Taking on the meaning of scriptures and their translation can be a sticky mess at times.  Many versions of the often quoted Ephesians 5:22 tell us, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands as unto the Lord.” Okay, so maybe Paul was using submit as one form of the verb, but we have carried it all these years as another. According to the thesaurus, the word “submit” can mean surrender, give in, yield or succumb. The word “submit” can also mean present, propose, offer or suggest.

 What if Paul was referring to the second term for “submit,” meaning wives are to present themselves unto their husbands as they present themselves to the Lord, with love, trust and anticipation of acceptance and proper protection awaiting their submission? What if he was inferring women should be in a position to offer suggestions to their husbands without fear of retribution or abuse? What if Paul did not mean women are to surrender, give in or succumb to the actions or ways of their husbands if the husbands are not submitting themselves to God as they should, and loving and caring for their wives as “Christ loves the church?”

 It goes on to tell us we are all to submit in a proper fashion to one another. That means spouses, friends, communities and families. I can only imagine what a difference it would make in the world if we all submitted to one another with the love and respect we are expected to carry within our hearts and spirits. Having considered all this, just where do you see domestic violence fitting into God’s will for your life?

 Carolyn is an advocate for sexual/domestic violence and assault awareness, also focusing on child sexual abuse. She is a Life Direction & Empowerment Coach, working with victims and survivors of molestation, sexual assault, domestic violence or spousal abuse, and bringing training to organizations seeking to help victims. Read her story in her book, ORANGE BLOSSOM WISHES: Child Molested, Woman Abused—Her Victorious Journey to Freedom and visit her website: orangeblossomwishes.com.

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