If you want to start a hot conversation among Christian women, bring up the word submission. You will likely hear heated opinions about what it means, whether it applies today, and practical questions about situations like abuse in marriage. As a clinical psychologist and a Christian who believes that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, I've wrestled with this topic of submission while counseling women and couples through some deep waters.
Submission in marriage is one of those biblical teachings that can aggravate and anger Christian women. Some end up concluding that either the command for the husband to be the leader is for a different time and culture, or that the teaching is simply not reasonable for the modern-thinking woman. Although the Bible was written in a certain place and time, it represents unchanging truth that calls and equips us to be servants of God in every area of life, including marriage. Even on topics that make us bristle.
I've come to embrace that not only is the biblical teaching on marital submission true for today, but that it's a treasured secret that can unlock deep intimacy in marriage. Before you write me off, please know that I am a woman who loves to think. I have not turned off my brain in coming to this conclusion, and I don't want you to turn yours off either.1