Strong women and submission, aren’t the two mutually exclusive?

A few months ago, I came across a video of Max from BKChat preaching on women attracting a godly man, alluding to submission. He spoke about virtuous women a great deal, however in this sermon there wasn’t talk regarding the male role in all of this. After studying, I now wonder how one can properly preach a sermon on attracting a godly man or submission without preaching the characteristics one should be trying to attract and furthermore the type of man that a woman should be submitting too.

I remember the first few times I heard the words ‘wives, submit to your own husbands…’ I thought it was exactly what it said on the tin. So basically wives must obey their husbands and that’s it… selah…

Upon reading Ephesians 5:22-33 in context, I realised that it’s a two-way street. So yes, a wife must submit to her husband. However a husband must love his wife like Jesus loves us and even be willing to give their life up for her (Ephesians 5:25).

Jesus’ love for us precedes our submission to his words (1 John 4:19). Likewise a husbands’ love towards his wife should precede her submission. The two in union is the healthy way that this submission works.

Have you ever heard typically ‘strong’ women question submission? Or submission being looked on upon as something for ‘weak’ women?

Today I was thinking about submission and contrary to the stereotypes around it, I developed the viewpoint that I do not believe that it is God’s will for any woman or man to have a ‘weak’ mindset. Why? Because he’s given us sound minds, that he expects us to develop. God expects us to think for ourselves and not follow the easy or popular opinion.

And based on this premise, God never intended for weak women to be submitting, rather for strong women to be submitting. For a weak woman to submit, it may mean that she hasn’t thought about the matter at hand, hasn’t developed her own point of view, so she cannot build a case that her partner may be wrong. Rather her submission is passive. She is just going along with it.

On the other hand when a strong woman submits, it’s significant. Now it’s easy to submit when you’re in one accord with your partner. Submission becomes challenging when your opinions are at odds. When a strong woman believes her partner is wrong in the decision he is making and has clear reasons why she believes this. She voices her opinion and she’s heard (like actually heard, her reasoning does not fall on deaf ears). Her husband thinks about it, but comes to the conclusion after prayerful thinking that he still believes his original decision was the correct one. Upon telling his wife, she accepts his decision and then supports him. This submission is active.

Now this takes strength. Active, informed submission requires strength. To allow someone to make a decision that may affect some form of your life, whether that’s what family car to buy or how much money the household ought to donate to charity (these examples are extremely cliche, I know); a decision that you don’t think is the best option. But the point I’m trying to get across is that it requires a strong women to actively submit to a her husband. (However, as stressed earlier in order for this submission to be of God, that man must love his wife as Christ loves us. And when I think about the love of Jesus I think of grace, forgiveness, lack of force, freewill, patience and kindness.)

Submission is not for the faint-hearted, it is most definitely for the strong women out there. Strength and submission are definitely not mutually exclusive.


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