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To Submit Or Not To Submit? That Is The Question.

You can be submissive and still have your independence, sis.

Marriage

What does it mean to be submissive?

It's a word that so many women have problems with and it's also a word that people take out of context all the time. Oftentimes, people quote scripture in Ephesians about wives submitting themselves unto their husbands and they take this and run with it. They seem to think that it means that the woman is beneath them, therefore when the husband says jump the wife should ask, "How high?" But this is NOT so!

Some women believe this too. In fact, I was one of those women and that's exactly why I bucked every time I thought my husband was "trying" to rule me. It wasn't long before my dilemma became: to submit or not to submit? That was the question.

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What I didn't know at the time was that being submissive is all about having respect for your marriage, showing respect for your husband and your husband having respect for you, in all areas. Respect goes a long way, from respecting who he is as your husband, respecting his opinions and ideas, and respecting what he does for the marriage. God does handle things decently and in order, therefore he has set the marriage in divine order. The husband and wife have roles that they should step into.

Over the years, I've found that when it comes to this submissive thing, there are three different types of women. (I've personally been all three of these women in my marriage so if you feel like one of these categories fits you, I feel you, sis!)

The Doormat

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This type of wife perceives the word submissive as: I'm the weaker vessel and my husband has the say-so in everything.

Yes, the bible does say that the wife is the weaker vessel but it doesn't mean she is not capable of making decisions and having her own mindset. This is where people get it twisted, and women start feeling as if they are beneath men and feel as though they will be looked down on so they must stay in their place. Marriage isn't a dictatorship!

Mrs. Too Independent

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Mrs. Too Independent does things on her own and if her husband does try to step up and help, she quickly reminds him that she can do it on her own. This wife thinks if she lets the man do anything for her, that's opening the door for him to control her.

I was raised mostly by my grandparents, and my G-Ma always taught me to be independent. She always told me to never let a man rule me, never to let a man tell me what to do, and to never to let a man use me as a doormat. She also taught me that I can do things for myself and that women are just as good as men are. She used to always say that when a man starts doing things for you, he's going to think he rules you. I'm grateful for what she taught me about a woman being able to accomplish things just as men are able to, but I now know that a healthy marriage requires balance.

The Balance

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It took me a while to get to this point. Early in my marriage, I was Mrs. Too Independent, and later, I went to the other extreme and became a doormat.

But to truly find balance in your marriage, it's going to take a lot of maturity and understanding of what your role is as a wife. Knowing your role as a wife in your marriage will help you understand so many things. When a woman gets to this point, she realizes that she is there to love her husband, respect her husband, to be there for her husband, and vice versa. No one is better than the other and both roles are equal in the marriage. As husband and wife, you are in the marriage together, so anything that life throws at you, you both face it with faith together. I found out that when you work together with your husband, things get easier than trying to do things by yourself, especially when you don't have to.

The divine order that God has set into place has placed the husband as the head of the home and marriage––that's where we get head of household from. Now, this doesn't mean that men should go around boasting and dictating! This is why it's so important to know your roles in the marriage so you can fulfill it in its capacity. Get a more in-depth look at knowing your roles.

Ladies, you can still be submissive and still have your independence.

You will not lose your voice, and you will forget who you are. Being submissive creates oneness in a marriage, which places you on one accord with one another. Remember when you are submissive, you are showing love and respect. Whatever category you find yourself in, remind yourself that marriage is a partnership, not a dictatorship and you need your husband and he needs you!

Learn more about what your role is as a wife and how knowing your role benefits your marriage in my book It Takes Two.

This article was originally posted on TamronLittle.com.

Featured image by Shutterstock.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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