Submission & Feminism

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:21‭-‬22 NIV

It is outrightly said in many cultures including ours, that the man is the head. As to whether the woman is the tail or the neck by default, it undoubtedly relies on our understanding of “headship”. The word “head” is used 75 times in the New Testament, but never in the sense of overpowering domination. It similarly means Origin or Source. All Paul was saying in 1 Cor 11:3 is that the origin of the woman (not women) is the man. “If you Greeks think the woman is superior to the man because she was created first, you got the “created first” part even wrong.”

Marriage is not ownership. It is a partnership. If the woman cannot sometimes lead for the man to support, then there’s no mutual submission. When God created a woman as a helpmate to man, He wasn’t creating a slave, subordinate, “lesser vessel”, or someone inferior to the man. The word “helpmate” is used 16 times in the Bible, 3 referring to woman and 13 referring to God. So wherein lies that proposition?

In such a Greek culture where women were generally idolized, it was important that Paul stresses on the importance of the woman submitting to the man. In our culture where our “foremothers” simply endured emotional, physical and mental abuse in marriage in the name of “submission” – which is just a nicer word for sublime slavery – and sacrificed for the man to the detriment of their goals; dreams; aspirations; basically their life, I don’t think “women, submit to your wives” should be the emphasis.

It’s a shock that “wives, submit to your husbands” is such a famous verse and barely anybody took their time to notice the previous verse. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” It is important to realise that a win-win situation is possible. If women empowerment is to the detriment of men rights, we’re tearing each other down instead of building each other up. It is also important for men to realise that feminism is not a threat to their authority. Fighting for women and fighting against men are two totally different things. It’s about time matriarchs were placed beside patriarchs.

I love you ❤

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