Fox & Burrow

Seeking & Creating Beauty

Ladies, Submit!

Bruk MarshComment

I'll start out by saying, there is something uniquely permeating about the current feminist climate that makes me hesitant to give any opinion on this topic for risk of drowning in comments, but there's a long running tradition in the church that needs to be addressed.

Ladies, submit. 

As a woman in her late 20s, you better freakin' believe I've been to a wedding or two. In fact, I've literally been to two this week, so you could say I know some things. I know that women are lovely and men are fools (a whole other topic that I'll eventually talk about here), that marriage is hard work but it's worth it, that maxi dresses conveniently cover the sweat dripping down your back and legs, that there's never going to be food for me, and most importantly, that wives submit and husbands lead. We get this very important piece of information from the Bible, so don't argue it, ladies. There's really no point. 

If you're about to close up shop and move onto the next article in your feed, hang in there for a hot second. I'm not here to disagree. Maybe just shed a little light on a topic that doesn't get talked about quite enough, or gets talked about way too much, or something like that. I'll bet you couldn't contain on all your fingers and toes the number of teachings, lectures, podcasts, etc. you've heard about women submitting to their husbands. I'll give you the reference. Ephesians 5.

Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

The nuanced way that leadership is described here gives me the deepest inner peace. It doesn't churn my stomach to think of being fully surrendered to "a love marked by giving not getting." To a man whose "words evoke my beauty and bring out the best in me". To leadership that "isn't domineering, but cherishing." Whoa. Seriously, ladies, who's got a problem with that? The issue is that I've never heard that at a wedding. Or in a church. Or on a blog. Actually, never. (Maybe because these weddings are all mysteriously led by men?) In fact, I've heard the near opposite. Something like "God calls us to love sacrificially, but we all fail at that and even when we do, it's your job to submit." But what about that special little line there - "the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership". Are we called to submission when our spouses aren't walking in line with Jesus' character? Jesus was/is way too female-empowering for that, right? This is a serious question, guys. I'm feeling things out.

ON TOP OF ALL OF THIS, I've rarely heard someone back up just one verse: "Submit yourselves, one to another, out of reverence for Christ." Hold up. It seems like God saw this coming and tried to prepare us for it. I don't quite know where that got lost along the way, but it seems kind of important. Wives aren't the only ones called to submission? Is it possible that there's a time for husbands to submit to the leadership of their wives? Wouldn't it be wild if you couldn't "out submit" each other? I mean, you are one, after all.

Like I said, I'm grappling with this whole topic, and as a single lady, I'd love to get a better grasp on it before I have a husband and it's an actual issue in my life. Married ladies? Advice? My one and only piece of experience, thus far, was with a guy I went on a few dates with. Sorry to say, I wasn't really feeling it, BUT the one thing I took away from that short season was how incredibly easy it is to care for someone who sees you with Jesus' eyes. Not a day passed that he didn't tell me exactly what God sees in me. And I just wanted to be there for him and support him any way I could, despite having no romantic feelings. It was the most natural thing. I think that's how it should be. That maybe God made us that way. 

xo, Bruk

P.S. One more quick note for the road. "Wives, submit to your husbands" is not the same as "women, submit to men". Don't let them trick you.