Adj. Pertaining to complementarianism and egalitarianism.

***Working to be a safe place for all sides to share.***


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Christian Submission----What Is It?

Author and homeschool leader, Stacy McDonald, recently posted her views on submission---views that are fairly accepted in conservative circles and found in many popular books written from a complementarian/patriarchal perspective. While we wait for The Great Leman to post his thoughts on Biblical submission (hint, hint, Wayne!), I thought it might be helpful for us to begin discussing what submission is and isn't.

She gives her definition of submission here:

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary gives us this definition of submission: "Resignation; a yielding of one's will to the will or appointment of a superior without murmuring. Entire and cheerful submission to the will of God is a Christian duty of prime excellence."

And here are some examples of what she both teaches and practices:

Many people picture an unsubmissive wife as one who angrily stomps her foot and says, “No, I won’t do it your way!” May I present a different picture; one I am much more familiar with myself because I have sadly fit the image too many times? Imagine the wife who says with her lips that she will do as her husband asks, but then pouts, is disapprovingly quiet, whines, or even resorts to tears of frustration. All of these tactics are called, quite simply, “manipulation.”

Many times, I deceived myself into thinking I was submissive. After all, I never said I wouldn’t agree to his decision. I never disobeyed or went against his wishes. However, my secret (or not so secret) unsubmissive attitude turned me into a contentious, rebellious, woman.It can happen to you too. Beware of a manipulative and controlling nature. The Lord will work mightily through your obedience to Him.

You may ask, “What if my husband makes a foolish mistake?” Be in prayer for your husband’s decisions, but submit joyfully, trusting God for the outcome. Remember that God is right there in the midst of the situation, working things out for your ultimate good and His glory. It may not be the outcome you would have chosen, but again, remember that His ways are above our ways (Isaiah 58:8-9).

“Let the wives be to their own husbands in everything….” (Ephesians 5:24) Not just those things in which we agree.

Read entire post here.

These are some discussion questions below off the top of my head, but please feel free to add more in the comments box if you think of any. This subject fascinates me, having once had such a different view of submission than I do now (my former view agreeing wholly with Stacy's above thoughts, actually). I currently reject much of the patriarchal paradigm I formerly swam in (and am in radical disagreement with Stacy's thoughts in her post that only those in rebellion would deny her interpretation of Scripture), yet I equally find myself wondering if I may be "throwing the baby out with bathwater," per se.

As Christians, what is our definition of submission?

Do the words of Christ tell us anything about submission?

What does it mean when we are told to submit one to another (does that mean whoever yells the loudest gets their way)?

Is there such a thing as a wifely submission that is not to be reciprocated by a husband? How does wifely submission, for example, differ from a husband who loves by serving (Eph.5)?