“Wives, submit to your own husbands in the Lord.” Col. 3:18
The idea of submission in today’s progressive culture is rather putrid. Feminism tells us that it is degrading and the universal trademark of inequality.
However, this is not so. If we really took such claims seriously, we would only use sporks at the dinner table.
No one advocates for the equality of spoons though. We recognize that, despite having the difference of shape and role, spoons are just as valuable as forks.
So it is with biblical womanhood.
Biblical femininity recognizes the supreme dignity of woman. She is just as equal to a man in regards to her humanity because she is created in the image of God. However, the Lord has endowed her with differences that make her unique. God has given her a shape and role that contributes to the vitality of a successful marriage.
She parallels the Trinity itself. Christ, being of the same substance with the Father, is equal to Him. Yet, Christ voluntarily submits to the Father in order to bring glory to His name.
Militant feminism attacks this idea and seeks to eradicate it. From the time they are school age children girls are taught that they are not to acknowledge any kind of hierarchy in the family. The stinging question is put to her each year, “What do you want to be when you grow up.”
The implication is, “You don’t want to be a wife and mother do you? You need to make something of yourself!”
It should not be surprising then, that so many marriages end in divorce today. One of the main contributors to this epidemic is the lack of godly submission in the home.
Today’s culture insists that woman are to find their identities in their career and their individuality. They are to see themselves as distinct from their husbands and in no ways bound to him. “I am woman! Hear me roar!” is her mantra.
This is not an equation that makes for a lasting marriage though. A union is begun with a separation. A divorce looms over the marriage from the very beginning because the two are never really bonded together as one, as God designed for couples.
In contrast, biblical womanhood naturally promotes lifelong marriages. In submitting to her husband she recognizes that her identity is not in her individuality. It is in her husband and everything that God has called him to be.
She remains bonded to him because she recognizes that she is incomplete without him. She knows she is to glory in him and revel in his headship. She looks to him as her loving authority and sees herself as his life-helper.
This godly submission seeks the welfare of the marriage in various ways. She understands her husband is not perfect, so she prays diligently for him. She counsels him with her wisdom, but never in a nagging way. That would drive him to the corner of the house, which is the last thing she wants.
She opens her mouth only at the proper time and with the utmost respect so as to draw him closer.
More than that, she knows when to hold her tongue. When it comes to his shortcomings, in no way does she highlight them. She covers them in love. Since her obedience is “in the Lord” she knows that there are times when this cannot always happen. However, when it comes to his minor foibles and personal defects, she is willing to overlook them.
In sum, her life is dedicated not to self-aggrandizement, but to the esteemed virtues of self-sacrifice and humility. In doing so, she promotes her husband, her marriage, and the glory of God.
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.