There is a fallacy going around the church that women who are strong-willed cannot be submissive in ways that are important to make a marriage work in a Biblical way. But that’s just not true. It CAN be, but it depends upon the woman.
You can find many strong-willed women who were good wives and wonderful women of God. Deborah, Queen Esther, and Ruth, just to name a few that are pointed out in the Bible.
Even the Lord Jesus Himself, had a servant’s heart and yet He was also a strong leader when He needed to be. He was also strong-willed, but He knew when to “lay down His life” for those He loved and be submissive. The difference is that He KNEW when it was the Father’s will that He strongly exerted His position in Kingdom work, and when He was to submit. And Christ is our example. The Bible says,
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!“ (Philippians 2:5-8)
The Bible also says that the “meek shall inherit the earth.” Meek does not mean weak (or it doesn’t always have to mean weak). It also is defined as: “strength under control.” Someone who is meek is kind, patient, and controlled. It doesn’t mean they have to be weak-willed, but rather they have to know when to go forward in a controlled way and when they are to willingly step back for the betterment of the situation.
And that’s why a woman can still be strong-willed and yet be submissive when the situation calls for it. And when she is, she is Spirit-led, not led by her own self-will and determination. (And the same is true with a man.)
Below we provide web site links to articles which are written by two very strong-willed women who are examples of this. We believe they can inspire and help us to grasp onto the concept that being a woman who is strong is not a bad thing unless it is mis-used. And again, the same goes for a man. He must know when his strength is a good thing to use, and when he is to respond in tenderness and be submissive to the leading of the Holy Spirit for such a time as that.
To read the articles, the first which is written by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias (which appears on the web site for the ministry of Family Life Today), and the second which is written by Debbie L Cherry (which appears on the web site for Crosswalk.com), please click onto the links provided below:
Jane Johnson Struck conducted an interview on this issue with Brenda Waggoner. Her reasoning?
“Because the issue of submission is so emotionally charged and hotly debated, I interviewed Brenda, a licensed Christian counselor and prolific author, to address what the Bible says about submission in marriage. Brenda shares not only her personal experiences but also her hard-won insights.”
To learn more, please click onto the following web site link:
— AND FINALLY —
The ministry of Family Life Today, aired a series of radio broadcasts where they interviewed author Cindy Easley on this area of married life. Day 1 dealt with “Following His Lead,” Day 2: with “Implementing Submission” and Day 3: “Engaging Your Husband Through Submission.”
To choose to listen to the interviews or read the transcripts, please click onto the following web site link:
If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.