“Women are designed to submit to grace.” I love saying that, but it can get you into all sorts of trouble in our politically correct world. I’ve been saying it for years anyway. The other day Pastor Prince, the grace-grace guy, popped up on the TV screen, looked right at me, and said those very same words, women are designed to submit to grace. That was timely, a little spooky, and very affirming.
Yes, amen! Women are designed, quite intelligently I might add, “wonderfully and fearfully made, “to naturally submit to grace. I observe this in all my relationships, with my kids, my clients at work, friends.
When a girlfriend is in distress, anxiety, panic, the first thing we do is empathize, I’m so sorry. Then we apply grace, it’s not your fault, in Christ there is no condemnation,this is not your burden to bear. Unmerited favor. Grace. That is because women are designed to submit to grace. You want her to submit to grace so her heart will soften and she will be able to hear you. You have to relieve her discomfort.
We don’t approach men in quite the same way, so if I were to pour on the empathy, show him grace, tell him this isn’t his burden to bear, it can very quickly slide into pity, the implication that he’s weak, the affirmation of his own powerless. Men do not submit to grace as easily, they are not designed for it in quite the same way. It can be really challenging to show grace to men, because their strength as vulnerability and weakness, is not natural to them.
John the Baptist got it when he said, “I must decrease so He can increase.” The Apostle Paul got it when he said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” But those were extraordinary men submitting to the grace of God.
Back to women however. We try to empathize, pour on grace, apply comfort, and assure her it is not her fault. This is where things can get sticky, because “it’s not your fault” does not mean you have no fault in the situation, you are totally innocent of all wrong doing, it simply means, you are not bearing this burden all alone. Women often have a fear of our own power, too much, not too little. “I made a minor mistake so now I am totally to blame for all the ills of the world and the fall of mankind too.” Sadly the world likes to frequently affirm that false fear, so it’s a common one. Women tend to fear their own power. We’ve been known to sink ships with a glance and other misguided stuff.
So when women are actually outright wrong, at fault so to speak, we can look to Jesus Christ for an example of how to address it wisely. Every encounter he has with a woman involves showing her grace and asking her a question. Woman, where is your husband? Who touches my robe? Where are your accusers? Woman, why does this concern us?
Women are designed to submit to grace. Christ knew this well.
With men you can say something like, “thou shall not steal,” as a statement of fact, and they will hear the literal meaning of those words. For the most part, women are paying far more attention to tone, intent, motivation, always seeking to submit to grace. You can be plumb full of truthful words, but if your tone, intent, motivation, doesn’t reflect grace, often women won’t even hear the actual words you are saying.
When we bring this into the context of marriage, women submit quite naturally to grace. I’m sure there are plenty of women who have managed to over ride their natural inclinations, but for the most part women will soften our hearts in the face of grace. Showing wives grace is not the same thing as surrendering all or submitting, it is simply about applying unmerited favor.
The bible states this well in 1 Peter 3:7, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”