Onwards to chapter 4! This one seems to be a more controversial chapter compared to the previous ones as it covers submission. That certainly seems to be a subject that stirs up strong views on both sides!
The chapter opens with
Would God want you to be a feminine woman? He would have you be content in who you are, because that is what He intended. One part of becoming more feminine is learning to depend on those stronger than you. This is what we are going to discuss in this chapter. The art of being willing to not dominate and to depend on the males in our lives. This is something that has not been taught in this century. You may be told that this is outdated and old, but then these same whisperers would say the same about our precious Scriptures.
I was brought up to be a carer, the way my life turned out means that for as long as I can remember I have had responsibilities at home. These aren't forced duties at all and they are things I do out of love but they do mean that I spend a lot of time with my family at home. When I am not working full time that is! It is a little different for me as, being unmarried, I live at home with my parents but they are not believers so I can't really lean on them for help with developing my faith but circumstances mean that I have been getting lessons in putting others first and even in developing a the heart of a servant. Even without realising that I was learning at all.
Have you ever seen a dominating woman? She is lofty and prideful, assuming that her way is better than others and that all other's ways are wrong. A dominating girl will become a dominating woman.
Through reading this chapter and looking closely at my character I have realised that I do have a couple of dominating tendencies lurking. I think that my way is best and sometimes it is but I don't always handle criticism well. I take it to heart as a personal attack rather than as a comment on one particular idea or issue. After a while I can look upon it as an opportunity to learn and grow but my first reaction is always hurt. Plus when I feel hurt I can get quite defensive! It is hard for me to face up to these flaws in my character but I think it is an essential thing to do.
From the very beginning of time, God created females to be dependant upon the males. Just as males receive great satisfaction from being needed and depended upon, so were females to receive joy in being dependent upon males. And God made males to give their protection and provision with great satisfaction. It is part of their make up to take care of women.
I am not by nature someone that wants to stand our and be in charge. I find being placed in a position of authority can feel quite uncomfortable to me. This is another area where I find it hard to balance what God wants from me and what the world wants. At work I take part in group projects, sometimes in a leadership position over both men and women. While I feel capable and am qualified and experienced, I still struggle to know how to handle it. I don't want to be bossy or dominating but I have to do my job. I guess I need to work on finding a feminine way to handle it!
God tells us that we are not to listen to the ways of the world, but we are to take counsel from Him only. When we listen to people who tell us that we are not to submit to our fathers or husbands, we are adding sin to sin.
It sometimes seems like God whispers His Word but that the world shouts far louder! You really have to concentrate and listen. The worldly ways have a way of sneaking into your mind and life. Things like the television show everyone is watching or the must read book that is slightly risqué. Little things that have influence and that all add up in your heart and mind. It seems to me that these little things are harder to resist than the big obvious sins.
When we refuse to submit to our parent's will, we will only reap sorrow unto ourselves. Now is the time to start having an obedient heart to the authority in your own family. First, God and His Word. Second, your father, who is the head of your family. Third, your mother, who is in authority when your father is absent from the home.
As an adult daughter at home it can be complicated. I endeavour to be respectful of my parents and their rules while at the same time remaining strong in my faith. A faith that they do not share. It can be a fine line at times to explain how much my faith means to me while still being considerate of their views. Luckily they view it as another of my old fashioned ideas rather than being actively against it. I can imagine that situation would be a very difficult one.
As much as I am an adult, with a full time job, and paying rent it is still my parent's home. One that they worked for and pay the bulk of the expenses incurred in running a home. They haven't ever really set rules for me which has been both good and bad for me. I have plenty of freedom, hypothetically, but also feel a strong sense of duty to my family.
Many women in the world think that being submissive means that a woman cannot be capable. They are so very wrong! The Proverbs 31 woman is a description of one that is very capable of running a household. The heart of her husband trusts in her to be able to do her duties!
Thank you! Somehow the idea of a submissive women has become all tied up with someone who is weak and incapable. It is entirely possible to be capable and competent without thinking that you have to be totally independent from everyone and everything. The Proverbs 31 woman is a perfect example of this. She is so competent and skilled and perfectly suited to her role of supporting her husband and running the home.