mold me into His image.

In the end, personality does not determine whether or not a woman submits to her husband, because-

  • Submission is a choice.

Every day I face a decision: Do I trust God enough to allow Him to lead our family through a mortal man- my husband?

I know my husband’s faults better than anyone else.  I’m keenly aware of his weak points.  I could even justify myself in believing that he does not deserve to lead our family.  After all, he’s no more perfect than I am!  Here is where the choice of submission comes in.

I choose to submit my will because I seek to honor God.  I choose to believe that God knew what He was talking about when He commanded women to “obey” and “submit” and “respect”.

It’s not about my husband’s perfection.  It is about my choice to trust God’s Word, follow His pattern, and take Him at His promise.

“Obedience, submission, and reverence are all acts of the will and are not based on feelings.  Showing deference toward one’s husband is an act of reverence toward the God who placed you in that role.”

(Debi Pearl)


What has God taught you lately about submission?


This post is shared at Titus 2sDay and Domestically Divine. photo credit


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  1. says

    Very nice post, Kristy. All three of your points are right on target. Submission definitely is a choice. Just like every area of life, we can either choose to accept God’s design or reject it. Things will work out much better for us if we accept it! And we will be much happier if we not only accept His design, but embrace it also!

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