A Short Note on Submission…

I’ve had an issue come up several times in the past that I’ve wanted to say something about, but seeing that life is such a hurricane, I’m only going to touch briefly.

The issue has to do with the word “submit”.  It’s a word that comes up in the scripture in certain verses that deal with how wives relate to their husbands (1 Cor. 14:34, Titus 2:5, 1 Peter 3:1, 5) and due to that connection, the term is highly a highly unpopular.    The whole male/female relationship has been absolutely blundgeoned by sin and I frequently find people attacking the idea of “submission” out of negative experiences one way or another, usually manifesting in something like a physically or verbally abusive spouse or a domineering or authoritarian church leader(s).  I recently lead a bible study through 1 Corinthians 14, and when we got to 14:34, I shared the following study on the Greek term hypotasso , which is the word translated “submission”:

  • What does “submission” mean?
    • the Greek term is hypotasso and is a military term for referring to how troops fall into line.  In military parlance it carries the idea of arranging in an orderly fashion (i.e. “falling into line” under an authority), but in biblical literature it is used to describe how:
      • The demons related to Christ (Luke 10:17) and Christ’s disciples (Luke 10:20)
      • Christ related to his parents (Luke 2:51)
      • Children should relate to parents (Heb. 12:9)
      • Christians should relate to government (Rom. 13:1; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13)
      • Christians should relate to their leadership and each other (Rom. 16:16, Eph. 5:21; 1 Pet. 5:5)
      • Christians should relate to God (Heb. 12:9; James 4:7)
      • Wives should relate to their husbands (Eph. 5:22; Col. 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Pet. 3:1, 5)
      • The Church should relate to Christ (Eph. 5:24).
      • Christ relates to God the Father (1 Cor. 15:27-28)
      • Slaves should relate to their masters (Titus 2:9; 1 Pet. 2:18)
      • All creation relates/will relate to Christ (1 Cor. 15:28; Eph. 1:22; Phil. 3:21; Heb. 2:8; 1 Pet. 3:22)


    • Submission (hypotasso) should be a characteristic of all Christians; the only difference is the sphere in which a Christian manifests their submission (hypotasso).
      • The church should manifest it in their submission to the government.
      • The church should manifest it in their submission to Christ.
      • The men of the church should exemplify it in their submission to the leadership above them, in church and the workplace.
      • The women of the church should manifest it in their submission to their husbands (if married) and the leadership of their church (in general).
      • The children of the church should manifest it in their submission to their parents.
      • There is no such thing as a Christian who doesn’t manifest submission.


    • note– In 1 Corinthians 14:34 this verb is reflexive: “(they) should subject themselves”.
      • This instructs us that submission (hypotasso) is something that wives must do by themselves.  It is not something that can be brought out of them by any external force.
      • This suggests that any husband who ever tries to enforce or demand submission, either actively through things like direct command or passively through things like guilt, is a fool.
        • An unsubmissive wife is almost always following the leading of an unsubmissive husband and whether the wife is unsaved or not, the solution is the same: set an example for her in how you submit to those to whom you’re required to submit (i.e. submit to Christ who commands you to lay down your life for her like he laid down his life for the church – up to and unto death – Eph 5:25-33) and pray for the softening of her sinful heart.  A foolish and angry husband may break a wife’s spirit, but he’ll never make her hypotasso.

Tough words that many may not like.  Tough words for many men out there who don’t realize that they’re the reason for their biggest headache.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “The Armchair Jencyclopedia” Unger

8 thoughts on “A Short Note on Submission…

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  5. •An unsubmissive wife is almost always following the leading of an unsubmissive husband…

    I don’t see that idea as coming from the Bible, so much as serving Feminism. Such that any sin of the wife ultimately gets blamed on her husband, freeing her to sin against him with impunity. That foolish presumption of blame onto the one who was usurped has contributed to the unheard of divorce rates we now have.
    Eve transgressed first, when no lack of submission had ever been seen before among humankind.
    Gomer sinned against Hosea with impunity, in spite of that true prophet submitting to God and loving her like how God loves.
    Women are more easily led into sin, and thus have been put under man’s authority. If you’ll routinely blame her husband for her usurpation, she’ll gladly give you more sin to blame him for. I believe if you search the scriptures you’ll most often see God warning of ungodly wives leading their husbands into sin, not the other way around. Eve did not need a man to teach her how to sin, however Adam was led into sin entirely by listening to his wife. Apparently Adam had remained sinless prior to eve’s creation. Just sayin’. You spake as the Feminists speak.

    • “Almost always…”

      It’s not a universally true statement, but a generally true one. Your few examples to the contrary are fine, but they don’t overturn the creation-established pattern of wives following the lead of husbands. The narrative of the fall shows how God’s response (addressing Adam) holds up the original model that was overturned by the first couple in their original sin (Adam abdicating his role of protecting his wife).

      Also, following the sinful example of another does not, in any way, excuse a person’s sin. A wife’s sin is ultimately blamed on her, not her husband.

      You’ve read WAY more into the statement than I was ever suggesting.

      • You should have just apologized for blaming the menfolk for women’s sins.
        God’s response (addressing Adam) holds up the original model that was overturned by the first couple in their original sin (Adam abdicating his role of protecting his wife).
        I think God gets it right when He does not mention your speculation about Adam abdicating his protecting role, and God instead only tells Adam that his sin was listening to his wife, and eating what he had been commanded not to eat:
        Genesis 3:17 And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
        I think feminism is all over in the church, destroying families, making women seem like they are more blameless than men, when in fact folks seem to fight to hold a man accountable for his wife’s rebellion, when God only holds men responsible for their own rebellion, and Eve was held responsible for her own rebellion. No wonder 50% of marriages end in divorce. When the wife is mainly at fault everyone just vainly tries to get her husband to straighten up still more. Women are not “responders” they are rebels, since the first woman first transgressed. If they were responders, we’d just tell them what we wanted, and not to sin, and we’d marriage-wise all live happily ever after. But Adam did tell his wife not to eat it, and she went and did the opposite, and while God was able to hold her accountable for her actions, you are inclined to still blame Adam for “abdicating” according to your speculation. Paul spoke of Eve’s transgression as though it was a significant overriding pattern upon which to justify Male over Female headship, and he never blamed her transgression on Adam. Did God and the apostle lack your “woke” realization that men are to blame “almost always”? Did they intentionally put the morally weaker vessel as head, or is man actually less easily deceived as the Bible tells us? Why would it not make sense that the one more likely to be the source of problems was subjected to the other? You do all men a disservice when you blame them for their wives’ rebellion. Are women somehow not able to commit the vast majority of their sins without an evil awful man to precipitate them? Admit it! Unsubmissive women are responsible for their own rebellion, and men’s influence on them is being steadily eroded. Will you let me, a man, blame my failures on my wife, “almost always”? No, nor should you, entitle anyone to such spoiling.

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