Domestic violence goes on; mutilation of little girls, slave trafficking of young women…and Christians using phrases from the Bible to dominate the woman they promised to cherish. “Wives submit yourselves to your husband,” The pastor of a large Baptist Church spoke directly to the women in his congregation year after year. With pointed finger he said forcefully: “Wives, you had better submit to your husbands.” Men in the congregation were encouraged to dominate their wives. The pastor was later dismissed when he was found on surveillance with a woman who was not his wife.
There are good men who simply think it is their duty to control their wives and daughters. They have not been taught to respect and encourage women. It’s as if submission is all women need to know. How sad if she never experiences her inborn promise. Whole worlds of possibility, initiative and inspiration are dormant in many women for a lifetime.
Never in Scripture are husbands told to tell their wives what to do, to train them or control them — to “tame the shrew”.
The downward spiral happens in every marriage when we don’t understand the handicap given in the Garden. God told Eve, “…Thy desire (Hebrew: stretching out after, longing) shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule (Hebrew: dominion, rule) over thee.” (Gen 3:16). He pronounced this discipline on her for eating of the Tree of Life. (Gen 2, 3) (The discipline on the man will be in a later Blog.) All relationships would be changed from here forward. Simply put: a woman will long for her husband, in the sense of reaching out in her need for him. At the same moment her husband will rule over her. If he does not respect her his rule will be harsh. The woman will overlook his abuse because she does not know the dynamics of their handicaps. She will not hold him accountable for disrespect — physical and emotional. Some Christian women even think (I’ve been told this personally) “This is my lot in life,” to be ruled harshly and controlled by her husband.
According to some, the interpretation of the discipline in the Garden was God’s new order for every marriage. They change the real picture of Christ and His Church (as shown in marriage) from a “head and body,” to the picture of “master and subordinate.”
As a wife (or daughter) you are not relieved of submission. Submission is necessary in the conduct of every life. Submission is in the big picture of every relationship. It is vital in every Country that has law and order, every State, City, Club and Corporation. You invite God into your marriage when you submit to the gifts, headship and destiny of your husband. What the book, Submission Is Not Silence, does (and what future blogs will show) is that submission is not simple, blind, unquestioning obedience – it is not silence.