Submission, why won’t you just be quiet for a while? You refuse to go away, despite the many protestations, and now you’re found in the most unlikely of places.
Submission is whispered or shouted like a bad word among feminists when it comes to a wife’s submission to her husband, or a woman’s submission to her church elders.
The range of meanings employed in the conversations are so varied and tangled that it’s hard to wade into the topic without being misunderstood. When Jack Lewis advises writers, “Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else,” he was talking submission in the twenty-first century. It would be nice if he were here to try his hand at it for us.
As the transgender bathroom issue continues to rise, first with Target and now with the President’s decree that public schools make bathrooms open to both sexes, based on one’s own subjective sense of “gender identity,” a surprising submission has emerged. Feminism is now finding itself to be a doormat for men — transgender men.
When feminists gave their Woman of the Year award away to a man, with all the rights, privileges, and parts thereto, a strange reversal occurred. It was as though the flush of the toilet was audible as all the years of women’s studies and the plight of oppression suffered by women (in many cases, terribly real and tragic) went right down the drain.
Somehow these empowered women have been tricked to giving their progress away to the very privilege they have been set on dismantling. One instant it seemed the glass ceiling had shattered, only to soon discover the one who’d broken it wasn’t a woman after all, and in fact, the shattering was more like sailing toward an island where dreams seem to come true, and then become nightmares.
Feminists have made it known that when a man opens the door for them or pays for a meal or treats them differently than his male colleagues, he is engaging in an engrained societal superiority, so rather than gladly submit to these initiatives, they’ve said no. Now these same women may be forced to submit themselves (or their daughters) to undress in front of a male in the girls’ locker room.
This is an unholy submission that women should stand against. Women, we must obey God rather than men. We must refuse to submit when anyone — your husband or church leadership or government — tells us that we should feel comfortable undressing in front of a man simply because he feels himself to be a woman. This is what holy women do. We fear God more than man. And a godly man will never ask us to do such a thing. He will die before he offers his sister or wife or daughters up to such depraved sickness.
A Better Submission
I’m reminded of Corrie and Betsy Ten Boom, elderly single women in an even more dire time, ushered like cattle into the concentration camp in Germany, forced to strip down for inspection before doctors and soldiers. They submitted because to refuse would have meant death. Thank God, we’re not yet at that point. We still have a reasonable choice. We can still say no. Let’s not waste that powerful word while we have voice to say it with. No. We won’t subject ourselves or our daughters to such unholy submission. We won’t throw away our dignity by willingly handing ourselves, and especially our daughters, over to exposure in front of strange men.
Christian women with Christ-dependent marriages and churches have a beautiful picture of submission to offer the world, one that is opposite of this worldly submission, one that follows the church’s glad submission to her Lord, who loved her, who gave himself for her.
Ours is a glad submission to husbands who honor us and church leaders who sacrifice themselves, refusing to lord their authority over us. It’s this environment that helps give us the courage and fearlessness to know when to say no.