I thought it was interesting. I'm not sure where I stand as a woman on the whole submissive wife thing. It seems to me that many Christian men abuse this concept to be controlling and sometimes abusive.
The author did make some great points though. I agreed with her conclusion that many women expect their husbands to fulfill all emotional needs. Which as I have learned, does not a good marriage make. Our deep emotional needs should first and foremost be brought to the Lord. He is the only one who can truly understand, shoulder, and heal our hearts. He fills the empty parts of us, not our men.
I liked the verse she used to talk about a wife's behavior - 1 Peter 3:1 "Likewise, wives be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives." But I would add 1 Peter 3:2 which finishes the sentence, "...when they see your respectful and pure conduct." This verse seems to me to be talking about a specific situation, rather than a blanket statement about submission. It's addressing a wife whose husband is an un-believer and telling her that by her conduct and respectful treatment of him, she will be demonstrating the love of Christ most effectively and clearly.
The passage most often referenced in relation to submission is:
New International Version (NIV)
"22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
"25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."
So often we focus on the first part of the passage where it could sound offensive in today's culture. But the passage as a whole addresses the conduct of BOTH the husband and wife. That is key. I think that there will probably always be a debate as to exactly what "submit" means in the everyday life of a modern marriage, but the overall point of the passage is (to me) that husbands and wives are to be mutually submissive to each other; just in different ways.
Wives who act and speak respectfully to their husbands communicate that they love them. Respect is very often the love language of men.
Husbands who act loving and speak loving words to their wives communicate their care. This is how women receive love.
I honestly don't agree with everything mentioned in the article. Do I think the Bible tells women that they should just be quiet, stop crying, and listen to their men tell them where to go? Probably not. That probably wasn't the best story/illustration to use. And her article did have a tone that women should always be "behind" their men, which I don't love. Women have wisdom, leadership skills, and are out in the world doing great things. Perhaps the author was suggesting that wives should be supportive of their husbands?
To me the submissive wife thing should be how women can respect, support their husbands, listen to their opinions and help the family and marriage succeed. The passage in Ephesians should be taken as a whole I think. We husbands and wives should take from it that Christ desires good, loving, and mutually submissive behavior from us both. Men and women are different. We experience love differently and so the Bible gives gender based guides for how to best treat one's spouse. The fact that Ephesians lumps the expectations together for me is a big deal. Marriage is to be done as a team. We work together, sacrifice for one another, and submit to the needs of the other person. We're different, but equal.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic of submission and we hope that it opens up a respectful dialogue either here or at home. Many people disagree about this topic, so it's important to talk about it in a manner that is considerate and kind, no matter how strong our opinions are.