The "S" Word

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The "S" Word

Postby little_tigress » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:49 am

Yes. Submission. I dared to use the "S" word.

What should this look like in marriage?
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Qu'ils sont beaux sur les montagnes, Les pieds de celui qui apporte de bonnes nouvelles, Qui publie la paix! De celui qui apporte de bonnes nouvelles, Qui publie le salut! De celui qui dit à Sion: ton Dieu règne!
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The "S" Word

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Re: The "S" Word

Postby Marycita » Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:37 pm

I once read in a book, that as long as your husband doesn't ask you to sin, you should do what he says. It sounds a little extreme, but it often pops up into my head, and for the most part, I try to stick to that. During pre-marriage counseling, our pastor said submission will be the hardest in the little things. I was like, pshaa whatever. (I didn't say that to him :P ) But now I'm seeing it's true. It's so easy to slip into wanting to control a situation without even realizing it.

Like, we were discussing some traveling we're doing coming up and since we are flying, luggage came up. Since it's just a few days Tony thought not to check anything. Me being the girl and having my dad's mentality of more is always better, I wanted to check a bag. In the course of the discussion, I found myself hoping that I'd be able to convince him. I was literally thinking of different things I could say that might make him cave. [Not that he was being like NO WE ARE NOT CHECKING ANYTHING!!! He had only simply stated he didn't think we would need to.] That's when it hit me that I was trying to control this situation and my husband. Luckily, I didn't say many of the things I had come up with. Instead, I reminded myself that not only has he traveled more than me so he knows more what he's talking about, but he's my husband and how I was handling this (even in my head) was not honoring him and was not submitting to him like the church to Christ.

I know, something this small and silly may seem odd, but those are the kinds of things that happen daily in marriage. And the more I think about it and pray about it, the more I think it's so important for me to keep that mentality of the statement I mentioned before. Christ asks me to submit to Him in little things everyday. Should I ever try to convince Him that I should do it my way instead? No, so I try to have that same mentality with Tony.

And that's part of what submission is about. Knocking that "need" to manipulate and control everything, out of us. It's such a good practice and leads to our sanctification. It makes me so mad that people have taken something God's commanded of us and made it this huge controversy. A lot of what I hear even from those who would talk positively about submission is off. They seem to think it's only in the big moments. Nope - it's for all moments. Just because men have abused that doesn't make God's command to wives any less strong.

Then you get the arguments that "you can tell your husband your thoughts and concerns, but then let him make the decision". To some extent, that's a load of hooey. Because even this can be a slightly iffy road. I think a lot of women, myself included, possibly at times without realizing it, approach it with the idea that "if I tell him all my thoughts about it, he'll side with me on it". We hide our manipulation under the guise of "just talking". Not to say that we can never talk. Not to say that we can never be passionate about something. Just to say that we should be careful even with that. Most of the moments we should submit in are about things that don't *really* matter anyway. We just want our way.

Besides, chances are, if we have husbands who are following Christ, they will ask us what we think and feel about a situation and they will respect that. It's not a scary thing to submit to a godly man. It's a far more scary thing for a man to love and lead his wife like Christ does the church. Submission is also about making that role for them easier. Helping them in that. We should dread ever thwarting that from the man we are one with.

Ahhhh...I'm pretty much passionate about this in ways and so very disorganized in how I write...sorry if this was all over the place :?
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Re: The "S" Word

Postby Ethnog » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:02 pm

I feel submission is a beautiful thing when use correctly.
Not used to abuse or harm someone and I feel the S word has become a "ugly" word because of that!
When a woman submits people usually think she doesn't have a mind or her own, when a man submits people usually state his manhood isn't there. I find that disrespectfully and rude to the relationship. There is much more to it then that you have to really understand the situation and reason why it is happening.
And I respectfully disagree with you Mary about it being manipulation to talk. It is manipulation in HOW it is done not if you talk about what you feel or what you want. If you talk about what you want and your husband gives you a different view and shows a different light, and you are open and understand, that is one thing. But if you talk about it and your husband does the same and you continually state what you want without a care and use other ways of getting it, then that is manipulation. Is that what you meant?
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Re: The "S" Word

Postby Marycita » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:15 pm

Ethnog wrote:And I respectfully disagree with you Mary about it being manipulation to talk. It is manipulation in HOW it is done not if you talk about what you feel or what you want. If you talk about what you want and your husband gives you a different view and shows a different light, and you are open and understand, that is one thing. But if you talk about it and your husband does the same and you continually state what you want without a care and use other ways of getting it, then that is manipulation. Is that what you meant?


No I didn't mean that to talk is always manipulation. I just meant that it CAN be. I know and have seen many women (and have obviously caught myself at it) even unintentionally at times, it let it become manipulation. It's very easy to slip into and so when we talk things through, we need to be very aware and careful about it.* That's all I meant. Though I do probably see it as a bigger issue than most woman would agree is there.

*I know, that men can probably slip into manipulation through talking too, but I've noticed it more with women and since I am a woman, it's what I will speak on more.
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Re: The "S" Word

Postby Ethnog » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:20 pm

Honestly, the thought of being in a relationship where I can't share what I feel would hurt me so much if I thought, "oh what if what I am saying will be manipulative." It will be my honest feelings, not manipulation.
Things can turn in to anything if we allow it, or we believe it to be.

Maybe if I am married, my feelings on this will change and I will be more aware of the fact. I don't know.


edit: Though, I fully agree with you that many women do these things and I have seen that as well.
My response is mostly personal feelings.
Me and my darn feelings. I always have to express it....blah.
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Re: The "S" Word

Postby Marycita » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:34 pm

Ethnog wrote:Honestly, the thought of being in a relationship where I can't share what I feel would hurt me so much if I thought, "oh what if what I am saying will be manipulative." It will be my honest feelings, not manipulation.
Things can turn in to anything if we allow it, or we believe it to be.

Maybe if I am married, my feelings on this will change and I will be more aware of the fact. I don't know.


Ya know what's funny - I considered, when I saw this thread, of telling my thoughts to Tony and having him write them out, as he is more articulate and clear than I am. But I didn't think that would go over well...now I'm wishing I would have because I'm fumbling over what I'm trying to say.

In my head I have two different kinds of situations.

1) A situation where I know very specifically what I want and how I want it to happen and yet my husband's idea is different.
2) A situation comes up and we are working on deciding it together.

With the first, I think there is a great temptation to find a way to make our way happen. That's the kind of situation I am mostly talking about when I say it's easy to slip into manipulation. My point is that even, or maybe especially, in those moments, submission is important. With the second, of course talking about your feelings and thoughts on it is important - manipulation isn't as easily slipped into in this situation.

Does that make any more sense?...oh maybe I should hush...
Last edited by Marycita on Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The "S" Word

Postby Marycita » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:35 pm

And I didn't see your edit until just now...

you and I are very alike in that way :D
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Re: The "S" Word

Postby Ethnog » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:44 pm

Oh yes, I fully agree with you on your points and it makes more sense.
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Re: The "S" Word

Postby Edwards1984 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:12 pm

Mary already touched on some of this, but let me put in my own input. First, however, let's have a scriptural basis for our definition of "submission":

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 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. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. [Ephesians 5:22-24]


Now let's apply some qualifications for this submission, as found in this passage:

1) This is between a wife and her husband, not a woman to all men - A lot of modern day feminazis like to harp on these verses and act as if Christianity is this evil, cruel religion that oppresses all women. The fact is, while women are not to serve in some areas (for example, church leadership: 1 Co 14:34-35; 1 Ti 2:12), the area of submission is meant to exist between a husband and her wife, not a woman to all men. That a wife submits to her husband does not mean she submits to every single man in the world in the exact same way.

2) This is submission, not slavery - I've known wives who were abused by their husbands because the latter were controlling every single aspect of the former's life. This included who they talked to, how they did every tiny thing, etc. Submitting to your husband does not mean you put on chains, dress up in rags, and keep in the kitchen making sammiches, only leaving to deliver a beer. This touches on the role of the husband in this covenantal relationship (which the apostle Paul goes on - in even greater detail - in the verses that follow), but for the purposes of this discussion, we have to recognize there is a biblical model for submission, and a distorted model for submission. That there exists a distorted model for submission does not mean we should throw out or transform the biblical model. Any man who harms his wife, belittles her, abuses her physically or verbally, treats her like a plaything, or cheats on her with another woman, is breaking his role as husband, and God will judge him for it unless he repents.

3) The reason for this submission is because of a deeper spiritual meaning - The purpose for this submission, and the context of it, is related by the apostle Paul to the church and Christ. Christ does not rule over the church in tyranny, barking commands. He's loving, he's kind, he's self-sacrificing. For the church's part, they submit to Christ's authority, accept his guidance, and seek to serve and assist him. We cannot dance around Paul's words here: the husband is head to the wife as Christ is head of the church, and wives are to submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ. Unless we go to seeker sensitive churches, this has clear connotations.

All the same, we must reiterate this does not mean women are slaves. For example, in regards to sexual relations, scripture does not say that women are simply to "lay back and think of England," or are to serve every tiny single fantasy or desire their husband has - instead, it speaks of sex being a mutually enjoyable thing between husband and wife, and the husband is to please and satisfy the wife as much as the wife is to satisfy and please the husband (1 Co 7:1-5). Likewise, in the raising of the children, the teaching and guidance of the mother is just as important as the father (Pr 1:8-9).

Again, we should clarify and qualify what "submission" means in the relationship between two people. Scripture never condemns a woman for speaking her mind, or offering advice for her husband. It only condemns those wives who are quarrelsome with her husband (Pr 19:13; 21:9; 25:24; 27:15) or support the sins of her husband (Ac 5:2, 9). In one sense, the wife attempts to usurp the authority of her husband (a sign of the fall; Ge 3:16b), and in the other sense, she forgets that love for God is greater than love for family (Mt 10:37). However, this submission recognizes that the husband is head of the household, and has the final say in many affairs (especially spiritual), and, so long as he acts according to scripture (which includes loving and caring for his wife as much as scripture demands of him), he is to be respected.
"And how the Lord has a little left me, how weak do I find myself! O, let it teach me to depend less on myself, to be more humble, and to give more of the praise of my ability to Jesus Christ." Jonathan Edwards (from his journal)
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Re: The "S" Word

Postby little_tigress » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:09 pm

Yes, I feel like too often people misunderstand what submission is. They hear the word, and think of some extreme example of abuse they've witnessed or heard about where the woman was completely subservient to her husband.

When I was about 20, I was volunteering for a Bible conference and I was selling books/merch for one of the authors who was speaking there. There was a woman who came up to my table and fell in love with one the necklaces that we were selling for only $5, but she wasn't allowed to spend the money and had to ask her husband first if she could have the necklace. I remember being so angry. It still makes me angry to think about it. Marriage isn't about replaying a father-daughter role. And situations like that just strike me as demeaning to the woman and her role as an equal to her husband.

Situations like that confused me for a long time about what submission should look like.

But now I'm older, I've learned more, I've watched relationships around me and seen how it plays out for them (or doesn't) and I think I'm getting a better idea of what it should mean. And makes me think that the whole dating process is extremely important for this reason - I can't marry a man without knowing who he is and if he respects me to treat me as his equal as he leads.

I need a man who will love me enough to listen to me. To take my thoughts and feelings seriously. Who is willing to talk things out with me. Who respects me enough to give me dignity and not treat me like his child, or an object who is simply there to fulfill his needs and pops out his children. Thats not a relationship. Not a healthy one anyway. Scripture says that the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church - thats a deep and passionate kind of love. A self-sacrificial kind of love. I feel like that is too often forgotten by both sides. But a love that runs so deep that he would be willing to die for her... wow.

Thats the kind of man I would quite happily and willingly submit to.

The image that pops into my head is that of Christ washing the feet of His disciples. Yes, He was their Lord and leader, but He served them as well. There's a kind of mutual submission there that doesn't negate the different roles they each played. To me thats just love in action. And thats what should be apparent in marriage. At least thats where I am now in terms of my own understanding.
❥ ~❥~ ❥ ~ ❥ ~ ❥ ~ ❥ ~ ❥ ~ ❥
Qu'ils sont beaux sur les montagnes, Les pieds de celui qui apporte de bonnes nouvelles, Qui publie la paix! De celui qui apporte de bonnes nouvelles, Qui publie le salut! De celui qui dit à Sion: ton Dieu règne!
Ésaïe 52:7
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