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Why Women Hate the Word Submit

If there is one word that gives a woman a nasty aftertaste, it’s the word submit. Judging from the reactions, women just hate to hear that six-letter word part the seam of someone’s lips.

Have you ever asked yourself why?

In my years of helping others navigate through the jungle of marriage, I have found justifiable reasons why women hate the word submit.

Before we dive into this, I do have to make this disclaimer. Dysfunctional relationships are never the fault of one gender. Sometimes it’s the men that bring the dysfunction, sometimes it’s the women, and sometimes it’s both. Please don’t misunderstand the content of this article to mean that only one gender is at fault. I write from both sides of the equation.

We Have Turned the Word Submit Into A Weapon

Let’s be honest here for a second. We have turned this word into a weapon. And just in case you are confused, the “we” I’m referring to are men.

The misunderstanding of this word and concept has left us to believe that we are in charge and our wives must do everything we say. This is simply not the case. And it most certainly is not what God had in mind.

Yes, the bible does say that wives are to submit to their husbands, but it also says that husbands and wives must submit to each other. But that part is the part we like to do away with.

This word has been melted down into a whip and used against the very women we say we love. However, we have yet to understand that when we beat our women with this whip, we are also beating down their respect for us. Every lash (you must do what I say/what you say does not matter) leaves a scar in the mind, will, and emotions of our wives. This scar is a constant reminder to them that they are not valued and safe with us.

Is this the message that we want to send?

Submission Is Used As A Manipulation Tool

Because of the gross misuse of the word, women often liken submission to slavery. Upon hearing it, they immediately get a picture of a woman who has no voice and is controlled by a heartless man.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but #God’s definition of a submissive wife is not a wife that is treated less than and/or has no say in the marriage.

A husband who is busy being the man of the house will never have to announce that he is the man of the house.... He just does man of the house type of things and lets his wife make the announcement. Click To Tweet

I recall having a conversation with a couple who were on the brink of divorce. The wife had had enough of her husband’s chauvinistic demands and was tired of being treated like a slave. Though both parties worked, it was his position that his wife should hand over her check every Friday to him and he would decide where the monies went.
This made absolutely no sense to her because she was the better of the two at handling finances.

To add insult to injury, he also felt that cooking and cleaning was a woman’s job and was always quick to announce that he was the king of the castle. And whenever she didn’t agree with him, he would pull “the Bible says that wives should submit to their husbands” out of his bag.

Manipulation is the tool of the manipulator. Click To Tweet

The reason why you are nodding your head right now is that you have either been on the receiving end or the giving end of this conundrum.

Like many men, this man had an understanding of the scriptures that did not come from God.

We Lack Understanding

Proverbs 4:7 says,

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

And Proverbs 3:5 says this:

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

According to this verse, God wants us to have an understanding (position or point of view), but the understanding He wants us to have or “lean on” (put our weight on) should not be our own.

Let me say that again. God wants us to have an understanding (position or point of view) of what a submissive wife is, but the understanding He wants us to have (put our weight on) should not be our own.

This is where that husband messed up. He had an understanding of what a submissive wife was to be, but that understanding was based upon his own thoughts, opinions, and life experiences.

So, I have a question for you. Whose understanding are we supposed to have?

Psalm 119:104 says,

Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

The author here was saying that the word of God is where he gets his understanding (position or point of view).

We have manipulated and twisted something beautiful into something so ugly that even the mention of the word submit turns a woman’s stomach.

It’s kind of like a knife. I can use a knife to stab my wife in her feelings, or I can use that same knife to cook dinner for my wife.

It’s time for a change because the way we’ve been doing things has not been working.

A wife will always have a problem submitting to a husband who leads incorrectly. I know that was hard to swallow but let me justify that statement for you.

Follow the Leader

When I was in elementary school, we had a point system that allowed the person who earned the most points to be the line leader for that week. The line leader would always be the first to get in line and everyone else would fall in behind them. He or she was in front of the line as the class went to lunch, recess, bathroom break, or to another class.

The job of the line was to follow the leader. But the job of the leader was to lead the line to a destination that benefited the whole line, not just themselves.

When the line leader led the line to lunch, everyone ate. When the line was led to recess, everyone played.

Line leaders do not go to the front of the line and then start making decisions that benefit only themselves. Remember, the point of being the line leader was to get the entire line to the desired and agreed-upon location.

A good man will make the necessary changes for the woman he does not want to lose. Click To Tweet

God’s design for husbands is to be the leader of the line (family). But it’s hard to follow someone who is only thinking about themselves.

A good leader/husband will lead the family to a place where everyone’s needs are being fulfilled. This type of man understands his assignment. He understands that his wife has dreams, goals, thoughts, and feelings too and he works hard to make sure that her dreams, goals, thoughts, and feelings do not go overlooked.

And just so we’re clear, a submissive wife is a wife that is cooperative and in agreement. Furthermore, the husband is supposed to be cooperative and in agreement with the wife just as much as the wife is to be cooperative and in agreement with the husband. This is the beauty of marriage.

Let’s make marriage beautiful again!

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Isabelle Petit

    I wholeheartedly agree! I hate the word submit too because like you said some men conviently use the “men should submit to their wives also” Nothing hurts a woman more than being “made invisible”, like nothing she thinks or feel is valid. In the garden of Eden God said “It is not good for man to be alone” so He created Eve. God didn’t say “Adam needs a woman to serve him”. The other part those men tend to forget is that the Lord is His boss in the marriage. We cannot also forget that in when the apostle said that was much different times and women were treated much worse back then than now.

  2. Allie

    I had the opportunity to see first-hand, what I believe was the Bible-based, true meaning of this word by my grandparents, the Pastor and his wife. The same word today, has a different meaning for most and unfortunately some have abused it. My husband is kind, but didn’t have an ngelmmaexample like I did so it’s difficult for him to understand, and difficult to explain

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