My last thought on this verse comes from wondering if we haven’t been focusing too much on actions the word “submit” brings to mind.  Especially in a modern type of thought we see this passage in all the, what I will call, the wrong ways it is used.  We see this verse used to control a woman’s actions and decisions from the extent of her education to her type of dress.

As I stated in my previous post I’ve stated my belief that I now see this passage more as a cry for respect, involvement and self-sacrifice.  I would also like to suggest that this passage is also about devotion and for that I choose this particular interpretation of the text.

“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord.”

The addition of the word “yourselves” adds a whole new dimension to the phrase.  If you choose a religious life you are called to do so by being devoted to that religion.  In the Old Testament, Joshua 21:43 it says “to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all of your heart and all your soul.”

Devotion, by definition, is an “Ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle.”  If our marriages are supposed to reflect our love of God, than shouldn’t they mirror it in devotion?  If we don’t go into marriage to serve our husbands and wives (remember the next verse says for men to do likewise) with “all of your heart and all of your soul” i.e. submitting “yourselves” then what does that say about your devotion to God?

We are taught from childhood to put all our faith and trust in God.  We are to listen to what He wants and make decisions for our lives from that, even if it means not always getting what we want.  I’m sure many of us can think of a few examples of people getting married for the wrong reasons or with the wrong ideas.  People who think I can still act the same and do all of the same things that I could do before marriage.  I can be married and still be completely independent.  The only thing that is important to me is me and it will stay like that.”  Though we might not know too many people who would say this out-loud, actions often speak louder than words and we see those who don’t want to give up certain aspect of a “single” lifestyle or make career and financial decisions without consulting their partners.

I’m here to say it is not like that.  When you devote yourself to being married, just as when you devote yourself in your religion, you should be saying “I’m ready to give up a little bit of myself.  I am ready to stop the world from revolving around me.  I am ready to make choices based on what is good for us, not just me.  I am ready, even, to change if it is necessary.”

To submit yourselves, to be willing to give yourselves to all the major relationships in your life should be an act of devotion – an “ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, to a person or principle.”

Advertisements