Our Little Subservience Problem

Sometimes I can't help thinking, "Congratulations, womanity, you've been successfully and woefully distracted by one of the biggest non-issues ever" when I happen upon the griping that exists surrounding the obvious teaching in the gospel of Jesus Christ that the order of heaven consists of woman being subject to her husband. The apostle Paul makes it clear and so does the temple experience. 

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
— Ephesians 5:21-24

To be organized in such a way that woman serves and works under a righteous husband is equated with subservience. EVERYONE subserves for, as Joseph Smith said, "Where was there ever a father without first being a son?" Even the Almighty God is subservient to His God and Progenitor. Why has subservience come to have such an unappealing connotation? After all, subserve quite literall means "to serve under." A lengthier definition is "to promote the welfare or purposes of; to serve as an instrument or means in carrying out" (Merriam-Webster). Then why, just a hop-skip away from that definition of "subserve" is the definition for "subservient" equated with "less important" and "downtrodden?" (also Merriam-Webster)


This image is brilliant because any one of those little circles could be you. You'll have to imagine that even the front-center circle has an infinite mass of circles in front of it as well as behind as if to say that no matter who you are in the universe, you have both beings you are accountable to and accountable for; links in front and in back; you take orders and you give orders. The key word is order. There must be a system of organization for harmony to exist, for work to get done, and for growth to be made possible for the whole "organism."

What does it matter (in the eternal scheme, at least) if woman is accountable to her husband instead of the Father, if they are both righteous? That kind of thing starts to take shape here in this life, in proportion to heed that the husband gives to the commandments of God. It's going to be an imperfect process here for the obvious reason that men are not always as they should be. But then, neither are women. 

Are we more concerned about where we're serving - it's visibility or seeming pre-eminence - rather than how we're serving? Most women I know do a fantastic job of gaining a proper perspective of this. But there are enough of the unnecessarily irritated to make one lament.   

There is the interesting discussion about women covering their heads and veiling their faces (1 Corinthians 11, for instance) as part of religious ritual that we tend to create fantastical explanations for in an effort to dodge the mark. I always love the one about how it's because men are not prepared for the glory that is woman -- and so it is necessary to shield him in the same manner that God drew the veil between us and His presence for our protection. I am totally calling "shenanigans." We've got to face up to the plain truths recognizable even to a child before the subtleness of the world's vain imaginations has had a chance to distort. We don't seem to realize that we cannot elevate ourselves by denigrating men. The surest way to increase the happiness and improve the status of women is by encouraging the goodness of husbands and those whose potential it is to be husbands. 

What say ye?