Biblical “submission” is a subject that often sparks debate both inside and outside of Christian circles, with some critics claiming that scripture subjugates women and unfairly places them under their husbands’ rule — but is this truly the case?
Not so, says Christian counselor Christina Fox, who recently contributed to a new ebook titled, “Good: The Joy of Christian Manhood and Womanhood.” Quite the contrary, Fox contends that biblical submission is “beautiful,” according to the Christian Post.
“Submission is not about forced control,” Fox, who admitted to once struggling with the concept herself, wrote. “When a man leads his wife, he is leading her to depend on Christ, not on himself.”
So, rather than a power struggle in which the husband rules over all matters involving the wife, Fox argues that the leadership in question is spiritual in nature and that it is being done to help the woman grow in a relationship with God, not to make her inferior.
“Scripture teaches that we are to ‘encourage one another and build each other up’ (1 Thessalonians 5:11),” she continued.
Biblical submission, Fox said, only works when a married couple relies on the Bible and the “unique roles” that men and women are assigned in relationships.
“As a wife yields to her husband’s leadership in their marriage, she reflects the heart of faith that characterizes Jesus’s people,” she wrote. “The church follows Jesus as her head and uses her gifts to carry out his mission in this world.”
Fox continued, “Likewise, the wife respects and yields to her husband’s leadership as she uses her gifts to complement his good purposes for their marriage and family.”
The ebook, which includes Fox’s comments on the matter, is available free-of-charge here.
Fox is certainly not the first person to defend biblical submission, with actress Candace Cameron Bure coming under fire last year for her use of the word “submissive” in her book “Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose.”
She wrote: “My husband is a natural-born leader. I quickly learned that I had to find a way of honoring his take-charge personality and not get frustrated about his desire to have the final decision on just about everything. I am not a passive person, but I chose to fall into a more submissive role in our relationship because I wanted to do everything in my power to make my marriage and family work.”
After this section of the book sparked controversy, Bure later told media outlets that she was talking about the biblical understanding of a wife being meek, but not weak. And rather than backing away from her comments, she sought to explain them.
“I love that my man is a leader. I want him to lead and be the head of our family. And those major decisions do fall on him,” she told HuffPo Live. “It doesn’t mean I don’t voice my opinion. It doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion. I absolutely do. But it is very difficult to have two heads of authority.”
Bure said that she and her husband are equal, but that they just have different roles within the marriage. Read all of her comments about the matter here.
In the Bible, Ephesians 5:22-24 reads,”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. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
Prominent preacher Jon Piper once offered the following explanation of biblical submission:
“It is the disposition to follow a husband’s authority and an inclination to yield to his leadership. It is an attitude that says, ‘I delight for you to take the initiative in our family. I am glad when you take responsibility for things and lead with love. I don’t flourish when you are passive and I have to make sure the family works.’ But the attitude of Christian submission also says, ‘It grieves me when you venture into sinful acts and want to take me with you. You know I can’t do that. I have no desire to resist you. On the contrary, I flourish most when I can respond creatively and joyfully to your lead; but I can’t follow you into sin, as much as I love to honor your leadership in our marriage. Christ is my King.'”
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(H/T: Christian Post)
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