Monday, December 8, 2008


This post was prompted partly by Kristina's post, and partly by the verses I had been studying last week to share with the young people at church.

I have been thinking a lot about submission recently, and studying it, because it has always been a hard topic for me. Being a Christian, I feel Biblically compelled to submit to my husband. Being human, and raised to be very independant, I don't always want to. However, the more I study true submission, the easier it becomes.

First of all, I have a Godly companion, who is always willing to listen to my input and has never (that I can remember) just "laid down the law". Our normal course of action is to discuss things (sometimes mildly heatedly :)) and then decide together what to do. Submission comes in when I don't totally agree with what he is saying, but I can go with his way because he is the head of the household, I love him, and I know that's what I need to do.

Secondly, it was once pointed out to me by a very wise man (Papa) - there is a HUGE difference between submission and obedience. There is even a difference between submission and giving in. My favorite definition of submit from any dictionary I've used is this - to offer oneself of one's free will; to defer to another's wishes, opinions, etc. It makes it clear that when you submit, you are not just obeying because they told you to and you feel you have no choice. You are WILLINGLY defering to their wishes, WILLINGLY defering to their opinions. You are offering your whole self to their guidance and judgement. This makes submission so much easier for me, because it makes it something I choose to willingly give my husband becuase I respect him and love him. Sometimes when I don't wholeheartedly agree with Tony, I remind myself - I wouldn't have married him if I didn't trust him to take care of me. He didn't take me free will. I gave it to him.

To me, that is what true submission is all about. Giving yourself freely to someone else.


Margi said...

So, clearly, I'm thinking of this in a purely secular way, as I was not raised with any idea of submission. Just the word makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up and it puts that little bit of attitude in my stance. However, that could just be semantics.

What it sounds like you're describing is somewhere between compromise and deference. To me, there is no such thing as "head of household" except in the legal definition for tax purposes. Jon will tell you who runs our house. (It's the cats for sure!)

I have deferred to Jon when he feels strongly about something that I don't, or when he knows more or has more experience about something than I do. I defer to him all the time when it comes to mechanical stuff around the house and he defers to me when it comes to financial decisions. When it comes to things I feel strongly about, I don't defer much. Luckily, Jon and I rarely feel strongly opposite about the same issue. It happens sometimes, but not much. Jon and I compromise on all kinds of things all the time, from little things like where to go eat, to bigger things like where to go on vacation, to really big things like where to live.

I cannot tell you one time in my life when I've ever been submissive to another human being. Again, though, that could just be semantics. I didn't marry Jon because he knows what's best for me. That was my Dad. I married Jon because we love each other and complement each other's strengths and interests. And he's cute :-)

Thanks for giving me some food for thought. Don't count on hearing about me being submissive any time soon, though :-)

Kristina said...

Sally, you do have a way of taking my thoughts and straightening them out so that they make sense.:) I think there is a lot of misconception about the word submission and many people think of it in a bad conotation. For me, it's not about my husband being the head of the household, it's about our family, occasionally, needing someone to take the lead, and it can't be both of us all the time.