Submission: You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.


Submission. That dreaded word. Many women hate it. Most men love it. It’s even implied in my website name.  Most of you have read how this blog got its name. Being under someone’s thumb is NOT submission. But what is it? Really?

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines submit as “to yield, resign, or surrender to the power, will or authority of another;” also “to acquiesce in the authority of another; to be submissive, to yield without murmuring.” (Ouch)  God commands that we wives submit to the authority of our husbands (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18).  It’s not a suggestion. It is a command. But notice it is not a command to submit to all men in general. In both verses you are commanded to submit to your own husbands.

Let’s take a look in I Peter 3:7. Here the Bible is talking to husbands about their responsibilities to their wives. It uses the phrase “as unto the weaker vessel” referring to the wife. Some people love to take this out of context. “See? Women are to submit because they are weak.” Ahhhh, not so, my friend. Here is where my love of  English grammar and my Classical Conversations Essentials nerdship kicks in. Weaker is a comparative adjective. In order for a vessel to be weaker, there must be another vessel, a vessel that is weak. You can’t look at a single cow in a field and say “that is a fatter cow!” Fatter than what? There is nothing to which to compare it. “I am older than she is” actually means “I am older than she is old.” “He is taller than she” actually means “He is taller than she is tall.” “My husband is crazier than I am crazy.”  It doesn’t say “as unto the weak vessel.” That would be a totally different meaning. So for the Bible to say “weaker” it must be deduced that the first vessel (the husband) is weak, the woman is simply weaker.

I like submitting to my husband. Is there a decision that needs to be made? My husband and I discuss it, I give my input, and he makes the decision. What if he makes the wrong decision?!? He may make a decision I completely disagree with. God doesn’t hold me accountable for that. God holds me accountable for submitting: to yield without murmuring. I think women have the easier job here. I leave the decisions up to him (after we discuss things, of course) and God doesn’t hold me accountable if he messes everything up. Do I always agree with his decisions? Nope. But I don’t answer for him. I answer for me.

IMG_2364 (1)Submission is NOT my husband lording over me. We discuss things, we bounce ideas off each other, he asks my input, but then he ultimately makes the decision. (Unless it’s “where do you want to eat?” or “what do you want to watch?”) Submission is NOT me cowering to his every command. (“Woman, go make me a sammich!”) Submission is NOT me losing my identity and becoming a spineless wimp. Submission is not weakness. Do you know how much strength it takes for an independent woman to submit to her husband’s authority? Let me answer that for you. It takes a lot of strength. When a wife looks at her marriage from a right spiritual, biblical viewpoint, there will be submission.

One of my former students once wrote a song about submission. I don’t remember the verse with the melody, but the chorus begins with Jerry Lee Lewis style cluster cords and a voice that is loud and angry, “Submission is a dirty word!” It makes me laugh every time I think of it. She is now married, and if I know her like I think I do, she is happily submitting to her husband and enjoying the life God gave her. But her husband cares for her and respects her. (If he doesn’t, Elizabeth, let me know. He’ll receive a visit from my cousin, Guido.)

So, ladies, don’t be afraid of that silly word submit. There is security in that word. And I believe the more I submit, the more my husband trusts in me. The more he trusts in me, the more he shows it. The more he shows it and appreciates me, the more I submit. See how that works? It’s a wonderful life God has given me. So, go. Submit, woman!!

You Say Independent Like its a Bad Thing…


I admit. I am an independent woman. I can do most things by myself. I was raised by an ultra independent woman. I never saw being independent as being a bad thing. A few years ago, someone made this statement: “Oh, I KNOW just how independent you are.” They clearly did not mean it as a compliment. In fact, they find my independence offensive. This statement bothered me for quite some time. Am I not to be independent? Am I to be, as the world sees meekness, powerless or even brainless? I have many friends who are single and who are told, “you’re too independent to be married” or “you’d never submit to your husband you’re so independent.” Some are told, “It would take a very strong man to rein you in.” So I went to the Bible and started digging. Do you know what I found? Some extremely independent women!!!! Women who are heralded as being virtuous. So, let’s begin in no particular order.

The first woman who comes to mind doesn’t have a name, but she is clearly defined as a strong, independent woman. Proverbs 31 describes this woman as a hard worker, industrious, business minded, frugal, fearless, and an entrepreneur. She is compassionate, kind, and wise. She is not a slacker. Her husband is not threatened by her. Quite the opposite. His heart trusts in her and he praises her. He is known in the gates and is a respected man. Do you think he’d be held in high esteem if his wife was so independent he was emasculated? Her children rise up and call her blessed. They are not afraid of her. Verse 29 sums it all up by saying, “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.”

Secondly, meet Abigail. In I Samuel 25 Abigail is described as “of good understanding and of a beautiful countenance.” (verse 3) We read that her husband was “churlish and evil in his doings.” His name is Nabal and Nabal means fool or senseless. Here is an abbreviated scenario. David, who was to be king, was in the area and sent servants to Nabal to ask for provisions. Nabal, being foolish, says “Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse?” (Even in the day before social media, I’m sure David’s encounter with Goliath got around.) Nabal harshly refuses and sends David’s messengers on their way. Long story short, David wants to right this wrong in blood, a servant of Nabal’s finds out, tells Abigail, and she springs to action. She gathers food and drink for David AND his men, rode out to meet David, and fell at his feet. She took the blame (verse 24-“upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be:”), intercedes and mediates on behalf of her husband and household, and convinces David to not shed blood. Nabal ends up dying either by stroke or heart attack and Abigail goes on to marry King David. This is not the work of a weak woman. This is a wise, strong, and independent woman.

In Judges 4 we find a woman named Jael. Allow me to set the scene.  Sisera was the captain of King Jabin’s Canaanite army. As they were being defeated by the Israelites, Sisera fled (real hero, huh?). He sought refuge at the property of a man named Heber, a man who had an alliance with King Jabin. Heber’s wife, Jael, was very accommodating. She welcomed him in, gave him some nice warm milk to drink (maybe some fresh cookies?), and covered him with a blanket. Once Sisera was lulled to sleep, Jael quietly and expertly drove a tent spike through his temple, fulfilling the prophecy that a woman would receive the honor of killing Sisera. In Judges 5, Barak and Deborah sang her praises. Literally.

Speaking of Deborah, she was Israel’s only female judge. Talk about your independent woman. Queen Esther entered into the presence of King Xerxes without being summoned. In the days of the Persians this would mean death, but she was determined and grace was extended. Jochebed defied the king’s orders and hid Moses. She eventually put him in the Nile, he was found by a princess, and Jochebed was able to nurse him and raise him for a few more years, and was paid to do it. Time does not permit me to expound on the daughters of Zelophehad (Numbers 27), Rahab (Joshua 2), Jehosheba (II Kings 11), and many others.

So to you independent women: Good on ya! Don’t be embarrassed to be how God made you. There are obviously boundaries, but don’t pretend to be something you’re not. God used many independent women throughout the Bible. Don’t let someone try to put you down by saying you’re too independent. If you are living in accordance with God’s Word, you’re just fine.