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Submission Does Not Mean Domination

Submission Does Not Mean Domination

When the Scripture speaks of submitting to one another, it means submit out of reverence for Christ.   Here is the text that the Apostle Paul speaks to, Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord; for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior… Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”  (Eph. 5:21-23, 25, 28).

A marriage is the meeting of the mind; that is, the man and the woman individually agreeing that he and she can no longer live his or her life in an individual space, so they each find a partner of the opposite sex with whom, after serious thought and meeting of the minds, to help each other fulfil their aspirations share a single couple’s space; and in a Christian society invites God in that space through the blessing of the church; so that the relationship can then be called a marriage that is tripartite – the man + the woman and God.

Submission in this context means, the man submits to God; the woman submits to God and they both submit to each other.   This mutual submission reflects the outworking of two beings who are filled with God, the Holy Spirit.   Lacking this understanding by the man and the woman, one finds that at the wedding service, when this Scripture is being read, “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands… (v. 22) the man has a self-satisfied look on his face while the woman rolls her eyes; as if to say, “is this for real?”   These expressions should not have been expressed if they understood the meaning when the text was explained during the counseling sessions.  There is no place in the marriage relationship for self-righteousness.  There is no place for male or female oppression.   Sadly, there are known cases in Christian marriages where, mostly women suffer domestic abuse as much as women in the non-Christian society.

Tragically, domestic abuses within our Christian society are at alarming proportions.   The Scripture referred to above is not a recipe for one-sidedness in a marriage.   The Scripture is specific to the life of unity of the man, the woman and God, period.   This marriage relationship voids the advice of mother, father, siblings and friends.  It is based upon prayer life and worship of Jesus Christ.

Unity in marriage stems from the meeting of the minds that calls for the submission in the agreement to share one’s life with the other. This is the theme of Ephesians “Submission in love.”   The Apostle Paul has a word for all married person, “3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” (Phil. 2:3).   It is in this understanding that the wives are to submit to their own husbands and equally so that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church and completely gave His life for it.

All Christians who live in union with Christ learn to overcome their satanic attacks.   It is the departure from Christ that nurtures spiritual starvation and vanities of life kick in and take control then humiliation becomes the order of the day.  Submission of husband and wife reveals the nature of God’s love to a watching world.

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