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.
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!)
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
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.
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 bookIt Takes Two.
This article was originally posted on TamronLittle.com.
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