Why I Choose to be a Submissive Wife
C.Ferreira made a comment on one of the hubs I've written today, How to be Judgmental. While the easy response I could have made would have been "and that's how you can be judgmental!" I do understand his position on the matter and I respect him for it. I began to write a comment reply to his statements, but decided that given that we are currently actively involved in the 100 Hub Challenge, I thought I would go ahead and make a hub about why I have chosen to be a submissive wife.
Before I begin, I would like to stress that this subject is one that is very sensitive and is very personal. My purpose with this hub is not to preach to you, the reader, but to express who I am and why I have made the choices that I have made in an effort to bring to bear understanding of why there are women like me who still exist in our modern times and culture. I ask that you please not look upon me with judgment, but rather strive to understand the choices that I have made and work to respect them as I respect the choices that others have made.
I am a Christian
Before I get into real depth with this hub, I want to make it quite clear that I am a Christian. I have always chosen submission over being in authority, but now the place from which I come in submission is completely different. The Bible tells women to submit to their husbands:
"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord." (NIV)
This is big, and it is bold, and there are a lot of people who truly don't like it. I have encountered Christian women who have clearly stated that they would rather cut off their husband's private parts than allow him authority in his own home. The choice, of course, is theirs. That is the wonderful thing about living in the twenty-first century and having free will: we make our choices, and henceforth we live with them.
The choice that I have made it to obey God and therefore to obey the Bible. It is a choice that I have made with a great deal of consideration, and here's the truth, dear reader: As much as I love you and appreciate your patronage -- It isn't your business.
I am a Christian, and I choose to follow the teachings of my faith. This includes biblical feminine submission. Please read further for more about my choice.
I Live a Biblical Marriage
Harmony vs. Discord in the Home
I lived in a home that was full of discord. Friends who have met my parents have commented that "you sure know who's in charge in that house!) and it is inevitably my mother who earns the title of "head of the house." My father drank to excess when I was a child and I remember my mother as a nag. However much I love her, I always felt somewhat intimidated by her authority. She isn't a soft person, nor is she hard. Not a natural leader, but put into a position to lead, perhaps because my father didn't want that role. I can't say. I am not my parents, and I have chosen a totally different path for myself.
Whatever the case, there was a serious sense of discord in my home growing up. There was a constant feeling of dis-ease in the house and I could never quite put my finger on it. I think my father, in some ways, drank to escape, and I think that my mother took over control of the household because my father couldn't be relied upon (because of the drinking). They were both counter productive to their ultimate aims.
I've always been friends with people who are older than me. Many of them come from the generation that was burning their bras and declaring equality for all women. And these friends of mine have perpetually encouraged me to learn how to "manipulate my man" so that I can get from him what I want. I learned from them how I could best withhold sex or give my husband the silent treatment. They taught me how I could "make him think it was his idea" even though whatever "it" was might be reprehensible to him. I've learned the strategies and tactics and I'm... divorced.
I believe that the number one reason that I am divorced is because I whined, and I cried, and, in that oh-so-girlish way, I had temper tantrums. My girlfriends, you see, told me that these tactics worked on men and that if I employed them, I would get what I wanted. In the end, however, what I "got" was divorced!
I didn't want that to happen again, and although I didn't consider myself "on the market" for quite some time after I was separated from my first husband, I wanted to work on changing me. I would only ever get so far if I continued to stew and blame him for what had gone wrong in our marriage, and it was possible that I might do more than recover if I assessed my own "blame" in the situation.
Please don't misunderstand me: adultery is always wrong. There is no way to get around it -- he didn't want an open relationship and yet continued to have an affair. I wasn't allowed the "luxury" of a secondary man, but he was in my best friend's pants every step of the way. He didn't have an excuse. The point is, neither did I.
I wasn't going to let this happen again. If I could be a "better" wife, then would my next husband be more inclined to love me, to stick by me through thick and thin? Would he be as inclined to wander from our marriage bed? I wasn't sure, but I had to find out!
I've been exploring submission for some time, and the one thing that I have discovered above anything else is the fact that wifely submission brings harmony to a home. There is no longer a power struggle between two people who both want to be "in charge." It is a confession of our dependence on one another and an acceptance of our natural roles.
Not everyone is going to agree, and I'm fine with that. There have been many a successful marriage in which submission was not practiced: who am I to argue with that! But it works for me.
My Journey of Submission
My journey hasn't been an easy one. I've stumbled blindly down many roads to get to where I am. I've sought (literal) violence to fill the need within me and I have, at times, allowed men to take advantage of me, because I felt that if I did, they would love me more. If I was "better" then I wouldn't risk being hurt as I was in my first marriage. The problem for me was that this was the road to burnout. I couldn't find the personal, internal balance that I needed in order to bring harmony to my home, and I certainly wasn't "the heart of the home" as now I want to be.
I have stumbled so many times on the road to the marriage that I want. Several times we have almost separated, and we still have the occasional row. As human beings, we are just like everyone else, and not one of us is perfect. I believe that is how God wanted it to be. If He had not, then He wouldn't have given us this thing called "free will."
I still stumble, and I stumble frequently. The time will come when I will blog my thoughts on the journey, but right now there is just too much going on and there are parts of me that are too wounded and still healing for me to be so open. Consider, please, the courage that it takes me in a secular environment to open up and admit: I am a submissive woman.
Woman: God's Great Masterpiece!
When I first became a Christian I found myself devouring every book on the subject of Christian womanhood that I could find. I wanted to know more, I wanted to understand how to "be better" and I wanted to serve God. I came into Christianity with one hot heart! I read... And I read... And I was discouraged... and I was disheartened and after a while... My heart was quite cold. I was angry. Strangely, though I have always opted for submission, being told that I had to submit was simply more than I could bear. Was I not equal to my husband? Was I not just as important in the eyes of God?
This is the argument that many people have with biblical submission, and I understand their argument perfectly. After all, if one submits to the authority of another, doesn't that mean that the one in submission confesses to being "less" than the one having authority?
Do you submit to the wishes of your boss? If you are given instructions, do you follow them? If you didn't, you wouldn't have your job for very long, would you?! My husband is simply the "boss" of my home. I follow his instructions because that is the plan that God has for me. I am, over time, becoming increasingly content with my role and I am more and more happy with who I am in His design.
But back to me.
I faced the same righteous indignation that many secular folks do when faced with the idea that I might somehow be "less" to God. Then one day things began to gradually change, and it began with a parenting Bible study that I picked up. In the first chapter, the author talks about Genesis, and God's design for submission and authority. She talks about creation, and the way that God made one thing after another, each "thing" greater than the one that had come before it.
What was the last thing that God created in Genesis? You've got it! WOMAN!
As I gradually began to see myself as one of God's great masterpieces, I developed a fresh understanding of Him and His design, and I gained an appreciation for who I was within His creation!
God's Design for Marriage
God has a design for marriage. I know there there are many here on Hubpages who will disagree with this statement. After all, we are a community of secularists and atheists. I do not condemn those who disagree with my statements and those who disagree are not sinning for disagreeing. You were given the same free will as I was, and you must therefore make your own decisions.
From the time that God created Adam in the Garden of Eden, he had a purpose. He designed His first man in His image, and He created man with an authority. Man had dominion over the earth, and it was for man to tend the plants and name the animals. He had a special position of authority and was given the ability to make decisions and to choose between right and wrong. Man was given one rule to follow, and the choice to follow it in obedience to God or not.
Then there was woman. Genesis tells us that God said that "It is not good that man should be alone" and therefore He created Eve as a Help Meet for Adam. Eve was created to stand beside Adam, to support him and to build him up. She was created to take some of the load off of him and to give him companionship and someone to love. She was created with an open and loving heart and the ability to meet his needs, as she also could have her needs met by him.
There was balance to the environment in the Garden of Eden. Man had authority and woman followed the authority of man. Life in the Garden of Eden was beautiful until Eve fell victim to temptation.
Man and women, ladies and gentlemen, secular, Christian and "other" alike, were created equal. Men and women were created to be equal but different. That, my dear readers, was God's design for marriage.
It's Lovely to be a Woman
I like being a woman in God's plan. As often as I am told that I need to "get with the 21st century" and that "women have rights" I often laugh. I would prefer to be a woman today than a man during any age of our human history. I enjoy biblical, submissive womanhood, and here are some of the reasons why.
- I don't "have" to go to work every day. I have the choice to stay at home with my daughter and educate her at home as I have chosen to do.
- I don't have to shoulder the responsibility of sheltering and feeding my family. That falls to my husband. My job is simpler: appreciate him and support him in his effort.
- I get to spend more time with my children and learn invaluable skills that I can use in the home and pass on to them.
- I have more time to spend on money-making hobbies at home, including writing, knitting and sewing.
- I control the mood in the house. If the household is miserable, I am fully able to make my family happy by my own spirit and attitude!
- I am the one ultimately in control. For a control freak like me, that rocks!
More than anything I love that I have the right to choose. Living in the 21st century, I have decided that I want to be a submissive wife, and I love it that way!
My Submission, My Right
As my final word, I want to point out to all of you that this is my life I'm talking about. I'm not pointing at you and your relationship and saying that it is bad or that it is wrong: simply that I have made a choice to live my life in a particular way. I ask that everyone respect that and keep their personal judgments to themselves. You make your choices based on what works for you in your relationship, and please, do allow me to make mine!
Further Reading Regarding Submission
- Christian Women Online Magazine
An excellent and free ezine for Christian women to explore themselves and their marriages. A truly wonderful resource for any woman who is looking to deepen her walk with Christ and to become the wife that God intended for her to be!
- A Wife's Biblical Submission
More a lesson plan or magazine than a blog (as are many of the sites I read and follow), this site offers "lesson plans" to help one to best understand what biblical submission is and is not. If you are curious, have a look at this site!
- Biblical Submission
This page comes from the perspective of abuse, and addresses abuse within a Christian marriage. Abuse is sin! No male has the "right" to control his wife in an abusive manner and such treatment is not biblical (though some will claim that it is).
- The Beautiful Faith of Fearless Submission :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library
Here the article talks about the strength and power that a woman must have in order to live in submission to her husband. What a wonderfully beautiful article! A must read for everyone wishing to better understand why a woman would choose submission!
- Bible Gateway
Bible Gateway is my source for all of my Bible quotes. For those who are looking for an easy-to-use Bible reference online, I love this one! Take the time to seek out some of the writings of Paul about biblical submission.
- Marriage Teaching - Biblical Submission
A very realistic article about the truth of biblical submission of wives to their husbands. As the article points out "there isn't one place that it tells men to lord over, command, rule, or govern their wives." Very well written!
Blogs of Interest to those Seeking Biblical Submission
- A Wife’s Submission
More a complete website than a blog, this site offers a large selection of articles on the subject of biblical submission and authority. If you genuinely want to dig deeper into this issue, this is a great place to start and finish!
- A Pondering Heart
Jocelyn is an amazing, amazing young woman! Though I don't agree with everything that her family says and/or does, I think that she is a very vibrant young lady who has a lot to say about the meaning of Jesus in her life!