The word “submit” can send steam out of the ears and nose of many women (and men). Visions of wives who are mere slaves to their spouse enter the minds of so many when they hear that word.
Let’s look at the word itself. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary’s first definition is: To give over or yield to the authority of another.
Still shooting daggers at me?! yeah, I know. . . .
Let’s look at the word in another context. Have you ever entered something in a contest? Have you ever turned in written reports to your boss? Have you ever asked someone, “what do you think”? All of these things are submissions- you are yielding to the authority of another. Entering something in contest, you submit your entry to the judge’s findings. When you turn in a report to your boss, a good boss will take your work and evaluate it fairly. You submitted to their evaluation. Get it? A judge, boss, or friend- you would not consider any of them to be doing evil to your psyche (I know, there are exceptions, but bare with me here!), would you? It’s their job to take your submission and evaluate it and say what they believe should be done with it. They are not making you not count. They are not trying to diminish your worthiness or crush your spirit. They are simply doing the job that was given them. The same is true of husbands and wives. . . . . .
shoot me now. . . .
We all know of the “wives submit to your husbands” verse in the Bible. It is found in I Peter (yes, the other possible devotion from yesterday. . .). Instead of having you read it in a traditional translation and just upsetting you more, I want you to hear The Message translation, keeping in mind that it is merely a different translation of the word , but the author still means submissive.
I said it again, submissive– yikes, I am really feeling brave today. . . .
I Peter 3:1-7 The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not you outer appearance- the styling of you hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes, but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands. Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraaham, would address him as “my dear husband”. You’ll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated. The same goes for you husbands: Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them. As women they lack some of the advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run aground.