Monday, 5 March 2012

THE (other) "S" WORD

 Now, lets talk about the “S” Word. Not that “S” word people….the other “S” word.
That’s right…SUBMISSION…
I swear, I can almost see some ladies cringe at the sight of that word. Some of you are already shaking your heads, slanting your lips and getting into your don’t-mess-with-me moods. I really feel you all on that because trust me, some men have left women with a bitter taste in their mouths when it comes to submission.
Now, as is usual with me and since the Bible is my highest and final Authority on any matter, let’s see what it has to say about submission.
Eph 5:21-24 says “21 And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. “
Now, let me try to explain this a little. Follow me carefully here…it may be a bit long-winded but please try…
“The difficulty with understanding Paul’s command to wives to “be subject” to their own husbands is that our grasp of the meaning of the word “submit” is too narrow. Generally speaking, we think that the word “submit” is synonymous with the word “obey.” We are inclined to restrict submission to refer only to our response to those who are in authority over us. Very often, this is the case—but not always. Paul’s instruction in verse 21 is directed to every believer. Christians, without exception, are to “be subject to one another,” without any exceptions. Submission, then, must not only work “upward” (in terms of authority), but also downward. And so it is that submission is called for on the part of husbands to their wives (5:22-33), fathers to their children (6:1-4), and masters to their slaves (6:5-9).
The idea implicit in the term is “to place under” (in the active voice).138 As it is found in our text, the idea would be, “to subordinate oneself” or “to place oneself under.” In general terms, submission is the placing of oneself under the one to whom we submit. Since we are commanded to submit ourselves one to another, we are to place all others above ourselves. This idea is certainly not foreign to the New Testament, nor is it found only where the term “submit” is employed:
I doubt that any one word can sum up the essence of what the Scriptures mean by submission. Let me suggest several words, each of which identifies a certain element of submission. The first word is “surrender.” Submission is a voluntary act or surrendering one’s rights or will. The second word is” sacrifice.” The third is “service.” The service which is rendered those to whom we submit often involves a sacrifice. It costs us something to render service to the other person. A fourth term is “authority,” while a fifth is “obedience.” When we submit to one who has authority over us, we should evidence this submission, in part, by our obedience. Conversely, when we submit to those under our authority, we evidence this with sacrificial service. I final term is “priority.” Those to who we submit have, in some manner, priority over us, our rights, our pleasure, or our will.”
{culled from; The Submission of the Christian Wife (Ephesians 5:21-32)Study By: Bob Deffinbaugh . I recommend you read the whole article on }

Now that we have cleared that up, lets get to the root of why I am writing this. This is not a write up on the rightness or wrongness of submitting to one’s husband. There is no debating that.
I just want to share my thoughts on a few things.
Firstly, I wont ever delude myself or anybody by saying submission is easy or simple or innate. No, submission is deliberate, sometimes painful but always a product of a selfless decision; the decision to place someone else above ourselves. We are all human beings and preferring someone else to ourselves is easily one of the hardest things we might ever have to do.
Submission in itself is “hard” enough. What stomps me is why we, the church, have decided to make it even harder or almost impossible. Before someone chops my head off, allow me explain. Women nowadays are almost expected to not have high (not unrealistic) expectations. Once a lady makes the mistake of saying she would rather have a man with a good job and some financial stability, people gang up on her and make her feel like she is being greedy.
Now, excuse me for a moment cos I am about to go off tangent and tackle this point real quick. Why, for heavens’ sakes, should I be condemned for wanting something good?! I mean, men are not condemned for wanting a woman with goodly, godly qualities, submissive, respectful, beautiful, kind and all those other things men usually want. Once a woman says she wants a man who can provide for her, why should she be condemned and criticized? After all, it is the man’s responsibility to provide…1 Timothy 5:8>>>you remember, don’t you.. that scripture that says a man who doesn’t provide for his family has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel….
Let me balance this out by saying her expectations shouldn’t be unrealistic but really, in all fairness, what is wrong in a woman wanting a man who can provide for her and take care of her needs?
This ties in directly to my issue with submission and submissiveness. Women, in so many varying ways, have always made it clear the kind of men they can submit to but the society has made us so self-conscious of it to the point that we deny ourselves of what we truly desire.
Every woman is different and she is wired so differently. Why do people assume all women must be able to submit to any kind of man, so long as he is a man? Men have their preferences in the kinds of women they can live with? Why should women be shut in a box and told to accept any man that comes their way? This is so predominant in the African society and it bothers me so much.
I, for instance, know what I want in a man and I WILL NOT apologise for it or lower my standards just to please the general public. Because, guess what?! the general public ain’t gon be there when you are going through hell cos you married someone you shouldn’t have married.
It will be really DIFFICULT for me to submit to a man that I earn more than or whom I am more educated than. It will be close to impossible for me to submit to a man who needs me to motivate him to pray in the morning. It will be virtually unthinkable for me to submit to a man who is not submitted to Christ.
But so many people tell me to relax my standards all in the name of making sure I get married and that too at the “right” time. But the honest truth is, I can’t. Because I am more concerned about my future than about pleasing people.
Let me paint two scenarios here to help elucidate my point;
Firstly, imagine that a man was asked to build a house in which he would live for a long time and he was given total discretion as to the dimensions and measurement of the house including the ceiling height. Now, won’t you count it absolute stupidity if he, knowing his height to be well above 6ft decides to put the ceiling height at 5ft10? I don’t need to describe the discomfort that will follow living in such a house. He is going to have to constantly bend his back while walking. He’ll keep bumping his head into the wall and ceilings and all. Tell me, does it sound like a wise thing to do? I am sure you are saying, well he should have just built something that will be high enough for him to stand upright in.
Another example is that of a man who struggles with lust and immorality. Now this man has a thing for slim, petite, dark-skinned sisters. All rational thought leaves his being once he sights one. This brother, then on the recommendation of well-meaning friends and family hires a lady that fits that description to a ‘T’, to be his personal assistant. His reasons; everybody says she is well qualified and having a personal assistant at the right time is extremely needful. Now, you and I both know that if this man doesn’t lay it on thick with this lady, he’s going to spend every minute of the day fighting off the little demon of lust that will be camped on his shoulder. I am so certain some of you are thinking, well he had a choice in hiring the lady and so he should live with his choice.
In both situations, the people here had choices available to them, yet they decided to go for the “harder” option. That’s my whole point. Most women know what would be an “harder” option for them, yet due to pressures from family, the church and society, they enter into such marriages. No marriage is conflict-free, but why make it harder for yourself?
The wise, sane thing to do is to marry a man whose excesses you can live with and submit to. If you can’t submit to him regardless of whether  you are sure of if he is right or wrong, then there is a big problem.
Ladies, we need to look ourselves in the mirror more often and when we are done admiring God’s masterpiece staring back at us, tell ourselves the HARD, BITTER truth. If I ever make the mistake of dating and/or marrying a man who cannot lead me in my Christian faith, I know that relationship/marriage is headed for the rocks. Now, that’s just me. For some sisters, the idea of nurturing their man up in the ways of Christ appeals to them. That’s fine for them and if that’s what they want, LEAVE THEM BE! Don’t force them to do otherwise.
If a woman prefers a man who has a good job and who is financially stable, leave her be (so long as her expectations are realistic). In this situation, the lady too is expected to have a stable source of income too…but then that’s just my opinion.
Let me however issue a disclaimer. In NO WAY do I support or condone unreasonable expectations. I don’t accept women looking for men to “sponsor” them and their families. I am not in support of gold-diggers. I don’t support lazy, complacent women who feel men are just a paycheck machine. I don’t support women who expect a man to be SERIOUSLY made and paid before they can date him. I think it is really downright cheapening for a woman to base her being with a man solely on the size of his wallet.
All that having been said, please realize that this is just me airing my opinions on this really vital but touchy subject. I hope it made you think twice on whatever your opinion has been up until this minute….
Cheers. And I really do love you….
 Let me know what you think.....


  1. Thank you Damola and Aisha...

  2. Amen amen amen... Beautifully and tastefully written.

    Keep them coming woman of God.

  3. Thank you so much, Stephanie. By His Grace, i will.

  4. Before any thing, it's a nice piece and u did well. let me try something out here, the lookig in the mirror, the making of choice(s), the expectations of God for a lady, that of the lady herself, those of men(society) e.t.c. weighing the balance with a future not known with a present life not certain and/or but laying all things in God's hands who knows what tomorrow holds for a lady and a man. Life just one Mystery and your write up is just one of the part we see everyday in life. Good work.