SUBMISSION IS A WORD THAT CAN CHANGE THE MOOD of many who have been hurt, abused, misused, or disrespected. Submission defined through a warped cultural perspective can (and has) caused damage within some marriages. To get a proper view of submission in a marriage, we must first look at Scripture.
“Further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of His body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her”
(Ephesians 5:21-25. New Living Translation).
According to the Apostle Paul, submission was a concept that took many people by storm. It was presented to a culture where women were the silent presence in the home. A voiceless community. Apostle Paul compared submission to the relationship between Christ and the Church. He also listed the responsibilities that the husband and wife have to each other. But, it’s important to recognize that submission was not compared to slavery. Submission is not treating a spouse as property or a child. It is not presenting a list of orders and demands (with threats of punishments). Submission is not fixing plates, cooking, cleaning, or being at home “bare foot and pregnant.” Submission is not being the dictator in the house, or treating one’s spouse like a door mat.
So, what is submission? Submission is taking the backseat at times, sacrificing, taking the time to communicate about decisions (as a couple), being receptive to constructive criticism, listening without interruption, and humbly choosing to love and value one’s spouse.
To the person who is married to an unbeliever: Your spouse can be won by exhibiting submission. That means, showing love in a Christian way — without belittling, brow-beating, or forcing the unbelieving spouse to believe.
Applying the Scriptural view of submission will take time, and it is a process that will not happen overnight. There are wounds, scar tissue, egos, and other things that will not let the old way go. However, marriages can be fruitful and rewarding when a Christian couple understands the joy of submitting to Christ … while submitting to each other.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
T. Tyrone Roberson currently serves as Youth Director and Assistant Pastor at Original Philadelphia M.B. Church (under the leadership of Pastor Demetrius Klyce). He holds a B.S. in Psychology from Ashford University and an M.A. in Christian Ministry from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.. T. Tyrone Roberson resides in Chicago, Illinois, and has been married to the love of his life (Quincella) for six years. Together, they have two sons.