Submission: A Lot More Than Giving In -- By: Rebecca Jones

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 03:4 (Winter 1998)
Article: Submission: A Lot More Than Giving In
Author: Rebecca Jones


Submission: A Lot More Than Giving In

Rebecca Jones

Women’s Ministry Focus: Biblical Principles On Radically Honoring Husbands

As I drove my fifteen-year-old daughter home from gymnastics, I listened intently to her description of a painful, embarrassing moment. Her emotions weighed not only on my soul, but on the gas pedal. A sick feeling came over me as I saw the flashing lights behind. When the policeman asked me if I had any reason for driving 40 miles an hour in a 30 mile an hour zone, I simply replied, “No sir, I just wasn’t paying attention.”

When we had finished the formalities of the ticketing process, I drove away (slowly!). My daughter, now truly sobbing due to the increased strain of watching me get a ticket I couldn’t afford, began complaining about how unfair the officer had been.

“No,” I insisted. “He wasn’t unfair. If I was going over the speed limit, he had every right to stop me and give me a ticket.”

“But he was so arrogant, so know-it-all,” my daughter argued. “And he could have just warned you.”

“Well, I’ve seen worse,” I answered.

I didn’t resent that policeman, nor did I fear him as a person. I didn’t feel either better or worse than he, but he was a policeman and I wasn’t. In that situation, I was called to submit myself to his jurisdiction.

Cultural Changes

This situation of legal authority is about the only picture of submission we have left in our society. Though it may not be particularly helpful when we think of a wife submitting to her husband, it does illustrate one principle. Just as the policeman was not “better” than I was, but was simply exercising the authority he had been delegated, so a husband is not “better” than his wife merely because he is in authority. She is no less a worthy human being than he, but authority is a part of his job, his identity and his calling.

I never hear or read the word “submission” any more. I imagine that the average person would give this word a negative connotation. Only wimps submit. The fulfilled person is strong, autonomous, and self-motivated.

When I attended Wellesley College, the feminist movement was gaining momentum. It was unheard of for a woman to announce that her chosen vocation would be marriage and motherhood. Since then, such attitudes about wives and mothers have spread until they are no longer the domain of the radical left, but the common opinions of society-at-large.

In this context even Christian women have difficulty adjusting to the apostle Paul’s words to the Ephesians: “Wives, submit to your husbands in all things.” Of course, some try to argue that Paul really means ...

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