One of the objections to a woman submitting to the leadership of her husband is that it indicates passivity and weakness in her, that she is being used as a doormat, that her innate abilities/talents are being repressed and that her individuality will go unfulfilled.
Before I address the abilities, talents and fulfillment, I wanted to look at the leadership role. Yes, submission involves obedience. What employee, what military person, what subordinate does not obey? Yet, this does not mean they do not have an important role in the success of the organization, or whatever service they are in. A CEO, an officer, or other authority is only as good as the people that support them. The wife, in this capacity, supports her husband, builds him up, enhances his role so that things can be achieved. Further, would any authority want passive, weak people under them? Wouldn’t they want someone who can help them achieve their goals?
I was meditating on this this morning to understand more fully the dynamic of the woman in submitting to her husband. Unlike the traditional view of marriage where the husband is supposed to be polished by his wife and made into a better man, it is the woman who should be changed, molded, so that she can be a better woman, a better Christian. Better is the key word. It takes an intelligent person to take instruction and correction. It takes someone with inner strength to desire change and transformation to make oneself better. A woman isn’t supposed to be a jellyfish just conforming to her husband’s personality; she is supposed to take direction so that she can gain from his strength, so that she can learn to be like him. This unifies them so that they can move as one, helps her to identify with his goals and decisions, and helps her to grow.
As to her abilities, talents and individual fulfillment, these should be channeled into her husband’s mission, goals and direction in life. Just as we would use our God-given talents to glorify God, a woman should use what she has to support her husband. Men should counsel with their wives, and take their advice into consideration. If not for Bathsheba, Solomon would not have been king and fulfilled David’s kingdom. If not for Esther, Haman would’ve destroyed the reign of Ahaseurus with his hatred.
Woman was created to help the man, be his companion, manage his home and raise his children. She should be willing to perform whatever role her husband wants her to to support his goals. This could involve external work, but the husband must also, like a good leader, consider her overall burden in his decision.
Christian submission takes a lot of self-discipline, obedience, maturity, and inner strength. A woman of maturity and strength will willingly accept the direction of her husband so that she can fulfill herself in him and grow into a better wife, mother and Christian.
Pamela Parizo © 2017