Women and the S Word

For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands.  1 Peter 3:5
It was interesting to observe the ladies’ reactions to submission in our women’s Bible study class last week.  Whether you just cracked your Bible open for the first time or whether you’ve been a student of  it for years, it seems the lesson of Abraham submitting to God always piques our interest.   What about Sarah?  What a micro manager she turned out to be.  What about submitting to her husband’s fear and pretending to be his sister?  Women get two messages these days.  The world tells us we’re just as capable as men but the Bible tells us our husband is the leader and in the end, he has the final say.  Submission is a great call to trust God and I enjoy listening to the opinionated.  I never met Sarah but I do know Tess.  Her story is heart wrenching, but she did, in the end, obey her husband and I saw God’s grace emerge.

The tragic death of Tess and William's little two-year old threw all of us into a tailspin.  One morning, Tess’s assistant walked over to my office and asked me to visit Tess.  “I can’t bear it anymore,” the assistant lamented.  “All she does is stare at the memorial photo on her computer screen. I’m left to make all the business decisions.”  I went.  I prayed every step of the way. I listened to Tess and held her in my arms.  We cried together, again.  I took her to lunch a few weeks later, choosing the cafĂ© on the golf course with the delicious menu.  She never smiled and only ate one bite.  I listened while my beautiful, young girlfriend slowly formed her words that stemmed from a depressed heart.  Then something changed as I sipped my coffee.  She took me in her confidence.  I saw a half smile.  Leaning into me, Tess told me she just got pregnant.  Her husband had a dream and declared:  “Tonight’s the night.  Change is on its way to us.”  Tess refused his advances at first.  She lost interest in everything, but she did eventually trust her man.

When their little boy was born, everything did change.  And then another little girl arrived shortly thereafter.  Today, Tess is a busy wife, mother, and businesswoman. 

You would think after forty years of marriage, submitting to God’s biblical precepts would be an easy thing for me.  Women, you have to admit our husband’s can come up with some pretty outlandish ideas sometimes that are downright hard to swallow.  In these times, what helps me is to remember that after I’ve had my say, ultimately it is God to whom I am submitting.   And my husband….he will stand before God in all accountability.  (Oh, I had to throw that one in there!)

Today I’m linking to Tell Me A Story, a place where the writers share wonderful true stories!


  1. A hard story to read, but I celebrate the joy that came into Tess' life again! Submission is indeed a tough concept, but the lessons we learn in doing it can be just what God ordered!

    God is so good!


  2. Beautiful words from a beautiful lady.
    Bless you Mary ...its so good to visit here as always!

    All my heart,
    Deborah xoxoxo

  3. Thanks for sharing so significantly and heart-fully. Bless you.

  4. We must remember it is to our husbands we submit and not to any other man who demands that we as women submit. Another verse says submit yourselves one to another. My husband makes the final decision and I submit. Thank you for sharing your interesting story with us here at "Tell me a Story." God Bless Tess and her family and those who blessed her in her time of trial.

  5. I am so blessed to call you friend. I love the way your heart is always open to being used of God to bring comfort and joy to those who need it most...and Tess certainly needed you there. Bless you.

    I am now reading, a chapter at a time, The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. Such a good book! I just finished reading a chapter about submission.

  6. Enjoyed reading your blog and thanks for visiting me! What a lovely surprise. As a young wife (ONCE) I can remember thinking the word SUBMISSION was just aweful! LOL! After years of marriage, growing in the Lord I have found submission for me is to submit to GOD first.....it sure does help with the WIFE part! LOL! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  7. It is a good reminder for everyone! But I believed, when love is there...everything is possible:)
    By the way, a very touching story of Tess!

  8. Just finished my morning devotions on this very subject. Submission. I love how Greg Laurie describes it as a coming under to help support. It's a willingness to do all we can in the right attitude helping our husbands become the very best they can be. When I look at it from that point, who wouldn't want to be with someone like that. I love that God restored Tess' joy, and loss can be a hard think to bear in this world, so glad she had someone like you in her life to turn too!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  9. That's an awesome story. The design of God to have the buck stop with the man is amazing to me.

    It is our job to protect and to stand in harms way when needed. I like the old phrase, "Women and children first". It kind of puts things in their proper perspective. To sacrifice for our loved ones is the calling of God for men… and when our women respect that it brings the marriage full circle.

  10. Hi Mary! I can't imagine how heartbroken Tess must have been...having to face the death of her little child. How brave of you to take on her pain, and with such patience! Your retelling of her story gives me a whole new perspective on submission, and how sometimes crazy ideas flower into beautiful new paths to walk.

    Thank you for sharing her powerful journey. I know I won't forget it.

  11. I really enjoyed this post today. At first, I had a hard time with the word submission but as I studied the Bible and saw it was all meant for my good, it has been easy all these years!

  12. Hi there, a beautiful story of overcoming and submission. I believe submission is God's way and His plan for us in marriage. Its hard sometimes but always rewarding in the long run. Great post.
    God bless

  13. Great post. I am one of the (I suppose) few who has never had a problem with submission. When we do God's will we are ultimately submitting to Him, and He knows us better than anyone, including ourselves.


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