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Episode 66: What About Submission?

by | May 13, 2020 | Learn with Natalie, Learning, Survivor Identity, The Flying Free Podcast, Waking Up | 2 comments

What does the Bible mean when it tells Christian wives to “submit” to their husbands? Was this kind of submission only for that culture? Is this a free ticket for men to take power over their wives? What is submission, anyway?

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  1. Michelle

    My ex actually thought that the scripture for mutual submission (and respect) applied to all his relationships EXCEPT his marriage. The scripture about marriage was of course “the wife should submit to the husband in all things.” I asked him why he would treat other women better and with more respect than his own wife? He told me not to be angry with him, it’s what the Bible says and what God told him. (Probably because God only talks to the man, right?) Any time I questioned him on this, I was being unsubmissive, a jezebel, trying to take over his role as “the leader”, etc. It’s funny now looking back, but it wasn’t funny going thru it, especially during the days I didn’t understand that I was in a very abusive relationship. Thank you for this episode, Natalie!

  2. Terri

    This is solid. Thank you so much.

    There’s a very interesting thing to note about “submit” in the famous “wives submit” verses. Here’s Ephesians 5:21, 22 in NIV:

    “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”

    The exact same word is used, in the original language (hupotasso), to tell believers to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21) as to tell wives to submit to husbands (Ephesians 5:22).

    In fact, this word for “submit” between believers (verse 21) doesn’t even appear in verse 22. It’s not there in the original language. It simply carries through from the previous verse. So the connection between these two verses is unbreakable.

    When was the last time you heard a sermon admonishing believers to submit to one another in everything?
    1–to allow other church members to make their financial decisions for them,
    2–to raise their children according to how other believers tell them,
    3–that they are obligated do whatever other believers tell them to do “as long as it doesn’t violate God’s law” (this phrase is said to make the speaker appear reasonable even as they go far beyond Scripture),
    4–to arrange their lives entirely around other believers’ convenience,
    5–to set aside their job and become dependent on other believers so they have time to properly cater to the other believers in their daily labors,
    6–wherever their preferences and tastes differ from other believers’ preferences and tastes, to do what other believers prefer
    7–to graciously defer to other believers in everything,
    8–that if they don’t do all these things, they are committing the sin of rebellion that is as witchcraft (with the direct implication that they will go to hell if they don’t comply)
    9–to dress only the way other believers tell them they should dress, including the wearing or not wearing of makeup, jewelry, type of shoes, etc.

    Never. We have never heard that sermon. Because we understand that believers are all adults and all accountable to God for themselves, their lives, their decisions, their talents. Yet somehow, when that EXACT same word and concept carries over into the next verse, it morphs into a completely different beast.


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