Social media triggers: God, feminism & bible thumpers

In a recent conversation with my father, I shared that I “wanted more control in my relationship”. My daddy responded that as woman, I would not have a happy relationship if I was in control and that to have a happy relationship, I would have to submit to my husband.

Before all your red flags go up, my father is a 73 year old two-time ivy leaguer who has overcome tremendous adversity, and in doing so, has ensured none of his children would experience the hardships he did. I have a lot of respect for my father (my parents).

I wasn’t offended by his comment, firstly because he either misunderstood my desire or I failed to adequately express it. “I want to be in control in my relationship”. I do not want the status of my relationship to be subject to the tides of my emotions. I want to place my relationship on a pedestal not a merry-go-round, and to the extent that I can control this, achieve stability, I would very much like that. We would very much like that.

I didn’t think about my father’s comment again. After his response, I offered more details as to what I meant, and our conversation took a different turn. But I found myself reflecting on his comments  later on when I was doing a google search on variants of the question what does the bible say about x, y, z? 

Why should I be subject to my husband? And if I were, how would if affect (or not) my identity as a feminist? It’s amazing how much confusion surrounds this word, it embodies such an elegantly simple concept. There are more serious definitions, but I found Urban Dictionary’s definition to be humorous in the sense that it sheds light on the strange misconceptions and stereotypes related to being feminist : Someone who believes the radical notion that women are people. If you believe that women and men should have equal rights, you are a feminist.

Before  I continue, I must begin with a warning and if necessary, an apology, as I have only recently wondered about the contents of the bible. Well, I don’t think I’m given myself enough credit; let’s try again. I have recently decided to be responsible for ‘finding the light’ instead of being disappointed in someone else’s inability to find it for me. If I misinterpret this, please accept me as a novice, and find a way to correct me without being discouraging.

So, I was doing my search. I stumbled upon 1 Timothy 2 11:14 :

11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[b] she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

When I read this, I smiled, so this is where they get it from. I was enjoying my random searches till now. But something said to me, read on.

If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer[a] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,[b] sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

If my dad had said, “don’t submit to a man who does not himself submit to God” I don’t think I would have thought anything of it. I would have easily agreed–without hesitation or thought. And i think this is what he meant because my parents didn’t raise me to blindly submit, if at all.

Let’s see if I can work this out: If God created me as an individual, and if He wants me to hold myself in the highest regard, respect myself, walk with my head high ( …and maybe also adorn myself in respectable apparel, with modesty, and not with braided hair and gold or pears)…and if my husband himself is above reproach, self-controlled, respectable, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, managed his household well…would it be such a horrible thing to submit to him? Could my submission to my husband be an extension of my submission to God? Would this not be similar to the Transitive Property of Equality we learn in 3rd grade?

If my husband submits to God and I submit to God, isn’t that submission to my husband by way of God? And I don’t even think that there needs to be any explicit statement of my husband submitting me, because firstly, I think it’s divinely implied, secondly he would be submitting to a far greater power–a power that has plans to prosper me, and not harm me, plans to give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

It doesn’t sound nearly as uncomfortable this way. If I think of all the things that made me uncomfortable about “submitting to a man”, if my husband and I both submit to God , then I think my concerns are removed. My husband wouldn’t speak ill of me, he would respect me, he wouldn’t strike me, he would firmly believe that I am God’s masterpiece, and he would  be blessed to be able to treasure me even half as much as God.

Did I do it right?