Summary: A study on roles.
When this old hippie went into the military I had a crash course in discipline and authority. I bucked authority and laughed at discipline from my widowed mother and school officials. I felt there was little they could do and after all it was the sixties. Their tired old mantras and silly rules were outmoded and meant to oppress the people and deny them freedom. I was determined to be free and unshackled.
Well, in the military I found there were some big consequences for not following orders and the authority had some "paddles" that would do more than break over my posterior. The Uniform Code of Military Justice had ways of making me very sorry if I decided to buck their system of outmoded rules and did not sing their mantras. Once informed of the penalties I was quite the model Airman. No one ever pulled a "gig" slip on me and my salute was as sharp as they came and I could yell, "Sir! Yes, Sir!" louder than anyone in the flight. What the school system and dear old Mom could not do in seventeen years the Air Force did in less than six weeks.
Did I like it? Hardly! Was it good for me? Absolutely! Salvation made the biggest change in my life. Basic Training ranks second only to that, though it came first. I was to meet both officer and enlisted that were not as smart as I was nor as efficient, but I followed orders and maintained discipline. I even opted to join the base Honor Guard where there was more discipline. It at least offered some tangible benefits to me like not having to pull details and free movie passes.
Even though I was once the lower than a dog and had to salute them in Basic Training, I was eventually given a place of leadership when I was promoted to sergeant and within that position had certain powers and privileges. Even as a lowly airman I was allowed to make some decisions and even give suggestions to my superiors. Within my area of expertise and authority I had freedom. If I stepped out of my bounds, which I did from time to time, I was reminded of my boundaries. My intentions may have been honorable, but that did not matter.
I share all that to say this. I can understand some of the feelings a woman may have about this submission thing. I did not know all that I was about to experience when I enlisted in the military. A woman getting married may not know because she has not been taught about roles or saw bad roles in her parents and vowed that her marriage will be different. She then goes on to do it all wrong trying to do it right. She may question, "Who says I have to submit to anyone anyway?" Or she may look at her spouse and say, "Yeah right, here is a real leader!" Well, you married him so you must have seen something in him and God sees even more. He will change him better than you can so don’t try. We are about to see who says the man is the head of the family.
We all know the story of the fall of man so I will not go through the whole thing but get right to the verse, which is a bone of contention to many.
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
16 Unto the woman he said I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (KJV)
Another translation might be "thy desire shall be subject to thy husband and he will rule over you." If your desire is subject to someone that means they decide whether you get to fulfill that desire or not. There were times that I desired to leave boot camp, but my desire was subject to my drill sergeant and he would not let me fulfill it. This happens in many areas of life. You may desire to buy a car, but that desire is subject unto the loan officer. You may desire to quit a job, but your financial situation will not allow it. Your children may desire many things, but their desire is subject unto your approval. You might not desire to pay your taxes, but that is definitely subject to the approval of the IRS and I don’t think they will approve it.
What does rule mean? The Hebrew word is mashal (maw-shal’); a primitive root; to rule: KJV-- (have, make to have) dominion, governor, X indeed, reign, (bear, cause to, have) rule (-ing, -r), have power.