Woman, be Submissive!
Updated: Nov 17, 2019
I grew up hating the word 'Submissive' and everything it meant for us Women. From where I come from and other patriarchal societies, this word is often used to restrain and control women. ''Well, it is in the Bible, you should stop being rebellious and work at being submissive ...'' I was told countless times by my entourage. In the article 'A little bit about me', I shared how my sisters and I were raised to become leaders in a society that does not prone to Feminine Leadership. Our parents thought us to speak our minds and work hard to provide for ourselves. Today living in a foreign country, I could never thank them enough for imprinted these values in my heart, values that unfortunately some people tried to tame down.
When I started to date at the age of seventeen, I was told that I would not make a 'good' wife because I was not 'submissive' enough, surprisingly by the 'Christians' fellows. They would often use this old African proverb which says ‘Silence is the most beautiful jewelry of a woman’ as a joke to get a reaction out of me.
‘’Why would God create me this way if it would bring a lot of heartache in my relationships?” I have wondered for years.
As the same hurtful comments started to resurface in my previous relationship, I decided to open my Bible to see what the word 'Submission' really meant. I am not perfect, but I know God made me outspoken, ready to provide for my family at all levels, courageous ... all these qualities could not be against my own good!
Now, it is truly written that both men and women should submit to one another (Eph 5,21-28). Then the chapter continues to put an emphasis on the woman's submissiveness... What people should understand is, some translations of the Bible are 'outdated'. Way back in the days (even up until now), we can all agree that women were not equal to men and a few Bible translations have a strong patriarchal wording reflective of that context. I, particularly find that The Message and New Living Translation bring a more modern understanding of the Bible. For the same quote, The MESSAGE translation says: 'Wives understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support in Christ.' Isn't that beautiful and fair?
As Christians, we are to follow Christ regardless of gender. We can study throughout the Bible and see how tender and kind Jesus was toward women. He never once judged them or ask them to be silent, quiet nor docile. Contrarily, He made himself available and let them express their appreciation for Him in different ways. He did not rebuke them for their flaws but accepted them as they were. He made it clear that the most important thing is to have a relationship with Him (Luke 10:40-42).
I now have my answer. All this time 'Submissive' just meant: respect, sharing a common vision, supporting each other and above all apply what Jesus taught us.
We live in a world where we feel compelled to measure up to others, copy-paste everything we see...Be careful! Although it is good to be inspired, there is always the other side of the coin, we don't see. This is putting a lot of pressure on young families, having a hard time to adapt to modern days and find their own balance. The truth is, each woman has her own personality. As an African Woman and a Gospel singer, I can get pretty loud and emotional (LOL) but I am a work in progress, learning and maturing.
A ''perfect" partner or relationship, I don't know if it exists, yet I will no longer be manipulated by people who are mixing up Culture and Christianity, seeking to impose their way of thinking to young couples. I have been made to the Likeness and the Image of God. I have been made whole and complete. I have a destiny of my own to fulfill. I am more than just ''a help''. Christ came so I can have ''Life and more Abundantly'', so I can be free! This is my vision and I would love to share what God has for me with another person and vice versa. It might be intimidated but I won’t compromise, not again.
If you too have a similar experience where you felt less than a ''woman" because of some outdated, cultural interpretations of the Bible, feel free to share! Bye for now ...