Submission—A Dirty Word?

In this post-feminist society, many ladies grew up hearing the “I am woman, hear me roar” mantra repeated to us. I must admit, when my husband and I were married seven years ago, the thought of submitting to him was the furthest thing from my mind. We were friends, we were peers, and we were deeply in love. Why would we need to impose some outdated hierarchy on our relationship? Wouldn’t that just complicate things? So we decided simply to ignore the topic.  We were a team, and we were going to show the world that this new way could work.

I always understood “submission” to mean that you do what your man says, no questions asked. I pictured an Ozzy and Harriet situation where the man comes home from work and the woman has dinner hot on the table, her best outfit on and her hair up, looking chipper. The man proceeds to pay little attention to her, and she continues to shower him with love and affection while he barks out demands. This was simply not what either of us wanted for our marriage.

However, I slowly began to notice that my strong will and incessant need to push my agenda began to deflate my husband. He wanted to lead, but I wasn’t letting him—and then I was nagging him for not being a leader. If I trusted him and believed that he would make the best decisions for our life and future, would it be so hard for me to just give a little? I came to realize that when I didn’t empower my husband to make decisions and show that I trusted him to do it, his confidence level stooped very low.

I first had to come to the conclusion that I really trusted him and knew that he would make right choices. And the more I allowed him to have a little room in our decisions, the more understanding, loving, and strong he became. I never realized the amazing power that women have to build their husbands up without being torn down themselves. I came to realize that “submission” was nothing that I had originally thought. It was a beautiful concept that brought out the best in both of us and allowed us to grow in love and trust. It wasn’t about me laying down and being a doormat. It was about allowing my husband to lead in a way that brought blessing on our marriage and revealed the amazing potential in both of us.

So these days, I do make my husband dinner when he gets home, when I can. I love to serve him—because he deserves it, not because he expects me to. We are definitely not the Ozzy and Harriet type, but I am grateful for what we have learned about God’s vision for marriage and what a beautiful thing it can be when we both let down our pride.

Author: Hilary Barnett

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