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Beauty of Submission in Marriage Part 2

            Last week we talked beauty, and how an important part of understanding it as harmonized complexity. But another integral aspect of beauty is intentionality. Believing that God is sovereign, and that He is not arbitrary or reckless, we can conclude that  He has planned everything out from the very beginning. His original intention, His beautiful plan, has always been for the headship of the husband, and consequently the submission of the wife, as argued by Wayne Grudem.* Even the mere fact that God had planned on things being so from the very beginning, intentionality, is a measure of complexity that is harmonized, and therefore beautiful.

 

Marriage is to represent the Trinity; it must represent peace, unity, and beauty, in addition to love, for the Father, Son, and Spirit are going to all be in agreement and harmony with each other; there will never be any strife. More specifically, marriage represents the relationship between the Bridegroom, which is Christ, and His beautiful Bride, which is the Church. Can you imagine the Church telling Jesus, ‘no’? Throwing a temper tantrum and rebelling? There is nothing more beautiful than the love relationship between the Bridegroom and His beloved Bride. And we know that the story ends with more than just a happy ever after, but includes the Bride being in perfect submission to her Lover and Savior.

 

            When people in marriage are not submitting to their respective authorities, chaos, and more specifically, identity confusion is promoted. Children no longer know who they are to imitate and what roles they are to emulate. Remember, confusion is chaos; disharmony and disunity, and therefore, a lack of beauty. This confusion frequently leads to sin, which is immoral, and also, out of necessity, has a measure of ugliness to it. Take the research that is found in the book, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood:

 

“Boys from homes in which the mother asserted herself as the leader exhibited more feminine sex-role preferences than did boys from homes in which the father was the leader.”*

“In many homes where the mother was the leading parent, there were many boys who chose to be a female when they grew up. At the same time, in homes in which the mother asserted leadership, the girls were like to want to be male.”*

 

We can clearly see what happens when we fail to follow God’s perfect plan. We are creating a world of ugliness and confusion when we fail to submit to God’s will. And the result is always sin, something that the Scriptures continually tell us is ugly in the site of God. So if we can trust that it is God’s will to be in submission, then out of the mere fact that failing to do so is, by definition sin, and ugliness is what ensues.

 

Submission is always going to be creating harmony, because it will always be bringing one will into alignment with another. And so therefore, will always necessarily be creating beauty. Those who say that submission is ugly are not looking at things correctly?? Our culture sees submission as ‘oppressive’, in fact anything that gets in the way of allowing us to do what we want to do is deemed oppressive. This is however an incorrect way of looking at oppression. Because God is both good and beautiful, it is not possible for Him, the Father or Son, to do anything that is not both beautiful and good. Therefore submission is both, good and beautiful. When the man lays down his life, in sacrifice, for his wife, as Christ did for His Bride, then there is unity between the Father, Son, the man, and his wife. Complexity and diversity that is unified and harmonized.

 

I recall proposing to my fiancé out in a field, on my knees by a cow pattie. There was nothing too particularly romantic about the whole thing, we laughed and enjoyed the idiosyncratic nature of the circumstance. But looking back, me on my knees, a little bit muddy, was a beautiful act of submission. I am to lay down my life for my wife. If the idea that submission is beautiful still needs to be argued, then true love is not understood.

* Piper, John, and Wayne A. Grudem, eds. Recovering biblical manhood and womanhood: A response to evangelical feminism. Crossway, 2006. 303-304.

 

 

About Daniel Mason

Daniel Mason is currently pursuing a Bachelors in Theology, and is founder and creator of Disciple's Perspective.

7 thoughts on “Beauty of Submission in Marriage Part 2

  1. I am reading and re-reading your post. I think what some may find troubling is the word submission…not in any manner from God’s purpose of it, but how we have “dirtied” it. Submission has been used as a weapon and a means of control for many years. So one finds it difficult to walk into that position. We have made it such a weak position. When in actuality it expresses the greatest strength there is..in submission we are laying down our life for another..and that is a truly loving act..which many can barely muster. It means stepping out of the arena we believe we are to be in..and then stepping into the arena we are meant for. It also is giving up control;..the control we imagine we have.
    Being a woman in your beauty does not mean one is trampled on and weak. It is the reverse. Does giving birth mean weakness..does carrying and creating the essence of life mean weakness. How wonderful and how powerful God must have thought women are in His creation..when He said the words..”This one carries life”. Working in partnership..each one doing what they excel at..is the position of God..not one with their thumb on another. We have it confused and made it dirty, not God.

  2. Please stop following my blog. I’m not interested in debating, you won’t convert me, and what you believe in clearly contradicts who I am and what I believe in. And that’s not going to change.

  3. I was raised to believe the Word also, and this is definitely a touchy subject, even in the Christian world. Having just earned my degree in Behavioral Sciences and CPC in Substance Abuse, I consider things from a sociological perspective and not merely a spiritual one. We have to take into consideration, that back in the day, most men went out and worked and the women tended the house and kids. “Submitting” to one’s spouse was just part of the deal. The environments made it easier too. In the world as it is now, many women must work also. This creates a strain to some degree- a rift in the “contract” as it were.

    Another reason women (especially these days) aren’t keen on the word “submit” is because over 50% of all men- including Christian ones- have abused their authority, and their wives. Sadly, it’s common. A man doesn’t have to lay a hand on his wife to emotionally and psychologically torture her- verbally backhanding her and making her feel like a “bad wife” as well as persecuting her and accusing her of being out of God’s will. (As if she is in the flesh and he is not during an argument.) Men are quick to cling to that verse in particular to “keep the little ladies in line”, but they’ll toss out the idea of submitting their ears, eyes, hearts, and minds to a “woman preacher”. (As if God can’t work through the mouth of a woman!)

    So yes, this is a touchy area, understandably. Unless a man has the ability to stay in perfect harmony 24/7 with God with butterflies and rainbows following him around, chances are, he’s going to lose it here or there (it’s going to happen- it’s a marriage- there’s no escaping that ) and maybe even raise him voice and (God forbid) get in the flesh. But yes, he will, because he’s a sinful, carnal creature by nature. If HE is going to act out and throw a tantrum from time to time too, you better believe that the wife will do the same. Whose fault is it then in the end? Hers, for not “submitting to her husband’s angry will”? The husbands, for being angry at his wife and not exercising patience and love?

    It is BOTH their faults because they are one flesh, as the Bible states. If both are to blame, and both are wrong for being wrong, the you can also assess that the act of submitting is also a dual effort. Both husband and wife need to submit together before God and walk in unison. If there’s chaos in the marriage, according to your description, then the blame would always fall on the husband as he is the “head”, yes? Yes. But that’s neither correct nor fair. Again, the two become one flesh. Dive into the Scriptures (and I highly recommend using a Strong’s concordance to study both Greek and Hebrew root words, etc.- that’s the only way to go)and you will discover that the spouse that needs to submit to the other- is BOTH of them.

  4. You make some great points on the benefits of submission by both husband and wife, and the consequences of not submitting. This act of submission in marriage is reflected in our relationship to Christ.

  5. Great article on submission! Just to add my opinion. I love that my husband is the head of our household. I think if you give your marriage to God and both the husband and the wife submit to each other it will be a great marriage. It is about loving and respecting each other. I think a lot of people think submission means Master and Slave.If you read what it says in the Bible you can see that is not what God intended at all.I agree it takes 3 to make a marriage thrive.
    Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
    22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”c 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

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