Am I a submissive wife or a submissive woman?
Submission is a word that many of us run from, especially women. However, recently we were asked to describe; what it means for a wife to “submit” to her husband. Honestly, I had to stop and think about that for a moment.
Submissive Wife or Woman
When you actually study scripture, you will learn that there’s really no difference between being a submissive woman and a submissive wife.
In fact, there’s really only a submissive woman!
Hold up. I probably lost a few of you. On the other hand, I may have just started a debate in your mind. Either way, give me a moment to explain.
When I think about being a submissive wife, I immediately think of the Virtuous Woman (also known as the Proverbs woman).
And if we look at the virtuous woman within the context of who she is, it will help bring some clarity on this subject.
Proverbs 31:10 (NKJV) says: “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.”
Now don’t let the word “wife” trip you up just yet. I will explain that in a moment.
However, the word virtuous used in this scripture means; honorable, reverential, highly principled, modest, strong, and a woman of substance.
Follow me for a moment. If we replace the word virtuous with the words that describe what it means to be virtuous; then Proverbs 31:10 would read: Who can find an honorable and reverential woman?
Therefore, if being honorable and reverential, describes submission; then the scripture would read: Who can find a submissive woman?
Now let’s keep that in mind, as we re-read Proverbs 31 in another translation.
A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman—who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. ~ Proverbs 31:10(AMPC)
Bring It Together
The scripture says: Who is he who can find her?
Well, let me ask you: who is her? In this scripture her is defined as a virtuous woman.
What’s a virtuous woman? A woman who is honorable, reverential, and submissive.
This means, when a man finds this virtuous woman, he FINDS her; honorable, reverential and submissive.
You see, she DOES NOT become submissive when she becomes a wife.
The virtuous woman is honorable, reverential, and submissive, right now; when she is found.
As a result, when a man puts his eyes on THIS VIRTUOUS WOMAN, look out, he then found a good thang!
Ladies, it’s important for us to remember that no matter what type of relationship we are in (boyfriend and girlfriend, fiancé, husband and wife, or even friends), we are brothers and sisters in Christ first. And God expects us to be submissive one to another because we all belong to the Body of Christ.
Don’t just take my word, I encourage you to consider studying 1 Peter 2: 13-25. In the Amplified Classic Edition, this particular passage is titled Christian Submission.
Let’s examine 1 Peter 2:13-25 (AMPC) 13 Be submissive to every human institution and authority for the sake of the Lord, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 Or to governors as sent by him to bring vengeance (punishment, justice) to those who do wrong and to encourage those who do good service.
15 For it is God’s will and intention that by doing right [your good and honest lives] should silence (muzzle, gag) the ignorant charges and ill-informed criticisms of foolish persons.
16 [Live] as free people, [yet] without employing your freedom as a pretext for wickedness; but [live at all times] as servants of God.
17 Show respect for all men [treat them honorably]. Love the brotherhood (the Christian fraternity of which Christ is the Head). Reverence God. Honor the emperor.
18 [You who are] household servants, be submissive to your masters with all [proper] respect, not only to those who are kind and considerate and reasonable, but also to those who are surly (overbearing, unjust, and crooked).
19 For one is regarded favorably (is approved, acceptable, and thankworthy) if, as in the sight of God, he endures the pain of unjust suffering.
20 [After all] what kind of glory [is there in it] if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you take it patiently? But if you bear patiently with suffering [which results] when you do right and that is undeserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God.
And if you continue reading 1 Peter 3:1 (AMPC) it goes on to say…
“In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,” ~ 1 Peter 3:1 (AMPC)
Notice the scripture says, “in like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands.” Meaning, just as you are submissive to brothers and sisters in Christ, you are to be submissive with your husband as well.
I know the word submission has a negative connotation in our culture today. However, when we embrace kingdom submission with each other, we will embrace who we are in Christ. And then when we become a wife, we will naturally submit to our husbands because this is what we do as virtuous women.
Bible Color Code Follow Along
This passage resonates so much with my spirit I even Bible color coded this passage and video a follow along if you want to color code it in your Bible.
In The End
Ladies ask yourself, am I a submissive woman? Forget about being a submissive wife, are you a submissive woman? Are you a submissive sister in Christ with all of those you are in relationship with?
PS…Before getting married I studied The Proverbs 31 Study Aid by ER Reid. It was probably the easiest and most concise study I’ve seen to have a complete understanding about who the Virtuous Woman is. For more information, or to purchase just click the book below!
~ Timberley Gray