"There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage." ~Martin Luther

Friday, 13 February 2009

Is Submission Slavery?

'Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them'
Col 3:18,19 (NKJV)

Submitting to one another in the fear of God, Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her..'

'Ephesians 5:21-25 (NKJV)

Someone recently spoke to me about submission and hinted that we do a post on it so this post is a result of a bit of research and some head knowledge. Submission is a word that a lot of women frown at, and most people shy from or cringe when they hear it. By God's grace, it's not a word i have any problem with mainly because i understand it from the biblical point of view.

What is submission? Maybe we should start from what submission is not.

1. Submission is not a man lording it over a woman

2. Submission is not deffering to every man.

3. Submission is not demanded

4. Submission is not slavery

5. Submission is not the same as docility

There are lot many things that submission isn't but the above captures the totality of it

So what is (biblical based) submission? In my own words, i would say it is a deliberate yielding of oneself to another person. It is realising that in quietness is your strength as a woman. When you see a woman that appears to be meek, trust me

, she has the key to her husband's heart and sometimes people mistake this for the man being controlled by his wife. Submission is a wife putting herself under her husband not by compulsion but willingly.

I've heard a lot of men say women are to submit to us. I beg to differ and i usually take those men up on it. No sir, not every woman is to submit to you, only your wife is to submit to you, i don't go about deferring to every man. The bible says women should submit to their 'own husbands'. Period! And the man doesn't even have the right to demand it.

Firstly, the bible encourages that the man and woman both submit to each other. You should serve each other and defer to each other on matters and then the bible demands that the woman submit to the man. The man is the head of the woman as Christ is the head of the church. If you ask me, a man has more responsibility in the whole submission triangle. The woman submits to the man, the man submits to God and the man also has the responsibility to love his wife as Christ loved his church. How? He gave himself for it. The bible tells the man to be selfless in his love for his wife.

While a woman needs to be loved, cherished and pampered, for most men, respect is the most important thing. God knew what he was saying when he told women to submit and the men to love their wives. Submission is knowing what you want to do but waiting for your husband to agree before doing it. Submission is going to God in prayer to change your husband's heart regarding matters even when you know you're right. When a woman tries to prove her own point all the time in marriage, it brings unnecessary friction. The man's ego is wounded and he starts to fail in his command to love his wife selflessly.

You might say i'm an intelligent human being and i know what is right from wrong. Infact, most times we women by our God given intuition can tell when a move is not right or a man is going to make a mistake but it is not right to always want to prove a point and rub it in their face. Wise women would take a sensitive matter to God in prayer before attempting to discuss with their husbands. This is not because the man is stubborn or won't listen but prayer just wets the ground and allows the point to make sense to him and not to sound like questioning his authority.

Let me give an example at this point. Mrs A would like to go on a vacation at a certain time. She has everything she needs to do it, all she needs is her husband's permission. Let's say Mr A decides for some very good reasons that his wife cannot go for on the vacation at that ti

me, what should she do? Should she decide against her husband's wish to go or should she defer to him? This is my answer. A wise Mrs A will know that having a loving marriage with her husband is more important that going on a vacation. It is not a decision that will hurt her, so she can forego it. Yes, she has plans already and they are good but she has to be in agreement with her husband before she goes ahead. A wise Mrs A will go to God in prayer to touch her husband's heart. God works on people's hearts and for all you know, God might be saving Mrs A from trouble is why her husband is refusing to give her permission. We have to be able to let go of our hard headedness and let God.

If it is important to you to have a good marriage as a woman, then you have to learn the art of submission. It is quiet strength, it's knowing when to talk and when to keep quiet. It is asking for your husband's advice and blessing even when you know what you want to do.

Submission has a lot of benefits. Here are a few

1. Your husband will love you. Yes, love is a given in any successful marriage but it takes work to keep the flame of love alive. Notice God asked the wife to submit before telling the husband to love his wife, it's a chain reaction.

2. You avoid unnecessary friction in your relationship

3. Your home is filled with peace and a welcoming atmosphere

4. You get more out of your husband and your marriage.

5. You get a sense of inner peace, knowing that you and your husband are in one accord

You can say i'm still single, what does submission have to do with me? A lot. No i'm not telling you to start deferring to guys everywhere. Remember, i already established that only a wife is commanded to submit to her husband. You will one day get married and your mind has to be prepared for it. You have to plant the right seeds in yourself and know that the word submission is not a sentence to a life of absolute subjugation and not having your own voice. If you're in a 'serious' relationship, you can start to practice submission steps. N
No, don't let your fiance control your life because he doesn't even have the right to when you're married but in little matters, you can make sure you get his consent. but in little matters, you can make sure you get his consent.

Is it sometimes tough? Yes, but with God's help, we can do it and the dividends are far greater than the seeming demerits. Infact eventually, you get to a place where neither of you can make a decision without the other.

God is a God of order and He has

made the man the head of his wife for very good reasons. Imagine a situation where there are two heads of state in a country, won't it be a state of absolute confusion? May God give us the grace to understand and to do.

I hope i have women in the house who will use their quiet strength and submit...Amen!

Ps: Sorry guys, we took a bit of time to update, we've both been very busy but we will try to at least update once every week.

Note: Pls note that i do not mean your husband has the right to control you when i wrote ''No, don't let your fiance control your life because he doesn't even have the right to until you're married''...i meant to write even when you're married! So i have changed that part...apologies if that part offended anyone!


  1. FIRST???

    What can i say? u are truly blessed with understanding and wisdom.
    I love that you have brought up this topic cuz this is an area that casues endless arguements. You hit the nail on the head and broke it down so well.

  2. True talk!!. This is usually a grey area for most women.

    I like d wisdom behind d post.

  3. I LOVE THIS! really educating... i remember someone blogging about this same topic as well...

  4. Well done jare, WF. All dem independent woman BS dey tire pesin. Thanks for breaking it down from the biblical point of view too. That solidifies it for me.

  5. @ Scarlet
    Thank you...i'm;m glad you saw wisdom in the post

    thank you girl

    Thank you..will like to read what any other person has written on it, have you got the link to that post?

    Yes my sister, God's word is our rock and makes things clear!

  6. Wow,what a post.You certainly enlightened me on some things there.I agree with a lot you're saying,at the same time I can't help but ask myself questions.

    Maybe it's because I'm a new reader and don't entirely know your intention behind this post or your style of writing :-) What is your view on the responsibility of the man? Or maybe that is for a whole other post since you are focusing on the woman in this one? But that's what keeps ringing in my head - you talk about your interpretation of submission and what a wise woman ought to do. But say the woman is wise and follows these principles, what should be expected of the man in return? Selfless love?

    If you reverse the scenario with Mrs A and make it that Mr A would like to go on a vacation - do you think the wife is allowed to disagree and brings up good reasons why he shouldnt go,and if so, do you think it is the mans right to go against her wishes or is it ideal for him to respect her likewisely as she respects him?

    Unfortunately, I think the word submission can have a huge variety of interpretations, and unfortunately there are men out there who would like to use it to their own advantage. How can a woman protect herself from that?

    And I would have to disagree that a man ever has the right to CONTROL a woman even when they're married. I am married, I respect my husbands wishes but he also respects mine and I would not accept it any other way. It is important to promote male respect for women as well. I don't think any human being has a God-given right to control another human being. I will respect my husband because he deserves it and that's what is good to do, but not because I am inferior and it is his right to control me because we're married?

    I am fully aware though, that I may be misunderstanding you a bit, or your definiton of the word "control". I'd also love to know your definition of the word "under" in a woman accepting to be "under" a man?
    I believe in full equality, nevertheless women and men ARE different therefore I couldn't agree more with you on the quiet strength of knowing when to talk and when to be quiet. And most especially I agree that it takes work to keep the flame alive. That is something way too many people forget.
    Your 5 points on benefits on submission are great ingredients to, as you say, a peaceful home etc. but I have second thoughts on the first point. Sure, husbands will love their wife if she submits, but should that be a condition for love? I think mutual respect should be. The way i'm interpreting what you're saying - part of submission is respect for your husband. But what is your view on the husband having respect for the woman? Maybe the only thing I beg to differ is that not all women need to be pampered and loved BEFORE respect. For me I know I need respect from my husband before love, because in my eyes, theres no love without respect?

    Sorry this was really long - take it as a compliment. I think your post is very enlightening and educational. I am asking these questions not because I necessarily disagree but because I want to understand more of the biblical point of view you're talking about. As you may understand I'm not as familiar with the bible as you, so I'm taking this as an opportunity for further enlightenment :-)

    Lastly I'd like to say you really share great points on how to succeed in marriage.

  7. yipeeee!!!!
    u must know the cause of my excitment.lemme go and read

  8. @ Adaeze

    You did do a post yourself! lol

    Ok so i will attempt to answer all your questions, thanks for the comment.

    Firstly, aloted and i set up this blog to address issues regarding women which is why the post doesn't seem to talk much to men. Does that answer your first question? And yes a man should love his wife selflessly? remember i said God told a man to love him wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it? What greater love than someone dying for the other?

    Yes the man wshould definitely respect his wife's point of's a partnership and not a servant master relationship. If i have a good reason for my husband not to do something, trust me, he doesn't go ahead to do it because he respects me in return and loves me. The best he can do is to try and make me see his POV.

    I also remember saying a woman does not have to submit to every man, just her own husband! And a man who loves his wife will not take advantage of her!

    I don't think i once used the word control in the post a man should not control his wife...they're partners! Maybe check out again the things i said submission is not. I never used the word control, no man should control a woman and yes i also remember saying both parties should respect each other.
    I also didn't say a woman needs to be pampered and loved before respecting her husband, i only said men and women have different needs and most men need respect while women need affection.

    I do think you misunderstood me a bit. This is not a post giving men all the power or encouraging men to lord it over their wives, this is only a post saying women should submit.

    Pls note that i believe in mutual respect and i believe it is key in any relationship

    Hope that answers you dearie, if there's any other thing you need me to clarify, pls feel free to point out.

  9. @ Qmoney
    So what do you think dearie? Hope you learnt a thing or two

  10. Thanks Writefreak, yes you clarified everything and I see that we now agree, lol.

    I did read what you said submission is not, but I thought that other parts of the post contradicted that - but now I see that you corrected that part and it was simply a typo!
    I thought you said that a man is allowed to control AFTER you get married, lol! Funny how tiny typos can make such a big difference in meaning :-O
    Thanks for answering my questions though, it's all making sense now :-)

  11. submission is a word that has been taken out of context one too many times..hopefully we can all learn from this post..i know i have!

  12. @ Adaeze
    I'm glad

    I'm glad you learnt a thing or two

  13. Wow.....I sure got a submission Lesson 101 here.

    Funny I was trying to explain this to a guy, I guess all I have to do now, is send the link.............with your permission that is.

  14. Lol...i'm glad you learnt something there! Please feel free to send it to have 'our' (aloted and i) permission

  15. This is complete, especially with the clarification "Firstly, the bible encourages that the man and woman both submit to each other. You should serve each other and defer to each other on matters and then the bible demands that the woman submit to the man...." If both man and wife cannot learn to submit to each other, or to submit to God, they would continue having unexplained friction.

    Thanks for this post.

  16. Absolutely!!!! More women need to submit!

    Yup, I can say it, because I serve my GF every single day. I place her and her needs above all else in my life.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. god bless you guys. I actually had i issues with submission but i have been praying about it in the last 2 weeks and now i read this?

    Thank you so so much. you are both blessed in your marriages.

  19. "While a woman needs to be loved, cherished and pampered, for most men, respect is the most important thing."

    AMEN AMEN AMEN to that

  20. I've been married barely over a year now and this issue of submission came up recently.

    I'm a smart young woman,(even if I do say so myself!) I believe that I can make meaningful contributions to any issue that affects us as a couple and our home.

    My parents had 7 girls (and 2 boys) and they instilled in us girls the fact that women are no less than men.

    I grew up with a strong sense of personal worth and confidence. I have never felt intimidated by any man for the simple fact that he is a man (maybe for other reasons - like his muscles maybe. lol!). Most of my life, in school and at work, I have dwelt in a mostly male dominant world - (Only girl in a class of 80 boys, only lady in an entire engineering department of guys!) and I have always held my it looks like I'm really blowing my trumpet! lol!

    But my point is this, considering my background, deferring to a man doesn't come naturally.I am learning a lot about this submission issue and it takes a lot for me to defer to my husband on some issues that I feel are no issues at all! I'm like, ok, am I the one who has to keep deferring? Can't I have my way even once?! Sometimes, I'd like to just go and do my own thing just because!

    We had months and months of marriage counseling b4 we got married but it's one thing talking the talk and another thing walking the walk!

    God's word is my standard on this issue and in marriage, I'm kinda convinced it's not 50-50. Yes, no one gender is better than the other but the bible says the man is the head! That should settle it for me but I still struggle a bit. Maybe it's because our marriage is still young and adjusting is taking some time. I have decided to take it one step at a time. I have also seen that nothing is worth the peace of my marriage.

    I know I've taken up too much space with this 'my comment' but I just wanted to thank you for sharing this post with us!

    Whew! lol!

  21. wow.this is great i especilly love the part about submission is only to husbands. this has trully blessed me


  22. While a woman needs to be loved, cherished and pampered, for most men, respect is the most important thing.

    u hit the nail on the head. There is a reason why the Bible asks the wife to submit and the husband to love. Both go hand in hand.

    I believe that if your husband really truly loves you, you wont find it hard to submit to him.

    very true talk!

    This is why I'm scared of ending up with the wrong person. I cant imagine..

    ok, i need to shut up now!

  23. Rita: Glad you agree with the post. I like your point!

    MilePerHour: That's the way it should be! We ought to serve one another

    Darkelcee: Amen my sister, glad you learnt something. Your marriage will definitely be blessed!

    Olamild: Yes, Amen!

    Enkay: lol, you can take up as much space as you want! Well, i understand about being independent..and yes it takes a lot of adjustment but God is able to help is the head..and i know that you guys can definitely have win-win situations.

    anonymous gal: glad you were blessed!

    bumight: no don't shut up! you're right and my prayer is that you won't end up with the wrong person! watch and pray my sister!

  24. Woah!
    This is a S.E.R.M.O.N.
    Preach it!
    I submit to my wife.
    I have no choice.
    I cant remember the blogger that said "make your life happy by making your wife happier". Too true.

    That said. There are different responsibilities for the man and woman in a relationship.
    And God has tailored our features/strengths to match those.
    Non of them make any stronger.

    However, there exists what I'd like to call the Husband Privilege.
    The husband, in dire situations, has the right to invoke this Privilege.
    It should only be rarely used of course.
    Once abused, it loses its effectiveness.
    This Husband Privilege is .......

  25. wow!this is well written and you accurately answered some questions i had on this submission thing..It however is so hard to submit fully!What if one husband just keeps dulling your runs each time without reason "you cant go here,you cant go there..blah..blah..blah" i know your marriage is more important than these things, but you are a human being that has your own needs too but then as bumight said if you husband loves you , you wont find it hard to submit and he wont abuse his 'head' role by making life unnecessarily difficult for you!
    Most weddings i go for na so so preaching to the wives, be submissive,do this,so that for your husband..I wish they preached more about the role of the man in the marriage and what the bible says about the man loving his wife like christ loves the church.
    I am going to save this post for future reference

  26. @ Adaeze loved reading your comment as well...quite insightful too

  27. I loved this, loved this, loved this!!I'm sure you get the point. It's always good to read a balanced view on submission..just to add what I heard in a sermon..
    sub-mission..sub means to get under so it's to get under the mission or purpose that God has for you and your spouse. I pray that I can do that at the right time o! I think as women we have it a bit easier as in the men are called to love their wives
    1. as their own bodies
    2. as Christ loved the church to the point of death!!
    Soul Sistas thank you for this message! May God give us the grace and strength to walk in it.

    Remain blessed, mwah!

  28. Funny I just finished writing a post on this exactly, well my views were somewhat different but I like the way you put it me much to think about now. NOw that scenario you played out about the about the other way around like the woman telling the man not to travel for a specific reason?

  29. tobenna: lol at this being a sermon...husband priviledge hey? i agree

    pink satin: i'm glad i was able to answer your questions. A reasonable and loving husband will not dull your runs just for the fun of own preaching at our wedding was directed at us as a couple and not to a particular person
    Please feel free to save

    Believer: i agree with you that our role as women is easier...and i really like that definition...i think it's easier to submit to a man who knows where he's going..don't you think?

    FemiB: If it did play out differently, the guy definitely shouldn't up and do his own, cos he should also respect his wife's view. My husband and i make our decisions together! Off to read your post!

  30. Your blessed O! Excellent post I will surely become a follower of this blog...I remmeber a friend once said to me 'i pray god gives me a man I can respect and submit to' I said to her 'no pray that God will make you submissive and a respectable women' because to be honest if your man decided to mess up in a manner which he does not deservice repsect does that mean you should dishonour him and not submit ? I remember the scripture that talks about the womans Godly behaviour that will win the man over.

    tk cre

  31. It seems to me that women and society have paid a very high price for what has largely been a failed attempt by women to compete with men on men’s terms. In truth, women have gained very little for giving up the femininity. They are paid less, they hold fewer top jobs, they are poorly represented in public office because when the going get tough they cannot compete with men.

    I am not saying that either sex is superior, only that in the hard world of business and politics women have failed to perform at the same level as men. Men will simply go harder for longer in their quest to come out on top. For example every man expects to work everyday for 50 years; he is in for the long haul. Young women on the other hand only expect to work until their first child comes and then to work less or not at all. These are completely different mindsets.

    In casting aside the “Patriarchal Society” women have lost their femininity as they strive to become man-like in part of their life. It is their femininity that captivates their husband and is the glue that binds their marriage. Without femininity a marriage is weak which has resulted in marriage breakup numbers soaring since the 1950’s.

    On the financial side the free market has adapted to double income families. High house prices can only be sustained by couples that pool their income. Various other consumer goods and services have entered the marketplace to take advantage of time poor women. Of course governments have benefited from a far greater tax base.

    Men have been damaged as their Patriarchal role has been devalued. Men no longer feel a duty to protect and provide for a wife who is clearly able to look after herself. Men have become selfish and unwilling to commit to long term marriage to a woman without femininity.

    It is time for all to see the damage we have done. Slowly overtime we can recreate a 21st century version of earlier Patriarchal Society. Such a society would give status to men who behaved perfectly and led by example. Women would gain freedom to look after their children and have long and strong marriages. No doubt those who championed so called “woman’s rights” thought they were doing the right thing but the reality has fallen far short of perfection.

    In a marriage where the husband has a patriarchal role and his wife a feminine role Interdependency is created. Interdependency creates a strong bond because each has their distinct role. There is no blurring of roles where the wife is expected to be part-man at work and loving and sexy at home. This is were marriage bliss resides.

  32. I am a new reader and appreciate your blog but I have to disagree on something. A MAN IS NOT THE HEAD OF THE WOMAN...I think it is the social construction of gender roles in our society (in the guise of religion, culture, family) that promote these teachings.

    I believe a marriage should be a person decides to do this and another that...but not because I am head you should do this and I will decide later if I should that. In this regard no one feels that their humanity is compromised or feels compelled to pause her life for the sake of the man.

    I have seen and witnessed ALOT of relationships break because of this idea that the man is the head...and when the man fails to meet his societal standards of what a 'husband' should act, he is angered and is compelled to be abusive. Also, a woman is stronger than we expect her to be...A man does not necessarily have to assume the responsibilities of the should ask their friends and ask who provided for their education and so forth....

    And a woman should know what to do and she should wait for her husband to agree before she can do it? Wow...I did not think intelligent women still held this thought or belief. I TOTALLY disagree...the woman should discuss with her husband and they as a COUPLE not a master and a slave, come to a compromise. A husband DOES NOT have a right to decide the FATE of his wife....he should SUPPORT her. And the woman is allowed to dream and act on it despite the possible rejection from her husband.

    I appreciate this posts and many posts but falls completely short of what is truly happening in this world....

    I do not believe the word submission, I think the word is compromise and I think the bible utilizes submission to mean tolerance, acceptance, and patience...not sacrificing your being to an individual. Just as the man should love and love encompasses patience, tolerance, and acceptance.

    If women were put into this world simply to submit to a man...then why did God give us WILLPOWER, A BRAIN, A THINKING PROCESS, THE ABILITY AND THE CAPABILITY. Submission is not submitting but accepting the flaws and the shortcomings of her husband.

    And all women who are against womens rights...I will pray for you...a lot of women who are champions of womens rights are the reason why you can read and write...they are the reason why you can vote...they are the reason why you can say something to the government and you will not be mocked...they are the reason why if you are in an abusive relationship you can come out strong..they are the reason why if you are raped you will not be considered a victim but a please STOP that nonsense...

    It is some women that stall this process and it because these women women are being controlled, abused, and manipulated everyday. I have witnessed the beatings of a woman because she can not SUBMIT to her husband....NONSENSE...i have witnessed a husband give his wife HIV/AIDS because she SUBMITTED to her husband, I have witnessed a woman deprived of education and when she was thrown out of the house, she was stranded BUT she was submissive to her husband and used her QUIET STRENGTH that eventually threw her out of the house.

  33. Nice,

    Submission is not dominance. Just like there can not be two captains to one ship,or pilots to one plane two people can not be the head of one home. The captain needs the co pilot and can not do it on his own. This does not mean the co pilot is inferior, it just means if he wants a safe landing she has to work in tandem with the pilot.

    Submission is often confused with ownership or dictatorship, which is wrong.

    Biblically a single woman is meant to be in submission to her father, as long as he is not asking her to do things contrary to the word of God. When she get's married, it is then her husband, who , if she has made a wise choice is a Godly man.

    Ladies, submission does not take away , your individuality, or achievements. There can only be one driver at the steering wheel, and after all, you decided to forgo the name you were born with to take his own in marriage.

    If you think you can not submit, or are adamant that you will NEVER submit, well, Oprah, is an example of a successful single woman.


  34. If you believe that the husband is head (master) of.his wife, then you are saying you believe in slavery. After all, isn't the wife/husband( master) relationship compared to the master/ slave relationship? If you want to give up all you rights and freedoms, that's your choice, but I certainly couldn't imagine taking constant orders from a "head"/ master. I value freedom too much.

  35. PS if I Mike plans to go on a. Vacation, no master is.going to order me not too. Luckliy, with my secular rights, I will not be chased down and returned to my master./


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