“Are Men and Women Equal? If So, Why Submit?”
The Bible is rich with instruction on marriage as it outlines the roles of both husbands and wives. But when these roles don’t make enough sense or make readers uncomfortable, they are often discarded, twisted, or simply ignored.
Submission is a tough pill to swallow. Just mention the word and the standard response is, “Are you serious?!”
Shouldn’t we all be? Serious, I mean. If we say that we love God and seek His will for our lives, then we have to be willing to follow His wisdom regardless of what popular opinions may be. God’s commandments for marriage are every bit as fresh and relevant today as they were when He originally laid them out for us in Scripture.
With that said, I’d like to discuss the topic of equality between men and women. The misconception is that submission defines us as being “less” than a man and that this mindset is old-fashioned and degrading to women.
The truth is that submission and equality are two different things.
Submission is yielding your will for the good of another. It is putting another ahead of you. It’s a choice that you make out of respect, love, and reverence. And for me it’s a decision that’s powered by faith.
Equality of people refers to our “value.” We have equality among all men and women, while at the same time we have some who are in a position of authority over us, such as members of congress, senators, and governors. They are in no way of greater value than the people they serve.
We see this pattern everywhere we look in our social system, but in order to get a better understanding of God’s will for mankind we have the infallible example of Jesus Christ found in Paul’s letter to the Philippians:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! —Philippians 2:5–8
With that example in mind, I understand that I’m in every way equal to my husband, but equality isn’t something that I should take advantage of for my own pleasure or gain.
My desire is to please God by humbling myself and taking on the role of a help meet. If my Lord and Savior took on the role of a servant, why shouldn’t I?