The “S” Word

To some, the “S” word brings mental images of shackles with matching chains attached to a heavy iron ball. To other, it means punishment, denial of rights and hard labor.

No, I’m not talking about slavery.
The “S” word stands for “submission.”

But there are those who think submission is synonymous to slavery. Maybe it got that stigma because there are men who love to beat their wives on the head with these words: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” (New International Version)

But submission is not a bad word. In fact, The Message (The Bible in Contemporary Language) even rendered Ephesians 5:22 this way: “Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ.” So, to submit is to understand and support. It speaks of the wives becoming the catalyst of change to their husbands. “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” (1 Peter 3:1-2, New International Version)

I like how the Life Application Bible Commentary Series explained the implications of the “S” word: “This should not be taken to mean that wives are to be doormats, allowing their husbands to walk over them; nor are they to be silent partners, wordlessly carrying out their husband’s directives. It means that wives are to willingly support their husband’s leadership—not balking or undermining him. They are to be active participants in the challenging task of running a Christian home. They are to do everything they can to encourage and support their husbands’ leadership in the home, but not blindly or unquestioningly.

Sisters, men and women are equal in respect before God. We are just different in aspect. Submission does not imply inferiority on the part of women. Leadership does not mean superiority on the part of men. Brothers, it’s our fault why most of the times women find it hard to submit. Yes, it is their responsibility to submit. But we have to make it a joy for them to submit to us by being the loving leader God meant us to be.

Brethren, in the words of Charles Swindoll, one of my favorite authors, “Christian marriage means partnership, not tyranny. And God calls women to help their husbands be the best they can be.” (Becoming a People of Grace)


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