Posted by: bitsydungaree | May 28, 2008

Can I Teach You to Domainate Me?

Feminists beware.

The idea of submission has been on my mind and on my heart lately. The more I delve into this hot button by reading what the Bible and an assortment of great Christian authors have to say about it, the more I realize that submitting isn’t about sacrificing your desires for the sake of keeping peace in your relationship. It isn’t about acknowledging that the man “knows better” or has more of a right to make decisions than the woman.

At its essence, I think submission is a symbol of trust. Submission does not say I’m sure your way is better than mine or even I would rather do it this way, but you’re the head of the house. Submission says I trust that you love me enough to make my well-being a priority in your decision making.

Michelle McKinney Hammond’s book In Search of the Proverbs 31 Man talks a lot about how important it is for a man to be able to step up and be the kind of leader that a woman wants to submit to. Reading her thoughts on what kind of man deserves the seemingly perfect woman described in Proverbs 31 has made me aware of how thankful I need to be that I am in a relationship with someone who is such a natural leader, someone whose strength and ability to make good decisions makes him an easy man to trust with regard to life’s “big decisions.”

But what about the man who is not a natural leader? Can he still be the kind of man a woman trusts with her life?

This is the question that has been running through my mind since Sunday.

A friend of mine is in the early stages of quasi-dating another friend who I have a total crush on for her (or any other woman smart enough to date this guy.) Being in a relationship with someone who is very much an alpha-male — not my usual M.O. — my girlfriends were surprised to hear how enthusiastically I supported my gal pal’s exploration of a potential relationship with this guy who they described as an underdog.

I’m not sure that I have witnessed this underdog step up as a leader in social situations, but I have, so many times, seen him step up and confront his own emotional struggles with an incredible fearlessness which I think is an amazing — and almost essential — quality in a spiritual leader.

This unapologetic openness has made me wonder if there are men who may not naturally take charge, but who, if given the trust and support of a good woman would be able to grow into that role.

Another thing that Hammond discusses in the aforementioned book is the idea of a man being changed, not by the woman, but by his love for her. I absolutely love this concept. As a natural-born “fixer,” I have learned the hard way that you cannot change a man, but I do believe that a good relationship leads both parties to grow and develop. So what’s to say that the right relationship can’t help a man discover his potential as a leader?

I am a big believer in the idea of the self-fulfilling prophecy, and my girlfriend’s budding relationship has made me think that there are men out there who don’t yet know how strong they are but who, if they were given the trust of a woman like I know my girlfriend to be, have the potential to grow into incredible leaders.

This idea brings me back to why Philippians 3 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible: the idea that, while we are not yet all that God created us to be, if we put our faith in Christ (and have the help of a good woman) we might just get there yet.


  1. Brilliant post. You are exactly right, we cannot talk about the submission of one partner without talking about the submission of the other.

    If I expect my wife to submit, I must place incredible pressure on myself to submit first to Christ, then to her. That’s right. It’s mutual submission. If a man is going to be a strong leader his desires can’t be first place.

  2. “i’m on a submarine mission for you, baby” – j.rotten

    another great post. mutual submission in an environment of total trust is one of the most fulfilling experiences we can have.

    the old cliche is “behind every strong man there’s a strong woman” etc., but i do think that a successful relationship can give both partners the self-confidence to grow greater than themselves. while many of these underdogs by nature shy away from the alpha position, when it’s thrust upon them, oftentimes they rise to the occasion with a sensitivity/subtlety that your typical alpha may lack.

  3. lovely. i totally agree. i can’t count the number of times i have seen men step up to be the men they are with the love of a good woman. sometimes it take a bit longer than others, but it really is an amazing process to see take place.

    i pray that i can be as graceful a woman and one with soft enough hands to hold a good man’s heart in. 🙂
    thanks betsy.

  4. Hello! Fabulous post, thank you very much for posting.

    Man and Woman should submit to each other.

    Really like your site.

    Pop over and say Hi sometime…. 🙂

    God bless,

  5. Good post 🙂

    Submission goes two ways, however, not easy all.

    But thats the way God ordained it to be, he’s perfect plan for us is just that…..PERFECT.

  6. Good post!

    Submission does go two was, however not easy at all.

    Thats the way God ordained it to be, He’s perfect plan for us is PERFECT.

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