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 Is a Submissive Wife a Doormat?

A number of years ago... when the discussion of wives being doormats came up, I was compelled to write this response.  You'll hate this response if you just read the words and miss the message---as many women did...

    I Do Want to be His Doormat...

"I do want to be his doormat---I want him to wipe all his cares on me.  I
want to be the first thing he steps on when he comes home. I want to be a
doormat that says: "welcome home!" I want to be the doormat that helps him leave his troubles outside his home.  I want to be the doormat that tickles
his feet.  I want to be his doormat that divides the outside with the inside
and as soon as he steps on it he knows the difference. I want to be his
doormat who knows *Where* to take the dirt accumulated on his feet when he has been out in the world earning a living and providing for all the needs
in our home.  I want to be his doormat, I don't want him to want to find a
different doormat, I don't want him to stop wiping his feet at our door, I
don't want someone else to put out a doormat for him.  Yep, a submissive
woman is a doormat.  I am so glad that my husband safely trusts in the heart
of his doormat which he treats like silk.  Oh... listen... my husband is
driving down our lane... I need to go meet him---he might have dust on his

I then continued with a response to a somewhat negative reaction to my original (above) thought. The following was written to a sister who disagreed with doormat and preferred something more akin to a footwasher, which I wholeheartedly agreed with, by the way...


"I was trying to convey an aspect of submission---that analogy did break down pretty fast, didn't it?  I don't like the actual wording sometimes either!  I like your analogy better [footwasher].  But the mat is needful, too.  I still want to be the woman who waits at the door---the welcome mat, if you will--- I still want to be the woman who is ready to accept his dust. In the process, I am always fortunate to have a kiss wiped on my face as well.  Wooooo. I want to be the woman that can accept being the mat used to clean the feet.  I also want to be willing to be used for unglamorous purposes---without the need or desire for remuneration or reciprocation.  A mat doesn't do or expect either of these things ---it does its job, takes the dirt, allows the washing, and is appreciated by the ones who do the rest of the cleaning in the home. Really, I guess because my husband knows I work at what I am supposed to be doing, he wants to work at what he is supposed to be doing and vice versa.
He is diligent in working and reworking *his* role in "nourishing and cherishing" me, his role in loving me, his role in submitting to me in the fear of God (the seldom quoted Eph 5.21)---that I *want* to submit to him, I *want* to be under his authority. Even if he were not to take seriously his role as a husband before God, I must still *want* to obey and submit to him----because I love the LORD Jesus.  As for my husband, I trust him, I am secure in his love and *want* him to know that I am willing to be the doormat, the woman whose price is far above rubies, the toilet washer or the foot washer, or the cracked pot---my whole hope and prayer is that I want to be a woman who doesn't take thought for all these labels but to be concerned with serving the LORD and being a sweet offering to Him and to my husband. The problem with women not wanting to submit to husbands is ultimately a trust issue, they don't want to be a doormat for the same reason many people don't want to pray for patience---or don't want to pray to be a missionary, etc., etc.:  The fear of what *might* happen to them and what the LORD might *do to them* ---no freedom, trials, the end it's all obedience to Jesus and if that means being a foot washer and/or a doormat... then, it is a footwasher or a doormat---I desire to be." ---ps

pamela spurling 2000/2001

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