I am a feminist and I submit to my husband.
But above all I am a Christian. From this repository of identification, the monumental and mundane puzzle pieces of my life, my identity, my soul come into place as I revel in the peace of knowing who I am because I know Whose I am. I am a feminist because I am a Christian. I submit to my husband because I am a Christian.
The labels present a certain oxymoron to those in either camp who may not live in the tension, the day-in and day-out of living surrendered in faith and pursuing social justice. The labels by no means tell my whole story, but they do represent the magnetic forces of left and right that pull me eagerly toward either side, only to come together in the center, cemented by the law of opposites attracting.
Submission is a dirty word for many feminists just as feminism is a dirty word for many Christians. As a card-carrying member of both camps, I live in the day-in, day-out tension of living surrendered in faith and living according to feminist principles. The tension often feels similar to being the most conservative person in liberal circles and the most liberal in conservative circles; it’s always a lose-lose situation when discussing it as strict either/or. Either you are a good feminist and don’t submit to your husband or you are a bad Christian wife and disrespect your beloved. Either you are a good Christian and submit dutifully to your spouse or you are a bad feminist for even uttering the dirty s-word. So let me be clear.
I submit to my feminist husband and he submits to me. Sometimes I submit first. Sometimes my husband submits first. The goal is not to keep tabs or follow some preset decision-making protocol such as the husband being the tie-breaker and Final Decision Maker (as some Christians would teach), but to love one another and grow more into the woman and man God calls us to be.
At the lava-hot core, the essence of both my feminism and my faith is the same: every single person is fully human and should be afforded the opportunity to fill their (God-given) potential. Women are human. Men are human. Children are human. As a follower of Jesus, I know that he taught and lived and died for these truths. And therefore that’s worth living for not in the either/or, but in the both/and of being a Christian and a feminist.
The Identity in Balance Writing Series is all about looking at how different parts of our lives and identities intersect. If you'd like to submit a post, you can find out more about the series here.