This is something that so many females wrestle with and one of the biggest reasons why is because they were never really taught what true submission looks like, you’ve just heard what the world says it is. This is probably why you think it’s considered oppression.
First before I get into unpacking this I want to ask you one thing. Are you a Christian first or a feminists first? Do you worship Jesus or Feminism? Because if you truly love and follow Jesus then you are already living out submission. Just something to think about.
The most clear way to explain this would be to think about it this way. Say your husband is a Believer and he loves the Lord with everything he’s got. He’s not perfect but Jesus means everything to him. He actively pursues Christ and walks in the Spirit daily. His life is a life of true repentance. He isn’t just a “Sunday” Christian, he actually puts Christ ahead of every single thing in his life. This would mean he would also love you with everything he’s got, he would serve you, he would pursue you all the days of your life, he would protect you, care for you, provide for you, cherish you, honor you, nurture you, and literally lay his life down for you. Say your husband does that. Who wouldn’t want a husband to lead like that? Would it really be so terrible to submit to that?
We get way too caught up in the submission = oppression or inequality thing that we totally miss out on what God really says about the roles of the husband and wife. If you truly are a Believer, then you already should actively daily submit to God.
Hopefully these quotes help make things a little more clear. These come from a Matt Chandler sermon called, “Woman’s Purpose.” I would very much encourage you to check out that sermon!
“Godly men are self-sacrificing for the good of the wife, for the good of the child, for the good of the church, for the good of the community. Self-sacrificing love is a mark of biblical masculinity, and it is the only way that true headship is ever exercised or practiced. Where men are takers and try to operate in headship, they tend to be oppressive. They tend to rule with an iron fist. They tend to be this false bravado, insecure masculinity that reeks of the stench of death. Men aren’t takers; boys are. Men are givers. Self-sacrificing love marks the headship of men.
Men practice headship not just in sacrificial love, but also in setting up the spiritual climate of the home and the church. We create environments in which God and his Word are seen clearly, worshiped passionately, and where the understanding in our home is, “We serve the Lord.” Again, you have to put these things together. It’s not that he sets the climate with an iron fist. No, no. He sets the climate with sacrificial love.
Finally, the man exercises headship by providing physical care. I don’t want to repeat old sermons, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the primary breadwinner, but it does mean he’s not lazy and his life is marked by hard work. There is no place in biblical masculinity for lazy men. In fact, I’ll tell you that the lazy men I have come across are some of the most miserable and some of the most damaging human beings I’ve ever come across.
God has not designed the man to be bored. He has not designed the man to be lazy. Where a lazy, bored man is anywhere in sight, destruction and death are around him. So that’s how we defined the role of man…..
There is a complementarian relationship, where men are being men and women are being women. If that happens, then you have the type of human flourishing the Bible commends, that if we’d be willing to walk into it, our joy might increase, God’s glory might be seen all the more brightly, and all of our hearts would be satisfied in him. Where we buck against this system, bad things happen.
Let’s talk about it. What we did with the man is we said, “Okay, let’s look at this in the home, and let’s look at this in the church.” Ideas are ideas, but ideas take place on the ground. Ideas are great until you implement them. So let’s implement these things. What would it be like for women to help the man in the home in regard to God’s command on his life to order things so that humanity might flourish?
In Ephesians, chapter 5… That’s not the one we’re going to cover. I’m just mentioning this. We’re going to go to Titus 2, because I want you to watch these things at work. But in Ephesians, chapter 5, there’s this great passage about husbands and wives. Everybody when they talk about husbands and wives wants to start in Ephesians 5:20 that reads, “Wives, submit to your husbands.” Yet if you roll it back to verse 15, you have this idea of mutual submission before “Wives, submit to your husbands.”
You have this guideline for Christian behavior before you ever get to “Wives, submit to your husbands.” What he means by mutual submission is what we’ve already covered, that men who are exercising headship must do so in a way that is marked by sacrificial love. We show deference. We include. We want to know. We desire interaction. We value the intellect of our wives. We value the gifts of our wives. We encourage and speak life into our wives. So we walk in mutual submission.
We don’t come home and go, “This is what we’re doing, woman.” That’s not how we work. That’s not headship; that’s bullying, and you won’t get away with bullying God’s daughters for long before he lights you up. Go ahead. You can rumble if you want. It’s going to go badly. I’m not scary; I’m six‑five and gangly. God is scary. What are you going to do? Cover up? What are you going to do against God when he starts throwing haymakers?
No, no, mutual submission. “What do you think? How do you think we should approach this? Here’s what I think. Hey, on Thursday, what about this? What would you want to do with this money? Here’s what I’m thinking.” Then, after mutual submission, it goes, “Wives, submit to your husband,” and then puts a ton of weight on the men, just a terrible couple of sentences. “Husbands, love your wives like Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Listen, fellas. It doesn’t get harder than that.”