Our world these days is full of corrupt opinions and definitions of a Christian woman’s place that I shy from making my position known. I want to be careful that I say it truthfully and not be just another voice throwing around more self based opinions.
What I know comes from trial and error in my own life, from following other women throughout history, and from biblical truth. I floundered for years about what was right or wrong with submission as I knew it; so I really have no authority to write about it. I was one of those women who thought “submission” was a word or term I didn’t want to use. I still find it hard to vocalize for fear that about 90% of all my sisters on this earth will automatically not finish this read.
At the moment, I am taking in yet another history story on “She Wolves”, forgotten women who deserved to be queen had not men interfered. I once watched a documentary on the “Presidents Wives”. That story too made it sound like most of the presidents wives felt unimportant and unhappy. A book I read about Abraham Lincoln made his wife seem a critical, mean, and mental person. In the Bible, Rebekah, mom of Jacob and Esau, worked hard at manipulating her life to be how she thought best, working in secrecy against her husband. The one thing these women depicted to me was their lack of peace and their unhappiness.
On the other hand, woman like Sara, who called her husband, Abraham, “Lord” and Abigail Adams, John Adams wife, who followed and supported their husbands to the end; are marked in my mind as women who seemed peaceful, radiant, and even happy. If you read up on each of these women’s life you will find their dispositions had more to do with their beliefs and attitudes than their circumstances or luxuries; or lack of for that matter.
When I became aware that the atmosphere in my home depended largely on my attitude; I was interested in what the right attitude was. Yes, I looked all around at my peers but at the same time I searched scripture frantically trying to back the attitude I already had, that I KNEW what my place was, that I KNEW what submission meant, and that I was already doing everything I could to make a happy home. Only, it wasn’t working. I reminded myself of yet another popular lady of the 18th century, Queen Victoria. A scene from a documentary on their history drives the point home. In an argument with her husband over the treatment of their ill child; she made it very clear that because she was the queen she had better judgement to decide what method to use to break a fever. In the heat of the moment she said a few rash, cruel statements to Albert, her husband, at which he walks away from her, goes into his library, and locks the door. When she approached and tried to enter she discovered she was locked out. When she knocked he asked her “Who is it?” her response was “The Queen.” This happened twice before it crossed her mind that her answer was wrong. On the third attempt when he asked “Who is it?” she very humbly responded, “Your Wife.” After that she was well received.
The question often asked of women like myself is “Do you think you are oppressed?” My answer is NO. After years of studying and learning to practice biblical submission; I feel fulfilled, peaceful, and able to enjoy being the woman that God designed me to be. It was when I fought against scripture and the direction given there, that I felt oppressed. Giving up my will for God’s way is what being a Christian is all about. If I chose to give my life to Jesus and strive to glorify Him; then following His example of denying self and laying down my will for the will of my heavenly Father should be my goal.
I haven’t said it was easy or fun. No matter how much growing up I do; I still fight my will. I still naturally want my way first. Anything worth fighting for is going to be difficult at times. Realizing my role as a woman became fulfilling when I gave up my way and became more concerned with serving God through submitting to His ways. Only then did true peace enter our home.
No Christian man means to be an ogre as no Christian woman wants to manipulate and control her husband. When both are seeking to please God in their own personal lives a working together happens that is beyond human reasoning. It is God at work while both are at peace with each other because they have taken personal responsibility to being what Christ would have them be.
And they lived happily ever after… Well, I don’t know about that; it’s more like 1Peter 3: 10,&11
He that would love life and see good days
Let him refrain his tongue from evil and his
Lips that they speak no guile. And let him turn
Away from evil and do good. Let him seek peace
And pursue it.
I believe this is the right attitude for me as a Christian woman. A continual search for what God says is His way and His peace along with faith and trust to be engaged in the battle at all times. This is my role. No, not always comfortable or fun, but so rewarding and peaceful.