The meaning of Submission

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Submission! Submission !submission!

When we hear the word submission,  many of us we quickly go into defense mode.  In fact most people associate the word with controversy. This is because many men and religious leaders often use the word submission as a way to control and belittle women.

I am sure a lot of us women when we hear the word, we cringe while a lot of men jump for joy. 

we hear a lot about submission and how women ought to submit all the time,

But what does submission even mean?

The Merriam-webster dictionary defines Submission as “an act of submitting to the authority or control of another.” 

This means that when we submit to someone, we say to them, “take the lead and I will follow.” 

So submission means willingly surrendering leadership to someone else to lead so you follow. It means putting someone else’s needs and opinions before yours. 

To make it simple, Submission is an act of free will. Meaning that as a woman, I choose to put my will before my husband so he can lead. It is not my husband Requiring or demanding me to submit, because he understands that relationship is partnership and it functions  on mutual respect. 
The man must understand that headship means sacrificing his life for the woman and the children. Being a leader means he is the protector. 
And so in relationships, we all have roles to play. We are partners and equal but as a woman I allow my husband to lead. 

Allowing  my husband to lead me doesn’t mean that he is more wise, smarter, more capable, or more able than me. But what is means is that I recognize the power in helping him in leading. I understand that we can not have two captains steering the ship so he leads while I help him. He also understands that we are partners playing in the same team. We are not competing against each other. So he checks in with me before making any decisions because he values and respects my opinion and wishes. He Stays back and allows me to be who I want to be without feeling intimidated or feel the need to belittle me so he can feel relevant.

Therefore, submission is not something that men have to demand. It is something the woman has to choose to give the husband without any compulsion. 

What comes with submission?

Submission, as already explained is an act of surrendering one’s will under the leadership of another. 

Bishop T.D Jakes, explains submission as submitting together to the mission God has given to you. 

So in marriage, the man and woman both submit to each other in compromise, understanding, respect, and in love. 

The man is not in control all the time and the woman is not in control all the time. There is a partnership and they both have a common goal they are working towards.

In other words, submission is much easier when there is LOVE. Many men want their wives to be submissive to them yet they miss the part that God commanded men to love their wives as Christ loved the church.  

moreover, submission comes willingly when the woman is fully respected. The funny thing is that many men demand submission from their wives but instead of demanding submission, why don’t you just respect her. By loving her and showing her respect, she will submit willingly. 

Again, when the bible said men are the heads of the family, I believe what it really means is that the man is not only a leader on paper, but to be her provider, her protector, her friend, her lover, her shield, and her cover in practice. 

The thing that many men forget is that being the head is not just a lucrative title for men to control women. Neither is it ammunition to shoot down the self-esteem of the woman God gave you. 

Being the head of the family means as a man you are the protector. It means that you protect your home against the enemy.  It means that the man makes sure that the woman is always safe. Safe physically and spiritually. 

Being the head of the family means that the man is equipped spiritually to lead his family in prayer and cover them.  

What submission is not? 

If you are a Christian then, submission is a word that you have heard on many occasions or keep hearing. The word submission makes many Christians cringe or uncomfortable.  But can we blame women for cringing at the mention of the word?  

People cringe at the word because instead of people coming into realization and making the decision themselves, churches and Christians make it an obligation.  Some men even use the word submission as a tool to control women. 

The truth is, the bible was very specific, it says women submit to your husbands…. This means that as a woman I only submit to my husband and not all men. While I respect my friends’ husbands, I am not to submit to them.  And so You can not expect your girlfriend  or somebody’s wife to submit to you, you are not her husband. 

Knowing what submission means for everyone in a unit, partnership or marriage is very important. 

Contrary to what some people may think or preach, submission is not a tool to control others. 

In marriage, submission does not mean the man makes all the rules and the woman follows. 

It doesn’t mean that the man has all things figured out and the woman just has to go along with it. Submission does not mean that the man is always right and the woman is some foolish being that says yes all the time. 

Submission comes with compromise, understand, and agreement. 

What does the bible say about submission?

When it comes to submission, the perfect example that we have as Christians is our savior Jesus Christ.  

The bible makes us understand in Philippians 2:6-8 NIV

6. “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

7. rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

8. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross!”

Jesus Christ out of His own free will submitted to God.

The secret here is that He was not commanded or God did not demand Him to submit but He chose to do it because He loved us so much. He allowed Himself to be crucified so that we may have life.  And that is what Christ expects men to do. God expects men to lay down their lives for their wives in submission.

See, when the bible says that Christ is the head of the church, all that it is saying is that Christ as a leader was willing to lay down His life for the church(us), and because He laid down His life for us, we are willing to submit wholeheartedly to Him. 

Isn’t it funny how people particularly men, are quick to quote Ephesians 5:24, which says “ wives should submit in everything to their husbands” 

But are quick to add where men are commanded to Love and cover the woman. 

As Jesus chose to place Himself under the authority of God because of the love He has for mankind, the same way when women are loved properly, they willingly surrender their submission to their men. 


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