Submission was a big word thrown around in my house a lot. As a kid growing up, I never really understood the word completely or the act the word implied and is still implied today by various sorts of people in the Christian world.
I would hear my dad say all the time to my mom, "If you would just submit, then _____ would happen." I don't know. You fill in the blank. It could be anything really. Everything that went wrong was someone's fault and it had to be revealed as such or something that was just okay would suddenly improve if "this" would happen. Using this blanket, incorrect, brainwashing statement to my mother was just another way to shift all sorts of blame around like bent up cards on a gaming table.
If my mom would just submit to my dad...life would be grand according to him. So, what then, is submission? I really still don't understand the ideology of it and I am just being honest. My husband would do anything for me...I do believe he would die for me if it boiled down to it and I for him. My husband gives up his own comfort so that I can have comfort and he serves me and helps me. We put our heads together on all matters and we come to many agreements and even agree to disagree on many subjects. It did take twelve years to get here, but we are here and becoming more like the best of friends every day. Friends.
When I think of the word submission I don't think friendship...not with what I have seen in my life all along this journey to find a loving Shepard in safe pasture who leads me beside still waters and restores my soul.
In my house submission meant...
Just do everything I tell you to do and everything I think you should do and no one will get hurt, either physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually.
Well, supposedly. It was a false premise that never actually came to fruition no matter how many times it was audibly declared. And let's talk about my mother a little first...
Mom was a hard worker. She worked a full time job, had five kids who she carted everywhere, she was a spend thrift to the core and actually enjoyed hunting bargains and making each penny count, and she waited on my dad hand and foot. We all did. She tried her best to deal with the hand she was dealt. Like being handed 80 a week for groceries for seven people and never complaining and making the most of every dollar. I am still utterly amazed by the things my mom could do with the little she was handed. She worked a full time job and was hardly ever allowed to dip into the money she made.
Serving and listening to others because you want to is not what I have a problem with. Some women get very irritated when they see me serving or listening to my husband(because I want to!)...they don't see how much he serves and listens to me(because he wants to!). Serving and listening to other people because you want to is a great thing, but feeling like you have to serve or listen to someone because they've got the power and demand you to serve them and listen to them, then, well, that is a horse of a different color now isn't it? And then add the false fact of doing everything you are told and no one will ever get hurt, right? That false premise gets added in there and then you have a real crock pot for abuse and disaster.
Then you repeatedly tell a woman who does everything for you, "Just submit, just submit and ____" all the time and you have an abuser abusing the abused over and over again.
My mom was far from perfect, but she did everything for my dad and yet the cry for submission and the touting of control was still ever present daily. I don't get it. So when I hear that word being used by a man upon a woman I cringe. I shift in my seat and I almost have a fear begin to settle over me as if I am about to be abused and brainwashed myself with the very word itself. Every time I hear it by anyone, really, I want to run and hide. Because really...
If I want to serve or listen to somebody and I feel strongly that I should serve or to listen to somebody...I will. If I should listen to somebody or "obey" them, then I will. Like the cop or the judge or the tax collector or...my husband. Those who have an "I got the power" sign hanging off their tongue need to go back and examine...where in the holy scriptures did God tell you to go around toting your so-called power or position or leadership or authority. He never did and He never wielded His own power in an effort to control or force Himself upon another. Ever. The Son of God NEVER did, but we try to. Oh, my.
"Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Even Jesus, the Son of God wrapped in flesh came to SERVE. He didn't have people handing Him fancy cars and diamond rings. He had no place to lay his own head at night when he slept! But those who followed Him and loved Him were those coming on their own time...their "have-to" time sheets were clocked out because they LOVED Jesus and His message. They followed him...a few to His very grave and they weren't getting paid.
Think about that the next time you start singing, "I've Got The Power!"
Because you are free to think!