For so many years, I’ve heard it taught over and over about women/wives submitting to men/husbands, and of course there is definite wisdom here because there are obvious passages in the bible that speak to it. But I think this is [what I call] a “default setting”, meaning that it’s the basic playbook, when we’re not discerning the Spirit’s voice; like running plays on the practice field without deviation from form or position. But I believe that we’re called to move on from this basic playbook into the spiritual game of life, whereby we all (male AND female) are operating by the Holy Spirit and there is mutual submission. This is the call or standard. In the absence of a clear hearing-of-His-voice, then we operate according to the default setting. But if/when a woman becomes spiritually mature (which is hopefully, largely in part to a husband’s ministry to her), then in the kingdom we are to transcend these basic gender boundaries, and follow the Shepherd regardless of who He speaks through. And husbands need to learn to be humble and follow their wives when they are the ones who have the word of the Lord.
I have also noticed that many of the men who strongly teach/preach/demand this submission from women/wives seem to be passive and/or are lacking the character and fruit that naturally grows respect and submission from women, and then react to a woman’s lack of submission by hammering the submission passages and calling them to “walk by faith” in submitting to their foolishness. They want to hold to the old/basic form of the default setting but are denying the power of God to raise up women who walk by the Spirit and can rule and reign equal to men. (1 Tim 3:5) Repent whoever you are and acknowledge God’s power to manifest the Spirit of your Christ through all flesh.
But thanks much in part to my godly wife’s example, and other spiritually mature female friends and female bible teachers, I’ve seen that there’s higher angle from which to view this gender friction.
The world’s answer has been the perversion of feminism. But as all of the devil’s moves in the world are, this is simply the counterfeit of something true and powerful in the kingdom. And in the church many women who have felt the call to rule like when Moses heard God stirring his heart to lead Israel. And some women have tried to manifest this call by the flesh and ended up becoming Jezebel’s, like when Moses fleshed out his call by killing the Egyptian. But these negative examples shouldn’t negate the reality that God is transcending gender and raising up spiritually mature and powerful “sons of God”, who are male and/or female. His Spirit flows through male and female alike, and His sheep follow His voice regardless of the vessel through which it flows.
One scripture that I’ve been meditating on this week has been 2 Corinthians 5:16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. To call a woman to submission solely based on her gender, is to regard her after the flesh. Without those differentiating body parts, the only way to regard her would be according to her spirit; or her spiritual maturity. And I think in the kingdom, this is how we are called to be regarding each other; based on the spirit and not the flesh.
Who am I not to submit to the Spirit of the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and High Priest simply because He is coming through a female body? Christ is the ruler of His kingdom, and we are all called to follow our Shepherd regardless of who He speaks through; and so we had better learn put aside our fleshly egos and to hear his voice regardless of whether He speaks through women, children, or donkeys. When He speaks, we obey…period.