Yesterday I was on Mark Driscoll’s Facebook page and came across a women’s comments about his recent sermon on wives submitting to their husbands. She wasn’t too happy. “A husband is not better than a wife,” she wrote. “A couple is equal.” Unfortunate, she got a lot of people telling her she hated God and all that stuff. It was really sad, because this is an issue that stirs up a lot of emotions, and needs to be discussed with grace and civility.
The word “submission” is a tricky word. Even I cringe when I hear that word, because, in my semi-anarchist mindset, I automatically assume it means blindly following a brutal leader. But from what I’ve read in the Bible, that’s not what submitting to one’s husband means. Now before I go any further, I need to make a couple of disclaimers:
1). I’m not married (yet)
2). I’m still learning what it means
3). I’m not really a follower of Driscoll (I like some of the things he says, and his church has some awesome praise bands, but he reminds me too much of someone who would beat the s*** out of me in high school).
But for the most part, here’s what I think it means for wives to submit to their husbands:
First, as I mention a few weeks ago, I think that both men and women are equal in value before God. In God's Kingdom, women are NOT second class citizens (Galatians 3:38). However, from what I read in the Bible, I do think that men and women have different roles in the family, with the husband being the spiritual head of the household (Ephesians 5:22-24). I don’t think that means one is better than the other, of course. It's like how in the Body of Christ there are different members with different roles, but they are all equally important. I think the same thing applies to the family.
As far as submission, I don't think that means wives should be slaves to their husbands. I think it means that since the man is the leader of the home, then technically he is also a servant. Remember in Ephesians when Paul tells husbands to love their wives the way Christ loves the Church? Well, how did Christ love His Church? By dying for it. So the man is to lay down his selfish pride and wants, and do what is best for his family. So for the wife to submit to her husband, it means she should trust what he has to say because he is supposed to lead the family towards a healthy place.
Now I should emphasize the word “supposed to,” because the truth is not every husband is a good leader. This is when the “submit to your husbands” things gets tricky. I know a lot of women who have been abused by the men in their lives. I’ve even met women who were raped by their own fathers! So does that mean the woman should take the abuse. ABSOLUTELY NOT! When a man touches a women or a child inappropriately, I believe he's no longer fit to be the leader of his house.
Hopefully all this makes some sense. Like I said earlier, I’m still trying to figure all this stuff out, especially since I plan on (finally) getting married by next year. So if I got anything wrong, please let me know.
1 day ago