What's So Scary About Submission?

6 secrets about what the Bible really teaches

Take, for example, wives and husbands. In Paul's day, a wife had no legal rights. Her husband could do whatever he wanted in legal affairs without her consent. But a wife had to get her husband's permission before she could buy or sell property or even make a will. Husbands also had the financial advantages and virtually all the education. They had the support of pagan philosophy, which taught that women are damaged, inferior forms of males.

Whenever there's this kind of imbalance of power, what's the person holding greater power or authority likely to do? Lord it over the other person, control her, use her to make his life easier.

And what's the person holding less power or authority likely to do? Resist, rebel, make the husband's life miserable in some way.

But Paul offers a better solution, a way to move beyond power struggles. It's called submission. He says, in effect, "In life, when you're in a place of less authority and power"—which in his day included wives, children, and slaves—"don't resist and resent and rebel. Out of reverence for Christ, respect and honor and work hard at pleasing the other person. And when you're in a place of more power"—which in Paul's day included husbands, parents, and slave masters—"don't lord it over the other person. Don't use them to make your life easier. Instead, use your power to benefit them."

Member access onlyYou have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.
orJoin Now for Free

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

Free CT Women Newsletter

Sign up today for our weekly newsletter: Marriage & Family. CT's weekly newsletter to help women grow their marriage and family relationships through biblical principles.

Read These Next

For Further StudyFor Further StudyDownloadable resources to go deeper


Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

May 25

Follow Us

More Newsletters