How Does Submission Fit into Modern Marriages?
- Monday, September 08, 2008
CW: Speaking of your husband – some women will read this book and think, “Cindy has it easy. Her husband is the president of Moody Bible Institute, a godly man. Of course she can submit.” What is your response to that?
CE: I am married to a godly man; however, I am a sinner, and I like my way. I see things differently than my husband – not only gender differences … but just because we are two different people. Yes, it [is] easier for me than many marriages because I do have a husband who attempts to love me like Christ loves the Church, but some days I make that hard.
CW: On to some of the different women you interviewed for this book. A lot of the marriages you discuss involve role reversals, where the wife is the provider for her husband and family. What special temptations do these women face and what is important to focus on in these situations?
CE: I think in that case the thing that you focus on is not that you are successful based on how much money you make, [but] you are successful in that you are valued by God. In fact, the woman that I interviewed for that chapter, the one thing that she pointed out to me is that she said often in culture we equate success or leadership with money. She said the truth is the husband that makes less money may be the one who contributes either more to the family emotionally or contributes more to society.
The example she gave me is she is a realtor, and she said as a realtor certainly she provides a service, but if her husband is the high school science teacher, his job is actually more valuable culturally than her [job]. I thought that was helpful.
CW: I have known some families, several couples, where the dad is a stay-at-home dad. The wife’s profession is something like a doctor. Do the same principles apply there?
CE: I think so, I really do. I think that you do have to be very careful of the dangers [of role reversal], but you know men do it all the time where they lovingly intervene in a family without being a lording bear of a leader. So, I think a wife can, too. She realizes that if she has been gifted with brains, the ability to work as a doctor, then for him to be able to stay home and to have that capacity to [work] with the children, certainly it makes submission very complicated, but I think it can be done.
I think that in our culture, we have tried to equate submission with being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, and I think that does a disservice to women and to what submission is supposed to be, [who] the Head [and who] the Helper is. If your Head says, as Head, “I want to stay home and home school our kids because, frankly dear, I will be a better homeschooler than you would be.” You go out and work as a physician or whatever.
Now, here is another key – how she presents her husband in public is huge. If she goes out strutting, “I am the doctor, and he stays at home. I take care of the family,” or if she elevates him in public [saying], “I am so blessed to have this man who is smart enough to train our children and has the patience and the things that I don’t have.” Proverbs [says] the wife is a crown to her husband, and she elevates her husband. So, if is she is out in the public elevating him, I still think it is a win-win.
CW: Another situation that really stuck out to me was the addictive marriage. What is the difference between codependency and submission?
CE: When someone is in an addictive relationship, and they are the codependent, they don’t want to risk a confrontation. They just try to keep the status quo, because they are afraid of anything else.
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