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violetViolet, my atheist blogging buddy, has a post up entitled Lessons for Christian Ladies. She links back to one of my posts.

I love it when Violet posts because she always makes me laugh, mostly because she is so concerned about any ideas having to do with submission to God, or the slight possibility of women ever submitting to men, in any context, ever.

It’s the false stereotypes of Christian women that amuse me, that and the kinky implications and under currents. This is a somewhat snarky response, rather than a serious one, so you’ll have to forgive me there.

She begins with

1. Call your husband ‘master’ or ‘lord’.

I admit it, we do this sometimes, but usually only at medieval fairs in full costume. I did call my husband master just the other day, but it was simply a casual reference to how he was the master at making fried chicken. I don’t refer to him as lord very often, except once in a blue moon, such as, “here’s your coffee, m’lord.” Believe it or not, I am actually an ordinary woman, so along with all those pet names we have for each other, there is also the occasional, “you have got to be kidding me!” or, “fine, whatever!” or any other expression of frustration that comes to mind in the course of marriage to a man.

2. Remember to cover your head because you’re not the god God’s glory, you’re a man’s glory!

You actually got me there, Violet. I cannot even explain this one, but it’s the oddest thing, in the presence of all that is Good and Holy, I actually want to cover my head. It’s instinctual, it even permeates my dreams. Sometimes I joke about having Catholic DNA or perhaps some ancient bit of genetic memory from my foremothers who all wore hats or scarves, but the idea of covering my head is somewhere deep inside and I cannot explain it. Perhaps it is a bit like Jewish men who wear a hat so they will always remember God is above them?

Bear in mind that you are a mere afterthought and accessory.

Violet means women. I’m laughing here, but I certainly am not a mere afterthought! For all I know, I may well be the new and improved version! Just kidding. I am wonderfully and fearfully made, finally chiseled out of bone even. Not to put too fine of a point on it, but you could even say, women were one of God’s first gifts to the world. We are in no way an accessory, a helpmate perhaps, a partner.

Wait, actually, my dictionary says an “accessory” is a thing “that can be added to something else in order to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive.” I think I may have to plead guilty to that one, too. I have certainly made many men more “useful, versatile, and attractive.” Ahem, not intimately, but just generally in the course of my paid work. Is that such a bad thing?? Do we not want “versatile, useful, and attractive” men in the world? Have you seen what happens to men when there are no women around??!

Okay, all snarkiness aside, submission is simply born of love. It is just a natural response to having built a bond and trust with someone, whether it be a relationship with God or a relationship with an ordinary man. It is biological, emotional, psychological, it is simply a reflection and a response to love. It just means to accept or to yield. The opposite of submit is to resist and fight. In the context of love, to resist and fight is somewhat foolish, because it will wall you off from something good. We are called to resist, fight, struggle against unpleasant things, not love.

Love in our culture has been misused, misappropriated, and misrepresented for eons. There are women in the world who have very damaged perceptions of authority due to having been abused and wounded by other broken people. These things are all true, but to heal from that is such a worthwhile goal, because no one should be doomed to go through life afraid to submit to love.

When fear of submission becomes a dominant theme in our lives, not only are we compelled to attempt to dismantle human biology, we’re often compelled to try to rid the world of God Himself. A futile effort, I assure you, because God’s not going anywhere, and all we really accomplish is to deprive ourselves of something wonderful, while walling our pride off with endless fear.