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Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

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  • Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

    I'm new here, so I apologize in advance if this isn't posted in the right forum or has been asked and answered already.

    I'm aware the Bible discusses wives submitting to their husbands. What exactly does this mean? I've heard vague responses to this question such as "submitting to his leadership," but what exactly does this mean in a more practical sense? If, for example, a husband wants her wife to take his last name, must she do so if he doesn't want to?

    In addition, should Christian girlfriends submit to their boyfriends? If not, then how can he tell if she will submit to him when they are married? What is the role of a Christian girlfriend in a relationship?

  • #2
    Re: Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

    Honestly, it just has to do with respect. If a husband and wife disagree on a decision to make (as long as it is not sinful) the husband has the final call. On the other hand, husbands are told to love their wives as much as their own bodies. So the way I see it, the hardest task for a wife is submission - the hardest task for a husband is sacrifice.

    As for "girlfriends/boyfriends" there are absolutely no marital responsibilities for either the male or female. Submission only applies to marriage.
    「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
    撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

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    • #3
      Re: Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

      Not much I can add to Aviyah's post, but this...in my own experience, it is not a hard thing to do to let the husband be the 'head of the household' when he is a Godly man! That kind of man is seriously what every woman longs for and if you have a Godly husband who loves the Lord and who really is the PROVIDER, the PROTECTOR and the PRIEST OR PASTOR to his family, then you will know how blessed you are and easily show him all the respect that you can!

      It would never be a Master/Slave relationship, because he would never be the MASTER and his wife THE SLAVE. No, she stands proudly at his side and loves him deeply, because she knows he loves her and their family. Because he is a Godly man.
      My favorite scripture: Malachi 3:16

      "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name!" (Every time we speak of the Lord, or even THINK of him--its written down in a book of remembrance!)

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      • #4
        Re: Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

        Originally posted by Poor Wayfaring Stranger View Post
        In addition, should Christian girlfriends submit to their boyfriends? If not, then how can he tell if she will submit to him when they are married? What is the role of a Christian girlfriend in a relationship?
        I don't even start dating a woman unless she can follow my lead, and most (not all) of my relationships end when she no longer follows my leading. That may sound like I'm micromanaging her, telling her what to do, but really I'm doing the opposite. I show her the way, go there myself, and wait for her to follow. If she doesn't follow me, that usually indicates that she doesn't trust me, and relationships are built on trust.

        One of the most important parts of dating is to determine whether that other person is worthy of trust. You could be naive and overlook warning signs such as false promises, addiction, or other lack of self-control, but then you would be enabling his (or her) sin and probably find yourself in a world of hurt. So don't jump in too quickly. Trust takes time to develop.

        As Christians we should be developing relationships with our Heavenly Father for years before we get serious about dating. God is far more worthy of trust than a boyfriend/girlfriend, and if we don't walk by faith, we will never be able to trust others or be deserving of trust. For me this is mostly a matter of reading the Bible and obeying God when I feel convicted of sin. If more young women did that, I'd probably be married by now.

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        • #5
          Re: Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

          You're better off reading what the Lord said thru Paul 'bout being single so you can serve the Lord full time and unhindered... He will not leave you alone if you remain Spirit filled!

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          • #6
            Re: Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

            I've been taught through sermons at my church and by witnessing the interactions between my Christian parents that submission in a loving relationship is more about being cooperative and considerate with one another than obedience. It's about elevating your love for the other person and your love for Christ above yourself and being willing to make concessions when it is needed for harmony. I do not believe it's about the man in the relationship being entitled to make the final call in all circumstances. It would really depend on the matter at hand and who is better suited to judge it. I see my dad's strength and confidence in his willingness to defer to my mom in situations where she has more experience or knowledge, or out of respect, and how he views her as his equal partner. My boyfriend does the same with me, as I do for him.

            These links were helpful to me. Maybe they will be for you as well:
            http://godswordtowomen.org/submission.htm
            http://www.girlsgonewise.com/7-misco...ut-submission/

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            • #7
              Re: Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

              Originally posted by Poor Wayfaring Stranger View Post
              should Christian girlfriends submit to their boyfriends? If not, then how can he tell if she will submit to him when they are married? What is the role of a Christian girlfriend in a relationship?
              Originally posted by little watchman View Post
              I don't even start dating a woman unless she can follow my lead, and most (not all) of my relationships end when she no longer follows my leading.
              SMH

              You should not operate a courtship as it it were a de-facto marriage. You don't lead her unless she's your wife. The Bible says you shall cleave to one another, and become one flesh.

              Sorry to be so gruff, but it sounds like you need to just do the loving thing, and then you will foster the trust you so eagerly desire to get. Let the submission come from the love. And can this happen when you choose to "date". NO!

              Modern dating relationships are simply "divorced" from a real life marriage relationship, and sadly, many marriages imitate a dating relationship, and that is why the marriages fail. I commend you for your selectivity, however, tenderness and sensitivity are a premium. It indeed sounds like your version of leading is a control thing.

              As to the girlfriends... it is also important that you don't go too far with the whole "girl power" thing, I'll just leave it at that. Let men be men, they need their manhood cultivated, it's not automatic.
              Last edited by Aijalon; Jul 14 2014, 01:20 PM. Reason: manhood
              As the "thief" in the night, Christ is going to suddenly appear on the throne of Israel - not the antichrist.

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              • #8
                Re: Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

                Originally posted by Aijalon View Post
                It indeed sounds like your version of leading is a control thing.
                If you knew me, I really don't think you would be able to say that. I can easily manipulate other people if I wanted to, and occasionally I fall to the temptation, but the thought of it repulses me. A person must have freedom in order to love.

                In relationships I often find myself empathizing with Jesus when he said, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her, how often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Mathhew 23:37). Jesus knew the way and was leading his bride, but she was not willing to follow. I don't always know the way, but sometimes I do, and if she is not willing to follow, then eventually I have to cut off the relationship and find someone else. I don't think I'm behaving much differently than Jesus did, though in a much less dramatic way because I'm not as correct, confident, and patient as God.

                So you say I'm not doing the loving thing, but how can you be more loving than Jesus?

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                • #9
                  Re: Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

                  Originally posted by little watchman View Post
                  If you knew me, I really don't think you would be able to say that. I can easily manipulate other people if I wanted to, and occasionally I fall to the temptation, but the thought of it repulses me. A person must have freedom in order to love.

                  In relationships I often find myself empathizing with Jesus when he said, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her, how often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Mathhew 23:37). Jesus knew the way and was leading his bride, but she was not willing to follow. I don't always know the way, but sometimes I do, and if she is not willing to follow, then eventually I have to cut off the relationship and find someone else. I don't think I'm behaving much differently than Jesus did, though in a much less dramatic way because I'm not as correct, confident, and patient as God.

                  So you say I'm not doing the loving thing, but how can you be more loving than Jesus?
                  I don't understand what you mean by saying
                  I don't even start dating a woman unless she can follow my lead, and most (not all) of my relationships end when she no longer follows my leading.
                  After losing my husband of over 55 years to cancer, and since I have the background (I think) that qualifies me to judge the actions of others who expect to marry and have a long, healthy, happy marriage. You are wrong to expect a girl to follow YOUR leading when she is only dating you (or thinking about dating you.) In fact, you are wrong in thinking you can make a girl, even your WIFE, be 'lead' at all times as you wish.

                  My own daughter, when she was young and dating, was very excited one time when a certain young, single man at church asked her out on a date. He was faithful and active in church and seemed to be following the Lord. He seemed to be, as girls her age put it, "a good catch"! But, after only one date, she came home and told me, "I don't plan on ever going out with him again!"

                  I asked her why and what happened, and she said, "Well, he had told me to be thinking of what I'd like to do that day and maybe come up with a couple of options. So, I did. When I got in the car he asked me if I had been thinking about what to do, so I suggested maybe eat somewhere and then go either to the Comedy Barn or to Christus Gardens. (That is a sort of Wax Museum, with figures showing the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.) I told him I would pay my own way to either one, if he'd like, because I did not want to 'cost' him too much on a date."

                  But he told her, "I was going to ask you to go get something to eat, too, but then after, we're going to take a ride up into the mountains and that IS what we're going to do."

                  So she asked him, "Why did you tell me to think of someplace to go, if I have no say-so in the matter? What if I don't want to drive around in the mountains?"

                  And he said, "Because the woman is supposed to be submissive to the man, and so, we'll do what I want to do." Then she added, "Mom, several times during the day, he reminded me that I was supposed to be in submission to him...he even told me that whoever he eventually marries will have to agree to work, so he can do the work of the ministry! In other words," she continued, "he wants his woman to work so he won't have to."

                  I agreed with her. That 'boy' had no right to order a girl that he barely knew to be 'submissive' to him or his everlasting whims! He was not even committed to her. She said, "Well, all I know is no man is going to be my 'master'." (I don't blame her for turning down future dates with that self-centered person!)

                  I don't know where you get that a girl should go by your 'leading' or else. I do know that marriage is a partnership, not a 'slave and master' thing! It sounds to me like you are going to have that kind or relationship, or else it's over. And that is a very selfish way to be. A marriage is a partnership. The two talk things over. It is also someone you long to be around, and someone with whom you can 'grow old' with.

                  With your way of looking at dating, you may never marry.
                  My favorite scripture: Malachi 3:16

                  "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name!" (Every time we speak of the Lord, or even THINK of him--its written down in a book of remembrance!)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

                    Originally posted by Diggindeeper View Post
                    But he told her, "I was going to ask you to go get something to eat, too, but then after, we're going to take a ride up into the mountains and that IS what we're going to do."

                    So she asked him, "Why did you tell me to think of someplace to go, if I have no say-so in the matter? What if I don't want to drive around in the mountains?"

                    And he said, "Because the woman is supposed to be submissive to the man, and so, we'll do what I want to do." Then she added, "Mom, several times during the day, he reminded me that I was supposed to be in submission to him...he even told me that whoever he eventually marries will have to agree to work, so he can do the work of the ministry! In other words," she continued, "he wants his woman to work so he won't have to."
                    Yikes!!! Imagine being married to someone like that .

                    Love is selfless - and both the husband and wife need to understand this.

                    B.
                    Jeremiah 29:11
                    "For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." (NASB)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

                      Originally posted by paidforinfull View Post
                      Yikes!!! Imagine being married to someone like that .

                      Love is selfless - and both the husband and wife need to understand this.

                      B.
                      Agreed. A woman dies to her own needs for the needs of her children. A man dies to his own needs for his wife and children. The woman follows out of love because the man puts her needs and wants above his own... always thinking first of what is in the best interest of her... and so even if they were to disagree, he would only do so because he truly believes something else is better for her well being.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

                        Digginindeeper, I really don't think your example fits me. The only things worth leading a person to are spiritual things, toward Jesus. With everything else I am very flexible and open to suggestions. My personality is very liberal and I wouldn't think of leading anyone if it wasn't something that I see Jesus doing, because without Jesus there is no right direction to go in. I am not imposing my will on the girls I date, and every one of them has say-so. What a terrible relationship it would be if we can't follow her preferences in the small things. (In my experience women have the stronger preferences, anyway.) But there is only one Jesus and I will not let that be compromised.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

                          Originally posted by little watchman View Post
                          The only things worth leading a person to are spiritual things, toward Jesus.
                          I agree, but from the girl's perspective she has no reason to trust you yet because she doesn't know you. Submission isn't a man-woman issue, it's a husband-wife issue. Women are under no obligation to even consider a man's direction unless he is in a position of authority over everyone (i.e.: government, things not exclusive to men). So even though you may have good intentions, I believe they are misplaced. The dating process is really about proving to someone why they should enter into a covenant with them. God has inherent authority and faithfulness, but a to-be-husband must earn that because no one wants to feel in bondage. If you show areas in your life where God has formed you into a man focused on the love of Christ, then the girl you are with will naturally grow to trust you. But what you've said comes across as controlling - which IMO is the wrong interpretation of leadership in a marriage and isn't even applicable to dating.

                          Just my opinion to show how we think, whether married for 50 years or not at all. I'd be more likely to follow someone who loves me rather than gives the "correct orders."
                          「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
                          撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

                            Originally posted by Aviyah View Post
                            I agree, but from the girl's perspective she has no reason to trust you yet because she doesn't know you.
                            Ha! Full circle to agreeing with my first statement, that dating is a time to see whether the other person is deserving of trust.

                            Submission isn't a man-woman issue, it's a husband-wife issue.
                            Agreed, but the concept of submission has to be kept in context, because I don't think of it as though we say our marriage vows and now I can tell her what to do. I'm never going to tell her what to do. All I can do is inspire her, and that kind of leading should happen during dating. In other ways she might inspire me, for example to follow forgotten passions, or how to be selfless in serving others.

                            Women are under no obligation to even consider a man's direction unless he is in a position of authority over everyone
                            Would you follow your church pastor because he has authority over you, or because he inspires you and directs you back to something you already knew? No pastor has authority over me, and I don't want authority over a woman. What I want is to for her to see Jesus in me and want to follow.

                            So even though you may have good intentions, I believe they are misplaced.
                            And I think I am being misunderstood, but I'm trying to be patient with you ladies

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                            • #15
                              Re: Women, Submission, and Responsibilities in Relationships

                              Originally posted by little watchman View Post
                              ..., but I'm trying to be patient with you ladies
                              Hahaha!!! Good one .

                              Blessings,
                              B.
                              Jeremiah 29:11
                              "For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." (NASB)

                              Comment

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