As a woman, I think I can speak freely, and as an expert, on what the majority of American women feel about the subject of submission. We don't like it. In a society that has taught us for decades that women are equal to men, we were made to understand that to submit to anyone meant that you were a person of little worth. Only servants submitted to a higher authority. A vast majority of women today have always lived with the current social norm of equality. You'd have to go back to the 1960's to have a complete understanding of what was once considered a "woman's role" in the family and outside the home.
Most of history shows us that women were seen as second class citizens or less. Unfortunately, in many countries today, that is still the case. In ancient times, a women had so little worth that the livestock were considered more valuable. Her life consisted of catering to her family and serving her husband. A woman who was without a husband had an incredibly harsh life, many of them turning to a life of prostitution to survive. Very few were priviledged enough to have a position of prestige, but only because her father or husband afforded her that luxury. Women could not vote, hold positions of authority, preach, inherit land, or basically make decisions about her own life herself.
It's not difficult to understand why women cringe at the word, "submit". Ask an African American how they feel about the word, "slave". How many positive reactions would you get ? They're very similar reactions. That lifestyle was a prison sentence. You were made to feel that you had no value, you were worthless. That label has never been favorable. This touches at the very heart of why women struggle with the very thought of submitting to their husbands.
I have a friend who tells me that when parties become stale he likes to bring up politics or religion. There is one particular scripture verse he likes to throw out there just to watch the reactions on people's faces.His favorite subject to open with? Ephesians 5:22:
"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord."
He laughs when he tells me how the party usual comes to life with this one verse, but after everyone has taken a breath and calmed themselves, he begins his speech. He explained to me that what women (and men) don't understand is that when women were originally told this, they didn't question it. It was a way of life and always had been. They didn't rebel or march against inequality. They understood from generation to generation that this was their role. Having anyone tell them to submit to their husbands was equivilent to being told to continue breathing air. The most shocking revelation was when men were told to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Why?? Because Jesus died for his bride (the church). Men were being told to lay down their lives for someone who had no rights, no worth, no value in society except to reproduce and produce heirs to pass on the family wealth. Men, who truly believed that the world revolved around their wants and needs were being told to put aside their "self" and place the utmost value on the woman they were married to. Marriages were arranged and had little to do with romantic love.
Somehow, men have moved on and adapted. The majority of marriages are not arranged and have romance at the very beginning of the relationship. Love is not a problem...at first. So what goes wrong? I'm probably going to get a lot of flack for this, but ladies, I think we've fallen down and not taken up our own crosses. We don't submit. Shamefully, some of us don't even put our kids first. What would happen if we truly lived a Proverbs 31 lifestyle or adhered to the words of Ephesians 5:22? Perhaps if we married men who didn't sweep us off our feet with false promises and commitments they can't live up to, but instead impressed us with wisdom and hard work that we could respect, we could actually start to reconcile ourselves to submitting to a Godly man?