Are you “subject to your husband in EVERYTHING”?
But I do not SUBMIT to him in EVERYTHING.
Newsflash: You too are “subject to your husband in EVERYTHING”!
Being “subject to” your husband is like being “subject to” gravity. It’s not something you “choose” but a state of being.!!
The word “submit” implies choice/volition on the part of the “submitter”.
“Subject to” better conveys the grammatical nuance of the Greek PASSIVE voice (of the hupotasso verb used in Ephesians 5:24).
“but even as the assembly is subject to Christ,
so also [are] the wives to their own husbands in everything.” Eph 5:24 (YLT)
For over two decades I twisted myself into a pretzel attempting to practice “SUBMIT to him in EVERYTHING”. Once the newlywed shine wore off (by 5 years) I felt progressively more and more disrespected and by the time we were married 22 years, I was completely miserable in the marriage, I felt trapped like a prisoner in a concentration camp.
Once I realized this passage is not teaching a wifely BEHAVIOR, but describing “the state of being a wife”, what its like in a wife’s skin, THEN I was free to move toward making life in my skin more tolerable by standing up for myself and protecting myself and the children.
Here are two pictures to illustrate the difference. Perhaps this will help.
“SUBMIT in everything” looks like this:
This is WORKS. It’s like living on a hamster wheel in a cage, always trying to please him never getting anywhere- trapped, imprisoned. Sometimes he lays the demands on so thick and turns up the speed so fast that you fall down. This is how I knew that the interpretation “wife, submit in EVERYTHING” cannot possibly be what God meant! I attempted it and it is physically impossible and emotionally deadening.
Christian wife, I encourage you to get off that hamster wheel!
Here is what I think God (via Paul) means in Ephesians 5:24 “wives ARE SUBJECT TO their husbands” –>
THIS is “SUBJECT TO”:
Depending upon whether the Flower is nourished and cherished,
it will BLOOM
or it will WILT.
And if I am SUBJECT TO a man who is constantly WILTING me by his behavior and refuses to change his WILTING ways, then in this day and age (unlike the peasants of yesteryear), I have the power to choose not to be SUBJECT TO him anymore.
I am thankful that my husband has chosen to change his WILTING ways. Our marriage continues (since Oct 9, 1982) which means I continue to be “SUBJECT to” him. He has learned to be more sensitive and instead of defending himself and blaming us, he is now open to receiving correction when his harshness has wilted me or one of our Quiver Full (our eight children plus 2 sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law- so far).
If anyone reading this is still on that hamster wheel
striving and straining to “be submissive”, weary and heavy laden,
my heart goes out to you.
I’ve been there.
GOD understands! What you are doing is NOT what He meant!
This blog is a gift to you in hope that reading about the things which God has shown me as I made this journey will give you
a helping hand off the hamster wheel.
This final post is dedicated to my blogging sisters who can be found in the comments here.