Something a friend said made me rethink submission. It challenged an assumption I’ve unknowingly held — that leading always means planning and thinking, and submission always means doing and executing.
She simply said that in her relationship with her fiance, she takes care of the details because she’s good at it while he looks at the big picture because he’s better at that. Complementary gifts, team work, partnership in marriage — not too hard to grasp.
I shared in response: “Hey that sounds the same as my relationship with Graham, except our roles are reversed.”
And I wondered if I have unduly expected and sometimes urged Graham to do things he’s not naturally inclined to do. Have I also felt guilty for nothing when I work out big picture plans, thinking that I’m usurping his authority by doing so?
From where has the idea that leading=planning and submission=doing crept in? From the corporate world? After all, very few clerks are known to be visionaries, yet directors are usually praised for their foresight and long-term thinking.
I don’t necessarily agree that clerks are boring autobots and directors are always brilliant thinkers (quite the contrary)… yet I seem to have projected the stereotypical corporate hierarchy on marriage.
Is there biblical basis for such a model? How do biblical principles for submission translate practically? I realise I still don’t fully grasp what it really looks like in real life to submit to my husband.
For starters, I am thinking, “Who am I to think that God didn’t know better than to put us together just the way we are?” And if so, what does it look like for me to submit to Graham?
(I am not abandoning the imperative of wife submitting to husband, but simply mulling over how I may have conceptualised submission to mean certain actions when they are not actually biblical.)