Submission, Respect, and Obedience
Originally Posted May 10, 2011
In this day and age, women work for a living, gain money, and are more or less financially independent. While there is nothing wrong with a woman working in and of itself, it is important that these newly found financial independence does not lead to a rebellion.
The Bible clearly says “Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22) and “Nevertheless, let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). Similarly, as daughters, we must be sure to respect, honor, and obey our parents, and in particular our fathers who are the head of the households. This is found in Ephesians 6:1-3 which states “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.’” While gaining independence and helping with the bills is fine, it is important that “financial independence” does not carry further.
Some women these days even make more than their husbands. Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with this; but it is still important that a woman respect her husband (or if she is unmarried, her father) and not let financial independence take over in a woman and make her become less submissive and respectful of her husband or obedient to her father.
How can a woman make sure she is within the bounds of a submissive and respectful wife or a submissive and obedient daughter? While it is hard to practice because of sinful nature at times, there are ways to make sure that even if you are financially or otherwise independent, that you still fulfill your Biblical roles as a woman. Asking questions and following in their guidance is mainly the important part. A woman can ask her husband or father if they mind her working and follow their lead and guidance by what they say. If they agree that a woman should work, it is still important that a father’s or husband’s opinion and guidance is respected and honored, such as how they use and invest the money.
Respect of the husband’s or father’s lead and guidance should also be shown given how a family is run and what decisions are made. While a woman can lend her opinion, the ultimate decisions should be left to the man. And the woman must not cross the God-made boundaries for herself.
However, even though a woman must follow the lead, this does not mean she should also forsake the God-made position of a helpmate to her husband or a helpful daughter to her father. A woman must take into balance the two different aspects of a submissive, respectful, obedient wife or daughter, as well as model after the Proverbs 31 woman who “seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands. She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household for all her household is clothed with scarlet” (13-21). It is important that a woman find the proper balance between submission and wisdom, honor and respect, and obedience and independence. It is a hard balance, but in the end it yields large rewards.