"What? Submit?" "Is that really what the Bible says?" "You have got to be kidding me! Let's just skip to the next chapter!"
Submission. This is a very controversial topic and something I had a MAJOR issue with when I was growing up. It was even worse as an adult. There was no way that I, Alecia, would ever submit to a man. Here's why.
I am a Jamaican living in Canada. In Jamaica, the world turns quite differently. Imagine being at a family gathering. All the men are talking and enjoying themselves while the women have to get up and serve their husbands their meal because, in the Jamaican man's mind, women are to submit.
Or another scenario. Imagine a man sitting at home in front of the tv (for most of the day) with tons of chores to be done. His wife then comes home from work late and tired and he expects her to clean up the mess and cook dinner. Yup, that was my picture of women submitting to their husbands. I did not want to be a doormat or, worse, a modern-day slave. I am a fairly intelligent woman and no man would ever, ever get me to submit.
Fast forward to the present. I still don't want to be a doormat but my thoughts on submission have changed. What happened?
I began to take seriously the fact that the Bible says that I MUST SUBMIT. As a Christian I need to pay more attention to what the Bible says than my own desires to go against it. As 2 Corinthians 5:15 says,
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:15 (NIV)It's a matter of submitting to Christ first and listening to what He has to say in His Word. Besides Titus 2 verse 5 there are several verses in the Bible that clearly state that women should submit to their husbands - so it's something that cannot be ignored. Another example is Ephesians 5 verse 22.
There is more Growing up, all I heard was the first section of Ephesians 5, which says
Wives, submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5: 22-24 (NIV)I had never heard anyone continue to the end of the passage, which says,
Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her to make her holy...Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. Eph 5:25-28 (NIV)So clearly my image of being a modern-day slave or a doormat wouldn't be correct if men paid attention to this section too.
I am in a good marriage OK. I am not bragging. All I am saying is that God has blessed me with an amazing man whom I do not deserve. Plain and simple: he is selfless, caring, and self-sacrificing. This man continues to give up opportunities to go overnight camping and hiking with a close friend so that he can be home with myself and the kids at night. Another example is the fact that what he earns is known as OUR pay. Yup. Even though he works (physically has to leave home) he says that we both work and thus it is our pay. Got to love that man. And if I strongly disagree with a decision he wants to make, he loves me enough not to do it or to take the time to persuade me that it's the right thing to do.
Final Thoughts As you can see, it is not simply one thing that led me to change my mind on the topic of submission- it was a number of things. Courtesy of my Jamaican background, I dreaded getting married because I did not want to be a doormat. Jamaican men LOVE to emphasize the parts of the Bible that state that women should submit. Funny enough, even the non-Christian men took it upon themselves to know those portions of the Bible. It is through me meeting my husband and seeing him eat, sleep, and breathe Ephesians 5:25-28 that has enabled me to submit willingly.