I had an insight the other night, about submission. Not the naughty kind, the spiritual kind.
Submission is from the Latin sub meaning under, and mitto meaning to put or place. In essence, submission is placing oneself under the authority of another.
Often, the word is used to imply that someone is being subjugated by another, that they are in a form of bondage or slavery. I don't think this is necessarily so. I tend to look at the family as a team, of a sort. The team needs a captain, and traditionally, this is the role given to the man of the house. Why? I don't know. It seems kind of arbitrary to me. But God often has his reasons, which are not always comprehensible to us.
In the Bible, there is the story of Abigail, a wise, beautiful, intelligent woman (much like my friend), who is married to Nabal, whose name means fool, which is a perfect descriptor. When she sees Nabal about to destroy his household through foolishness toward David, the future king of Israel, she goes behind his back and saves it for him. This is deemed by many to be the perfect act of submission, as she saved the life of her husband and his household, though it meant she would stilll be stuck with him. She looked after his interests without regard to her own. Of course, a few days later, God strikes Nabal dead and Abigail gets married to David (his second wife), but the point is still valid.
In my own opinion, the submission of one requires something of the one being submitted to, as well. It should not be used as a weapon against the submissive partner. The leader, for lack of a better term, should show repect and consideration and love, especially in a marrige situation. Remember, I said it was a team: Who wants to be part of a team when the captain is abusive and mean?
I think that there is a power to a woman who stays at home to raise her children: She has a great deal more influence over her children than does her husband, as she raises and nurtures them. Today, so many women want to think this job is unimportant or beneath them. I think otherwise, obviously.
There is an implicit covenant within the marriage contract that submission should not be taken as consent to be abused. A husband should be kind and generous and understand what his wife offers to the marriage is more than a hot meal, a clean house and a bed partner/baby incubator. A man who refuses to take into account his wife's knowledge and experience is failing to take full advantage of something he should prize above almost all else.
The insight I spoke of earlier was this: Submission is not weakness. In the military, the most senior enlisted man is subordinate to the most junior officer. He must submit to the orders of those above him. But while he is submitting to that officer, it does not indicate weakness: It indicates a chain of command. And if that officer is smart, she will understand the knowledge and experience of that enlisted man gives his words weight, and heed what he says.
I have more to say on this subject, but it's not fully incubated yet and I felt the need to get this out there now. Not sure why, but I felt I had to. I'll write more later...