Since Rep. Michele Bachmann was asked in a debate whether she would be submissive to her husband as president, the punditry has morphed into a morass of armchair theologians pushing flawed interpretations of what submission means in a biblical context.To the vast majority of Bible reading Christians, the word submission is interpreted to mean respect and love for one another. It applies to more than just Husband and Wife. The original language of this part of the New Testament Bible was translated from the Greek. In this context Submission does not mean to obey. Further the word submission is applied to all Christians in their relationships with each other and the world in general. The meaning is clear to anyone who will take the time to do a little thinking.
It’s also not what any evangelical I’ve spoken to believes is even implied in the doctrine of submission. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who as an ordained Southern Baptist minister knows a few things about the Bible, explained it to me this way: “This is not about a woman being a doormat. It’s about mutual, reciprocal, selfless, sacrificial love.”Notice the words "mutual, reciprocal, selfless and sacrificial in the last sentence of Mike Huckabee's quote! It does not apply to just wives, as Michele Bachman clearly explained. It is a respect for each other as partners in a marrage.
Kathy Keller, the wife of pastor Tim Keller of the evangelical Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, speaks regularly on the Bible and gender issues. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, she knows of what she speaks. She told me: “Women and men who understand the Bible’s actual teaching on headship and submission will see instantly that this issue is being defined by those on the extreme left and the extreme right, who both caricature what the Bible teaches.”As Kristin correctly points out it is the fringe Left and Right who have perverted the true meaning understood by the vast majority of Christianity.
She [Kathy Keller] said: “A man’s headship in a marriage consists of imitating the way Jesus has died for … the church. In no Christian marriages that I know of does a husband presume to tell his wife how to do her job, whether that is homemaking or heart surgeon or commander in chief. For a woman, being submissive in your marriage means bringing all your giftedness into the marriage in support of both your husband and your marriage. If this isn’t an issue for married men, who if they are professing Christians should be willing to die for their wives, then it shouldn’t be made into an issue for a woman.”Kristin ends her article with this paragraph.
Furthermore, look at the two highest-profile evangelical women in American politics—Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann—and tell me with a straight face that they aren’t treated with respect by their husbands. If you doubt that, I can assure you that five minutes with either lady will set you straight.