While the issue is rarely addressed in the modern Christian world, the Scripture are not silent on a daughter’s role. And while this is an extensive topic that can constitute a whole lesson itself, I will briefly address the passages that indicate a daughter’s responsibility to be under her father’s authority. In Numbers 30 we read the law concerning vows and there is a special exception made for women who are under the authority of a husband or father.
“… if a woman makes a vow to the LORD, and binds herself by some agreement while in her father’s house in her youth, and her father hears her vow and the agreement by which she has bound herself, and her father holds his peace, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement with which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her father overrules her on the day that he hears, then none of her vows nor her agreements by which she has bound herself shall stand; and the LORD will release her, because her father overruled her.”
The same exception applies to married women in the verses following that passage. There are two things to be learned from the previous verses.
- An unmarried woman remained in her father’s house. This can also be seen in passages such as Leviticus 22:13 and Numbers 30:16.
- A father has spiritual responsibility and authority to protect his daughter and if necessary, to prevent her from making an unwise decision.
The mentality that a young woman is not to continue in submission to her father after “childhood” is not Scriptural. Women were created to be helpmeets and while a woman is not married, those skills should be used for the good of her father and family, as we see in examples of unmarried young women in the Bible. It is our responsibility to be obedient and submissive to our fathers, just as Esther was to Mordechai. He wasn’t even her father but she recognized the importance and the necessity of submitting to authority on a day-in, day-out basis.
Submission isn’t an easy task to accomplish! In fact, we must constantly battle our sin nature and the innate desire to rebel against the God-ordained structure. Women through the centuries have experienced the same struggle, as we can see from the instructions in the Pauline epistles. Unfortunately, our struggle today is even more difficult because this rebellion is accepted, condoned and even expected. The women’s liberation movement has seen great success with their goals, resulting in dysfunctional families and role reversal.
How do we combat this corrupt mindset that is so prevalent in our surroundings? By submission and obedience! I trust that most of you have a father and mother … how is your relationship with them? Do you tolerate them, obeying them outwardly but despising them in your heart? Or do you admire, respect and honor them? Do you view them as close friends and confidants, or as oppressors that you can’t wait to get away from? Your years at home under your parents’ authority are training ground for marriage. If you have trouble with submitting to them, you will have difficulties in your potential marriage relationship.
Submission is a heart matter. We can perform an act of obedience outwardly but have a rebellious heart. I think the best way to define submission is “yielding to and accepting one’s wishes, admonition and advice”. When your parents make a decision with which you do not agree, what is your reaction? Do you yield and accept it with a joyful heart, trusting that they know what is best? Or do you grudgingly comply, while making sure they understand how you really feel about it? Do you honor their instructions concerning clothing, appearance, entertainment, etc?
Let’s take this one step further. While you may feel sure that you are in submission to them … how about you ask and see what they think? Is that a scary idea? It may be, but really the only reason for us to be worried is if we are afraid of fully submitting. A great way to practice submission is to honor our parents’ wishes and “pet peeves”, not just their verbal commands. Personally, I know that my father doesn’t like us to wear the color black. He has never said “thou shalt not wear black” but because that is his desire, we try to honor him in that.
Obedience and submission are not popular attributes – they are in fact very unpopular. However, they are important aspects of Godly womanhood and essential in our aspiration to heroism. In the next post we’ll explore another aspect of Godly womanhood … courage.
Possibly sharing at: Mom 2 Mom, The Modest Mom, Mama Moments, The Art of Home-Making Monday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Titus 2sdays, Roses Of Inspiration, So Much At Home, A Wise Woman, Raising Homemakers, A Little R&R, Coffee and Conversation, Hearts for Home, Growing in Grace, Imparting Grace, SHINE Blog Hop, Grace and Truth, Fellowship Fridays.