One afternoon, when my husband and I were watching my son’s soccer game, a woman I had never met before was eager to share with me something she had just discovered.
“I tell you what. I never knew happiness until I learned to submit to my husband.” At first, I tried to politely ignore her and act like I was really into the game, even during those times when my son was sitting on the bench drinking water. But she persisted.
“Yep. It’s just the way the Bible says. A woman is meant to submit to her husband.”
At this, I couldn’t resist. “Submit? Submit? Where in the Bible does it say that?” She quoted the book and verse and I forgot it after she told me. Also, I have never felt compelled to look it up since then. It’s been my experience that people who are familiar with obscure Bible verses, and have them at the ready, are the same ones who can extrapolate the oddest meaning out of the simplest phrase.
I looked around for my husband to see his reaction to all of this. Mercifully, he was prowling the sidelines watching the game and hadn’t heard any of the conversation. “It’s so freeing when you submit to your husband,” she continued.
I snorted, “Yeah, that way when he messes up really bad, or misjudges a situation, you can sit back and say it’s all his fault.” To show her displeasure, the woman gave me a very un-Christian-like glare and moved her chair a few feet away.
The word submit has never been in the wedding vows and it’s an antiquated notion anymore to even have the word obey remain. Most brides bristle at the word and have it taken it out. I don’t know why the woman was trying to sell me on her idea that women should be submissive to their husbands.
My thought on the subject was, “If you’re happy with it, good for you. But don’t get into my business and tell me I’m wrong.” Generally, the way my marriage works is, which ever one of us wants something the most, that person is usually who wins out. If we disagree on something, we debate it and try to convince the other why we’re right.
After the game, as we were walking back to the car, I told my husband about the woman’s gall. He said he liked the way our marriage was like a partnership. He didn’t want to be married to someone who was willing to keep her mouth shut and go along with whatever whim came to his mind, precisely for the reason I’d mentioned to the woman. If we both made a decision that went horribly wrong, we both would have a share in the blame.
Life’s too complex and stressful to have just one person in charge all the time. A marriage works better when both have equal say in what happens.