February 21, 2012

Submission & the Equality of Husbands & Wives

God has been talking with me and showing me a lot concerning husbands and wives and our "roles."  I have been compiling many thoughts on the subject of "submission & equality" but Time Warp Wife summed it all so perfectly well in line with what I believe is God's Truth in it exactly:  Service.  I don't usually do this, but I really feel as though it is warranted.  The remainder of this post will be quoted from Time Warp Wife.  So without further adieu, here are her words:

The Bible is rich with instruction on marriage as it outlines the roles of both husbands and wives. But when these roles don't make enough sense, or make readers uncomfortable they are often discarded, twisted, or simply ignored.

Submission is a tough pill to swallow. Just mention the word and the standard response is, "Are you serious?!"

Shouldn't we all be? Serious, I mean. If we say that we love God and seek His will for our lives, then we have to be willing to follow His wisdom regardless of what popular opinions may be.  God's commandments for marriage are every bit as fresh and relevant today as they were when He originally laid them out for us in Scripture. 

With that said, I'd like to discuss the topic of equality among men and women. The misconception  is that submission defines us as being "less" than a man, and that this mindset is old-fashioned and degrading to women.

The truth is that submission and equality are two different things.

Submission is yielding your will for the good of another. It is putting another ahead of you. It's a choice that you make out of respect, love and reverence. And for me it's a decision that's powered by faith.

Equality of people refers to our "value." We have equality among all men and women, while at the same time we have some who are in a position of authority over us such as members of congress, senators, and governors. They are in no way of greater value than the people they serve.

We see this pattern everywhere we look in our social system, but in order to get a better understanding of God's will for mankind  we have the infallible example of Jesus Christ found in Paul's letter to the Philippians:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! ~ Philippians 2:5-8
With that example in mind, I understand that I'm in every way equal to my husband, but equality isn't something that I should take advantage of for my own pleasure or gain. My desire is to please God by humbling myself, and taking on the role of a help meet. If my Lord and Savior took on the role of a servant, why shouldn't I?
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  1. A great book that further defines the role of women is anything written by Carolyn Custis James: "Lost Women of the Bible", "The Gospel of Ruth", and "Half the Church".

    I spent most of my life believing that submission defined my equality and value, having been taught by others who believed that as well. So relieved was I to find God's favor upon me and I gladly serve those around me, finding the joy there like a surprise gift. Mutual submission is mutual serving and deferring to each other. While I am currently unmarried, I still find God's ideal helpful in all my relationships.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and posting this piece. I hope all young women in particular come to know their value in being who God created them to be.

    Love & blessings.

    1. Yes, good words. I have not read those titles in particular, but many others concerning the mutual love and honor God intends for marriage, and His example in it. I second your hope concerning young women and their knowing their value! ...And even further add to it: that married women not only receive and walk in their value as the individual God has made them to be, but equally as important, that they and their husbands both recognize, receive, and walk in the value of their two becoming one identity. God created such an amazing paradox, hasn't He? :) That I, as one in covenant, am as much an individual as I am not, being completely joined to my husband; and that Truth being present whether it is acknowledged or not. Beautiful, simply brilliant. Our Creator is so cool! ;)


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