Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Bible (Submissive Women Version)

     I recently got involved with the Book Club network, which is a social network gathering site for
What's up with this photo?
Christians (think Goodreads for inspirational lit). On one of the discussions, an author mentioned how her editor had her take out a fight between a husband and wife because the wife wasn't being very submissive to her husband.

     After thanking God that he led me down the self-publishing path for my Christian suspense novels, I had to chuckle. If I read a novel where a woman refuses to fight with her husband, that's probably not going to encourage me to be more respectful to him. It's more likely to tempt me to throw the book against the wall, or at least roll my eyes at the goody two-shoes wife who can't find it in her heart to be so unsubmissive as to argue with the Head of the Home.

     And then I started thinking even more. What if a well-meaning editor got her hands on the Bible and took out all the cases of women acting unbecomingly to keep the rest of us sinners from walking down the same path?

     Well, first of all, Rachel and Leah would have been best friends, in spite of the fact that they were both married to the same man who only loved one of them. They would have remembered that God is a God of love and harmony, and that in and of itself would have given them good cause to get along just great and share their husband with perfect equality. Because otherwise women today might read about Rachel and Leah's petty fights and find themselves tempted to be jealous of their own sisters in Christ, and we know what a mess would come from that.

     We also don't want to teach women readers that prostitution is an appropriate lifestyle choice. We better make Tamar a shepherdess like the rest of those matriarchs, and we should change Rahab to something a lot more acceptable. Maybe a fabric dyer? And we wouldn't want to mention the fact that Samson spent the night with a harlot, so we better change his all-night consort. Maybe he was with a midwife? Midwives would have been up at all hours. Maybe she needed a strong hand one night and asked the strong Israelite to help her.

     What else? We all know that we Christian housewives need all the help we can get when it comes to submitting to our husbands. So we better change Abigail's actions, so that instead of saving her entire household from King David's wrath in direct disobedience to her husband, she should have just taken her death like a mouse instead of serving the future king of Israel.

     Oh, and what about Ruth? I mean, Ruth is pretty perfect when you put her on the scale of feminine righteousness. But then there's that whole scene where she spends the night at the feet of an inebriated, single, hunky, potential husband-elect. Now, we know that Ruth's purity was never questioned. But what kind of message would Ruth's brazen behavior give to poor impressionable teen girls? That they can spend the night cuddling with their love interest as long as nothing "improper" occurs? Nope, we'll have to cut that scene completely. Same thing with the ancient King David and his little snuggle bunny Abishag.

     With all the different kinds of Bibles in print today, I wouldn't be too surprised if an edited version like this could finds its way onto the bookshelves. Which only leaves me to wonder... who would really want to read it?

Blog Love: Not only is it part of my regular humor column for Christian Home Magazine, it's also part of Regi McClain's new Music and Mirth Monday linkup!

Random Fact: I was named after Anna, the character in Luke who blessed baby Jesus when she saw him in the temple.

Book Fun: Check out my friend Pauline's blog, where she's giving away 4 Christian ebooks, including The Beloved Daughter!


  1. Interesting! Now, what does it mean to be submissive? I've seen wives who never argue with their husbands and they basically live separate lives. I *know* that's not what God wants. He, of course, want true intimacy. How do we achieve that? Love to hear your thoughts!

    1. Sheila, we've spent nearly a decade trying to figure out what it means to be submissive! I've come to the conclusion that submissive can look very different from one marriage to another. In our marriage, it boils down mostly to respect. And sometimes keeping my mouth shut. :) How would you define submission?

    2. As often happens, I've noticed others talking about this same issue--like here:

      This is something I'm studying right now and plan to write a series of articles about relationships. I think we are losing the art of true communication and that often involves messy arguments.

  2. So, is that publisher saying MY marriage wouldn't do for a Christian book? I think I need to get my ghetto on. *snap, snap, snap*

    One book I read mentioned that couples who argue loudly and obnoxiously tend to be more affectionate than couples who "discuss" disagreements calmly or those who agree to disagree. Argue passionately, love passionately, I guess, as long as there's a mutually beneficial conclusion to both.

    1. Once you're ghetto's on, please record it and post it on YouTube for us.

  3. I love this Alana. I have also, spent alot of time studying and trying to figure out what submission means. In todays society with feministic movement and then a society where women had no value and just "did what they were told" no matter what, I think it is difficult to define what God meant by submission. I would love to hear other thought you have on this. But personally, I love reading Christian fiction in which I myself can relate to what is happening in the characters lives and 99% of the time my life... is not that of perfection! And my marriage is certainly not either!

    1. Hey Amy! I think submission is going to look different from one marriage to another. For example, another Christian wife may treat her husband in a way I wouldn't be caught dead treating mine, but it works for them, and they may have a loving, vibrant relationship. On the other hand, more conservative woman would look at me and have a LOT to say about how I don't fit their mold either. I think some of it comes down to how the husband feels most respected. That will probably look different from one marriage to another. What do you think? How does submission look in your family?

  4. By the way, kiddo 2 likes the picture for this post. Quite a bit. =0)