I almost got swept away by strong river currents last week. As I reflected on the moment, the Lord dropped a bombshell on me about men’s roles as leaders and women’s submissiveness that I’d like to share with you. But first, let me share the story of my near drowning.
My friend and I visited Rio Fortuna in Costa Rica. It is such a magical place.
We settled further upstream, where the current was really strong. By now, you all know that your girl loves the water but can not swim to save her life 😅. After we settled, I wondered about crossing to the rocks on the other side of the river. I turned to my friend and asked. He decided to check it out. He gingerly made his way through the strong currents before telling me it was strong but possible.
As I pondered his words, I decided to try. He then positioned himself in the middle of the river, made sure his footing was solid, grasped my hand, and encouraged me to step out, “I’ve got you. You can do it.”. After hesitating briefly, I stepped fully into the path of the river.
My small frame immediately became fodder for the river. It swept my feet from under me. I went underwater instantly! Had it not been for the strong arm of my friend holding me, I would have been a goner. When he pulled me up and I broke the water’s surface, he lifted me onto the rocks on the other side, as he fought to keep his balance against the currents battering him.
Afterwards, as I reflected on the moment, I noticed that several men navigated the river by braving the danger first before telling the women and children they guided where to step. That’s when it hit me!
That is what a lot of men look like daily as they work hard to live their lives, hit their goals, and protect and provide for the ones they love.
Truthfully, I’ve never deeply considered what it meant for men to be leaders and the head of the house. I’ve always refrained from commenting too deeply on scriptures that talk about “men loving their wives as Christ love the church and women submitting to their husbands.”
Yet, as a single woman, I desire to get married one day. I loved the idea of a man who provided, protected, and professed to me, but I never did truly pictured what that looked like or thought about the implications of what I desired.
“What implications am I talking about?”, you may wonder.
Well, it is wise for a man who is a leader to first find footing for himself before he tries to save anyone. And when he is the head of a household and has a woman or family that he protects and provides for, he is required to either be proactive or react quickly. He has to find and maintain his footing… and then guide them in a way that keeps them all safe at all times.
If my friend had not gone ahead to find and gain a firm footing and I trusted him and stepped out, we would have both been swept away. Except we didn’t because he maintained his footing. Even when trouble arose, he reacted quickly. He still held on to me, pulled me up and kept me safe as he maintained his footing and protected his safety.
Have you ever seen those videos where the man talks about how he is on hyper alert when he is out with his woman? I think for the first time, I truly get why. Except for the male leader, it is not just when he is out and about. It is as he does life with his partner. He is always on, ensuring he leads and that he is safe and she is safe too.
And that’s a freaking lot of pressure and scary too. It’s not easy, and sometimesthese men do it with little to no support and little appreciation or consideration from the people they sacrifice for. This brings me to the topic of women and submission.
I’ve always secretly viewed “submission” as a dirty word. But not anymore. And here is why.
Can you imagine what would have happened to me if I hadn’t submitted to the instructions of my friend? He asked me to give him my hand, and I did. He told me that he would hold me and keep me safe, and I trusted him. I felt safe to release control, and he kept me safe. Even when I went underwater and my natural instinct was to fight to get back to the surface, I resisted and trusted that he had me instead of panicking. Eventually, I could find his hands on me, pushing me back to the surface. I trusted him, and he kept us both safe.
I feel like this is a part of what the Bible meant when it talks about women submitting to our husbands. If we have a man who leads, loves, protects and provides for us like Christ does for the church (his bride), that submission is critical for both our safety and well-being.
If that man has truly embraced his nature to provide and protect, he has already thought of all the possible entrances and exits. He has already thought of all the ways you could both get hurt and charted a path around it. He has thought of all the reasons you should or shouldn’t do the thing. And so, he truly believes that he is making the best move to protect you both.
The funny thing is that if you love and want to protect him too, the best thing you can do is to submit to his leadership.
Now, I can immediately see you bristling a bit because no man is infallible. Neither does he know it all. And what about the man he feels he can make all the decisions on his own and then expect you to submit whether you feel safe or not?
I want to share with you the next part of what happened at the river that day. After enjoying the water, I was ready to return to the other side. However, I was now terrified out of my mind. It wasn’t because I didn’t trust my friend to get me there safely. I looked at the roaring waters and feared it too much to make the attempt. My friend tried to convince me a few times to let him take my hand. I resisted, and when I finally gave him my hand, I backed out at the last minute.
As I sat there refusing to move, I asked one question, “is there another way for me to get across, perhaps further downriver?”
My friend paused immediately. Looked at me and then shifted to check out downriver options. In that moment, I felt seen and safe. It made me trust his leadership even more. I knew then that in that moment, he was committed to ensuring my physical and psychological safety. And so, when he found another spot and told me to give him my hand, I did so without hesitation. And that’s how we made it back across safely.
And that my friend is the point. I believe that true leaders will assess the state of the situation and team and get feedback before collaboratively making decisions that can affect their team. And so, it’s never always a case of blind submission that doesn’t take the woman’s voice and needs into account. Any man who constantly approaches his role in a way that is opposite to that or because “he said so” will never inspire the confidence and sense of safety that my friend inspired in me. He is a lone wolf who has not learned how to lead a team.
The truth is, right now, I’d trust my friend to keep me safe even in situations that require my blind obedience. He has already proven that when it truly counts, he will stop, get my feedback, and collaboratively make decisions based on that feedback. And that matters and makes our friendship, especially when he leads easier and safer for both of us.
Thank you for stopping by. I would love to hear from you. What are your feelings about or experience with submitting to your man or leading your woman? I’d love to hear your story in the comments. 🙂
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“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favour and give you peace” – Numbers 6: 23-26
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As a 2x burnout survivor & former people-pleaser, I am a speaker, author & passionate advocate for serving others while honoring yourself. I’m the owner of The Robe Way & an authority on achieving customer success with less work. I help business owners run profitable, impactful businesses & maintain client relationships without sacrificing personal boundaries or quality of life. On a regular day, you’ll find me traveling, belting out random songs, smiling contagiously, or lifting others up.
Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about A Near Drowning – A Lesson In Male Leadership & Female Submission.