Defending Biblical Womanhood and Submission
A warm welcome to all of you new readers who found my little on-line ministry through Pinterest! Undoubtedly you saw my post, Are You a Wife that’s Easy to Love? That simple post with a pretty picture made quite the impact in cyberspace! The last time I checked it had been repinned over 11,000 times and shared on FB over 500 times. Those numbers are not normal for my little blog.
I shared on FB what God was doing and how the Enemy was bent out of shape that the Truth was moving and reaching the hearts of women; women who are desperate to better their marriages and women who desire to live by the Word of God. But, of course any time you stand for Truth, you’re going to be persecuted….. 🙂
I can’t even begin to tell you how many women commented and were angry that I would even think to write such stuff! They thought I had no brain, was a doormat, and was living in a different century. I deleted most of the nasty comments but kept some because Believers need to defend the Truth. (If you choose to comment, just make sure you’re mindful of Who you’re representing.)
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:15,16
I shared all of this with my closest friend yesterday as we gathered for our late Christmas/New Year’s celebration. I told her how countless women thought I was a doormat and an idiot.
Her response: She laughed out loud and said, “If they only knew you!”
So, that post has brought up a bunch of questions regarding Biblical Submission. I knew I needed to write more on the topic but instead I think it’s best to do a video. This will help you to actually hear my intense and strong-willed tone! But you’ll have to wait until I’m having a good hair day! lol 🙂 No, seriously, I’m heading back to homeschooling my boys and that means my time on the blog is limited. I’ll get to the video maybe by this weekend, Lord willing.
Now, if you would have told me 17 years ago that at some point in my life I would be teaching and defending Biblical Womanhood and Submission, I would have told you you’ve lost your mind, you’re probably smoking something, and you need to get out of my face!
I would have said all of those things for several reasons:
- I’m not afraid of confrontation.
- I’m strong-willed, highly opinionated and outspoken.
- I’m not too concerned about what others think of me. “People-pleaser’ is not something that would describe me.
- I love a good fight either physically or with words. And I like to make sure I’m the winner! I think I was born with a boxing glove in one back pocket and an actual sword in the other one.
- At that time, I was an atheist and feminist. Who in their right mind would believe the Bible? And why on earth would any woman follow and subject herself to some man? I know how to think for myself, therefore, I don’t need anyone telling me what to do!
He does great things, doesn’t He?
You see friend, that Man, He grabbed my heart and He transformed my life! With tears coming down my face I write these words to you because He died for me. For me. His great love for me willingly sent Him to the Cross for my sins. (And yours!)
I believe the Bible 100%.
I’m fully devoted to Him.
I’ll die proclaiming and teaching His Truth to all who will listen. 🙂
He’s prepared me for this calling. (Oh the irony and sense of humor of our God!)
I have a past, a testimony, and an understanding of why women who are not Believers are angry with the Truth of the Scriptures. They are in darkness, therefore, they can’t discern the things of God. (So I need to learn to defend the Truth in gentleness and respect. 2 Peter 3:15. That’s very difficult for this warrior-woman to do, especially when the attacks are not respectful.)
But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 1 Cor. 2:14
But regardless of what the world says and how the Enemy tries to use others to thwart and twist the Word of God regarding Biblical submission, here’s the bottom line…
It doesn’t matter how long ago the Book was written.
It doesn’t matter what century we’re living in.
It doesn’t matter why we had the Feminist Movement.
It doesn’t matter if a wife works outside of the home or not.
Truth is Truth. It doesn’t change. God doesn’t change. He’s solid. His Word will stand forever.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. Hebrews 13:8,9
I get that life might be so difficult for you right now that you’re just clinging to Christ and His promises. Or maybe you’re growing in Christ and you’re having a hard time understanding His Word? Or maybe you’re wrestling with God? I truly do get it because I’ve felt the same as I, too, have walked the Narrow Path. The Narrow Way is not the easy way, but it is the right way, the way that leads to peace, joy, and of course, eternity.
Truth is what matters.
Are you living for It?
Is it the authority in which you live by?
If not, why not?
And for the record, my husband doesn’t tell me what to do, after all, he didn’t marry an idiot! He married a woman who has a mind of her own and one that’s submitted to her Lord and Savior.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10
Now a few updates to what’s going on around here…
Perhaps you’ve noticed that the comments need to be approved first before they get published? I needed to put this in effective because of the vile words that were being left here. I’ll take it off of moderation when things die down. I also considered removing the comments altogether but the Lord told me not to because many women write in asking for counsel. So, I’ll continue to deal with them as they come in.
Also, would it be helpful for you in your walk, marriage, and/or in defending your faith if I put together a cheat-sheet of sorts (for lack of a better word) of all the verses that deal with Biblical submission and respect?
Let me know in the comments if that’s something you’d like to have.
Live a poured out life for Christ,
I am so with you, girl!
Not only was I a “strong-willed” woman years ago, I was an avowed feminist, educated by the very best in the field! But God has a way of working in the heart, doesn’t He? And He is pretty much ALWAYS right – His Word, His truth, His love? It all works, doesn’t it?
I’m probably one of the very few who haven’t seen your pin – but I did see your post – and have learned these lessons over-and-over (when my heart wasn’t too proud to learn them!) through the years.
I’d just like to thank you for speaking the truth – and encouraging you to keep on “keeping on”, because these words? They need to be spoken, and they need to be heard!
Yes, God is ALWAYS right! So why on earth do we argue with Him? Because of our sin-filled flesh.
Thank you for your encouraging words. It’s what I needed to hear. 🙂
What is so horrible about being strong-willed and a feminist?
pretty sure I stumbled upon your blog b/c we share the same King 😉
love your posts!!
Oh how I LOVE that, sister! 🙂
I’d like a cheat sheet please!
I think, many women see the word “submissive” and automatically think it equals a doormat. We tend to automatically jump to what our English dictionary defines submission to be.
Collins English dictionary: “unwillingly allow something to be done to you.”
Dictionary.com: “to give over or yield to the power or authority of another.”
Webster : “yield to the control of another.”
We forget that, especially in Jesus’ time.. there were different languages and meaning of these words. Also, the words are also used in a little different context than what we associate with today.
Ok I’m done with that. Hehe
Love your blog! Follow you on FB! Don’t remember how I cam across you in the first place but glad I did!
Excellent, Shelly. I’m working on it!
Thanks for your kind words. They really blessed me.
You are a great witness and proclaimer of truth! I am so encouraged by your strong response to criticism. So thankful for your confidence!
Ha! It’s easy to defend the Truth. I can do it all day long. But can I do it with respect and gentleness? Now that is the question? 🙂
Thanks for your comment, Tyanne. Sometimes this warrior just needs to be strengthened and ministered to by others. And you did just that!
This is a great post and I haven’t read your other one yet, but I will and I’m sure it’s great too. I have been a Christian for the majority of my life and even grew up in the Brethren church, so you’d think I’d have no problem with submission in my marriage. I didn’t think I did, either, until I’d lived a few months as a married woman and found it to be a very different thing in practice than I had ever imagined. I struggled with the concept for years and was actually in rebellion to it. My education was entirely secular until Bible college and even there, this topic never came up. So thank you for addressing it head on. Personally, I have seem my marriage change when I have been willing to live this truth. There are still many changes I am longing to see happen in my husband’s life and in my marriage (I have loved your post about when a husband doesn’t lead) and in myself, but I know submission to God’s word is the best jumping-off place and I am trying to put that into practice. God bless!
I loved reading your story, Esther! I laughed at your submission experience when you first got married. Most wives will experience rebellion to submission from time to time. It’s only natural for our flesh to feel that way. But we continue on in that way because we know we’re being obedient to our Savior, and for some, we’ve experienced the sweet fruits of that obedience in our marriage. 🙂
As wives who have embraced this path, our marriage becomes wonderful…yet other women are not willing to lay down their pride. Unfortunately they are the ones missing out.
Continue to follow the Lord’s ways in your marriage. Over time the concept of submission won’t be such a struggle.
Hi! You are amazing! Its lile you described me and are speaking right to me. I can say its been a great revelation by my Father in Heaven seeing how I was hurting my husband and family. I am loved by a mighty God & HE is awesome. In so many ways I can testify the word is true and if u can obey The Lord you will your marriage become something beautiful and wanted! Ty for your blogs! I love them and as young bride and younger lady I love all the wisdom!
Awe Jessica you just blessed my heart!
There’s a reason why God’s word is called Truth. It’s because it is. And guess what? It’ll set us free! Sometimes we just need to keep walking the Path regardless of what we’re feeling at the moment. You’re laying the correct foundation in your marriage so keep it up!
I am sorry you are going through all of this. You are right as Christian’s we are under persecution. And being a Christian woman who practices submission is almost heard of these days. However between you and two other blogs I follow I have become much happier in my marriage because of learning complete submission. I am a work in progress mind you but I am getting there. You are such a blessing. I am so proud of the way that you are handling all of these unkind things that are being thrown at you. It takes real control on your part. Again I know as a fellow strong headed woman. God Bless you and your ministry. I will continue to follow you all the way.
Oh these persecutions are nothing compared to what I’ve experienced before. And I know they’ll continue because Believers have targets on their backs. The Enemy is wanting to destroy us all the time. I’m just so blessed and ministered to by all that have encouraged me and strengthen me to continue in this fight. You’ve fueled the fire of my resolve to speak even louder for our King! Once again, what Satan meant for evil, God meant for good. I love your praise report on how your marriage is growing strong as a result of applying Truth to your life. You go, girl!
To God be the glory, sweet friend!
Jolene, your articles are encouraging and timely. I share nearly all of them on my FB page to encourage all my Sisters in The Lord. He is using your ministry greatly in my life and so many others! Keep up the good work!
Why can you not be a feminist, strong willed, AND have a strong relationship with God? Why does it have to be one or the other?
Exactly. It makes it seem like we have to be weak, agreeable, and sheep in order to have a strong relationship with God.
Jolene, you are SO precious! Those are not words from my head but from my heart. I almost laughed outloud when I read that you were born with boxing gloves in your back pocket! We are so opposite but I know as I am your sister-in-the Lord….sitting across the table from you, chatting, would be so very special. I would love to hug you through these air waves – I just did…I hope you felt them. I was born saying….”just leave me listen!” 🙂 You are in my prayers as your continue to hold God’s Word and ways out there for those who are lost or weary so they can read them. Thank you for being a Light for those dear ones and an encouragement to His daughters. ~My love and prayers
Just had to tell you I am with you 100 percent! (I wasn’t always willing to live in this truth but today I can by God’s faithful grace) – The Lord is on the business of showing us OUR WRONGS – not his!! I love my husband more and more as I grow in the Lord – not as the Lord fixes him!! Truth is a powerful thing – it can heal, teach, save, touch and help or if we fight it off it will tear us apart and give Satan more power, God Bless you and all the Christians suffering for God’s truth. I know others. Pray for all, Thanks!!
How funny, I just skimmed that post. (I am an email subscriber) I thought it was good and moved on, then I see this post. Truth is, I don’t see submission as being a doormat. Hubby and I, we are a team. I would like to say I always accept his word, but I’m human and will challenge him. However, there is such a great blessing when I can sit back and accept his judgment, even when I still think I am right! Yes, I’m still learning 🙂
Yes! I’d love for you to share a “cheat-sheet”. I’ve really been enjoying your blog. As a woman not yet married I find so many good things to help prepare me for marriage later on!
I have been following your blog for a while now and you have encouraged me and inspired me through what God uses you to speak to us. I had problems early in my marriage but by women like you and God’s teachings and grace he has been teaching me how to be the godly wife I am meant to be. This year I am going to study Proverbs 31. If you have any books that have spoke to your heart, please share. I am looking for some books to read and resources to help me and encourage other wives.
Thank you for your sweet comment. Here is a link to a post I shared awhile back that covers the books that helped me to grow as a Godly wife (still growing!) However, most books on my list are older (with a few exceptions) because many of them I read when I first married my Beloved
Thank you so much!! God’s blessings!!
Hi! I am a new reader looking for ways to keep my new ( 3 months) marriage last. I enjoyed this post and am interested to read your follow ups. I’ve always been Christian, but there was a time when my faith was much stronger. Life seems to have gotten in the way. You are an inspiration. Keep it up.
Wow! I came across your sight this fall and read it occassionally! Please know that your writing is appreciated and needed in today’s world. You speak simply and write where women live.
I am trying to memorize sermon on the mount, and I am on Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evils against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
I have been married for over 21 years, and you are 100% correct Biblically. I have lived not being submissive, and my husband threatened to leave me. He still wouldn’t describe me as submissive – but I have learned to trust him and respect him. (Isn’t it sad that I had to “learn” this? I would have told you when I married him that I did respect/trust — but I had no idea what that meant)
The only way to know God is let let Him and His Word apply to ALL of your life. It is that simple, but the most challenging thing a person can make. That includes ALL scripture, whether you think it is relative to today or not.
Sadly, today’s women to often insist on their right to make their own decisions, even if they prove utterly self-destructive.
God’s way is best!
Keep up the wonderful blogging!
We get so wrapped up in the controversy of “wives submit to your husbands” that we forget that just before this (verse 21), Paul instructed us all to “submit to one another,” just as Christ submitted Himself to us on the cross. These verses apply to all of our relationships. Thank you for you uplifting words Jolene!
I respect how much you value Scripture, as well as the joy a woman can have in submission toward her Godly husband.
While you do bring up some very valuable and valid Scriptural references in that post, there is a facet of God’s character and His plan for marriage that blows your previous entry out of the water, as far as a Biblically-based Christian marriage goes. At the heart of marriage is the illustration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Marriage is no less than a model of how Christ loved the church. Becoming something that’s loveable to please another person, to get them to love you, is, at very best, inauthentic (dishonest) and, at worst, the antithesis of the Gospel.
It may not be what you meant, but it seems to be what you’ve communicated.
Your words have weight, and anything that deters from the true, gracious Gospel, I’m sure, as a genuine Christan, would grieve you. Remember that even Satan uses Scripture–it must be tempered by the pure love of the Gospel, which has no ulterior motives. Keep pursuing Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit as you write.
It sounds like you’re new here. Seeing how this is a blog and not a book you can’t see all that I share here.
Here is a post I wrote not too long ago called,
The #1 Purpose for Marriage…
To Glorify God.
Yep, that’s the #1 reason.
You can read the rest of it here.
So let’s look at your point of view (the other side of your argument) There is no reason to try to be easy to love for your husband… You can be as contentious and nasty as you want because he is commanded to love you anyway “as Christ loved the church” …This is your idea of being authentic? It is not authentic, but self centered, self serving, and in complete rebellion to the Word of God. Now I have to say that this is not a new idea, in fact it was the first sin of when Satan said that he would exalt himself like The Most High (God himself). This is the common thread that runs through the intention of many, if not all who have opposed this post. “Why should I follow the model of the God’s Word… I am smarter than he is” Gods Word commands wives to love their husbands and respect their husbands. Gods Word speaks against being a contentious wife more than once. It is completely “authentic” to follow His Word rather than think that we are smarter than He is. As far as the comparison to Satan (the accusation), I will leave you with this: Revelation 12:10 “for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.” You might want to be careful before you accuse one of his brethren.
Women tend to confuse servanthood with slavery – a slave does what is commanded of them with no questions; a servant gives from the heart gladly.
I wish that Maribel Morgan’s book Total Woman was still in print. It was like a marriage bible to me.
I am recently engaged and would greatly benefit from the verses on submission! I found your page through Pinterest and am so appreciative of your wise words. It’s a difficult world to live as godly women, and your blog is so encouraging. Thank you!
I don’t think much about being “submissive,” per se. I am trying to be a helpmeet for my husband. I think being submissive is more that I am not trying to run the show on my own. When my husband and I were first married, I was the one that was always “in charge.” It wasn’t until I had my first son that the Lord really shook our family dynamic. I went from being a die hard, successful career woman (as a teacher) to knowing I needed to be home with our boy (now boys) rather than him being a stay at home dad because I made more money. I have found true joy in having swapped roles, and my husband has blossomed as well. We both have a lot of growing to do, but we are both learning more and more how to fulfill the roles that God designed for me and him. I think it is easy for us to submit to each other when we are focused on glorifying God in our marriage. If we are focused on that, God works everything out like a well-oiled machine.
I’m sorry that you have come under attack. It seems that no matter where a woman stands these days, there is a fight to be had. May God grant you peace and security in Him when you come under attack.
Are you a photographer? You have so many pretty pictures. Id love to follow your site if you are. Or you probably paid for the stock images if not so the original artist is compensated, they are all so great!
All of the verses and talk about submission makes me want to run away from marriage as fast as I can because I feel like I can never ever ever be what God thinks I should be in a marriage so then I’ll just end up in hell because it absolutely hurts every single thing inside of me to think of “submission.”
Obviously you have a problem with the word “submission.” I’m curious as to what you think it means. I hope you read more of Jolene’s blog, and explore true Biblical submission more before you totally reject it. The question came up about why feminism and being strong-willed does not fit with Christianity – it’s because Christianity is not about us and what we want. Feminism (at least the way it is projected) is very much a Me-first mentality – I need to do what I think is best for me, even if it negatively impacts others. True Christianity is about serving God and others, in situations that aren’t always comfortable. It does call for us to submit to God’s will, and to our husbands if we are married.
The problem is that people have a twisted idea of what it means to submit, especially to a husband. Submitting isn’t doing whatever our husbands want without any thought to our own needs. It is certainly not allowing a husband to abuse us in any way, shape or form. It is, however, letting him take the lead in the major decisions in your marriage, and showing him the respect he needs as your husband. That’s not to say you have to agree with him every time, and there may be times where you would need to stand firm in your own position (and he most certainly should be considering your opinion in any matter). But I think true Biblical submission comes down to trust – a wife needs to trust that her husband has her best in mind when leading the family, just as a Christian needs to trust that God will take care of us as we follow him. And honestly, submission really boils down to being intentional about truly loving and respecting our husbands.
And as far as your comment about running away from marriage because you feel like you can never be what God thinks you should – please don’t! I’d be willing to bet that every woman on here feels that way at times. Being the wife my husband needs, that God has called me to be, is very much a struggle at times. But none of us are perfect, and all of us fail at times. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. I mean, how many people got on a 2 wheel bicycle and were able to ride it perfectly the very first time? 🙂
(Sorry this got so long, Jolene!)
I remember that if you’re being attacked, you must be doing something right! I love your writing and I think what you’re doing is great. Keep up the good work for God.
I saw your “are you a wife that’s easy to love” post on pinterest and I am so glad that it led me to your site. It is so rare to find truth spoken so boldly, yet with such compassion and understanding. It was really sad for me to read the comments criticizing the truth that you were speaking, particularly from women who claim Christ but subscribe to the current philosophy of the world rather than His eternal truth. But in this post you handled the criticism with such grace, and I cried reading what you wrote about who you used to be. God’s transforming grace is amazing, and you never know what seeds you’ve planted-even in those who are hostile to it now. SO I just wanted to take a minute to encourage you, and to thank you for standing firm in truth. I have really enjoyed what I’ve read, I think you have a gift for communicating, and I am encouraged by your honesty and vulnerability.
Keep up your good works!! Any time we do work in Jesus’ name Satan gets bent out of shape. I pray for those that had harsh words for they may be struggling. I too in younger years felt like a feminist but know the word. Thank you for your dedication to those of us that read your blog!!
“Truth is truth. It doesn’t change.”
Wrong. Your truth is not the truth for everyone else. Once it was “ok” to own another human being, segregation was “ok”. But it’s not and as a whole, we know better now. Just like I know it’s not ok to submit to anyone.
i am new to the blog world, and through pinterest stumbled upon your blog. i have been drowning in your posts for a few hours now… i can’t get enough. i am not married, however recently single from a relationship that is failing because we have not put God first… much less allowed Him to have a place in our relationship. i fight tears as i write this, you are an angel. this may truly be an answer to prayers i have not stopped asking for… i personally would love a cheat sheet. i was never tought how to be the woman God calls us to be. i have always sought my own knowledge, so thank you for taking the time to gift us with yours.
Welcome here, friend! You can find my so-called ‘cheat sheet’ which has been renamed to “A Practical Guide to Understanding Biblical Submission” at this link! I wasn’t taught how to be a Godly woman either, but if any woman has a teachable spirit, God will transform her life! Journey with me, friend, and we’ll grow in Christ together!
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