Very few would argue with these statements:
A child must submit to a parent.
A student must submit to a teacher.
A civilian must submit to a police officer.
An employee must submit to an employer.
Now, in lieu of the examples mentioned, why then is it considered out of the question for a wife to submit to her husband? Does a parent have more value than a child; a teacher more value than a student, etc? Of course not! We recognize that the value is the same, but that a proper hierarchy needs to be in place for the particular relationship to function well.
Unlike what the feminists would have us believe, submitting to one’s husband is not oppressive or degrading. On the contrary, it can give security, peace and freedom! Above all, it is God’s plan for us. Even if we don’t fully understand His will, He truly does know best! We simply cannot choose to live in a way that we believe “suits us” better than God’s design. After all, how can the clay say to the potter “why have you made me this way”? (Rom 9:20)
Let us think on our Lord Jesus Christ. Did you ever consider that if He failed to submit to God the Father, we would have no propitiation for our sins?
Jesus says in John 6:38 “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”
Has your husband ever asked you to be nailed to a cross for filthy, undeserving sinners? Perhaps your husband has denied something menial, such as a request to have a girls’ day out…but has he ever denied your request to live? If we were in Jesus’ place, could we say “not my will, but yours”? I think it is far more likely that we would say “nice try buddy, but I call the shots in my life”. This attitude stems from pride. We all think we can do better on our own, but God made each person in need of authority.
Jesus recognized that He and His Father shared equal value.
(John 10:30 I and my Father are one.)
He also recognized that He would be successful in this life only if He took on the submissive role to His Father.
(John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.)
Our husbands are an earthly depiction of Jesus to us; we the picture of Christ’s bride. Jesus tells us in John 14:15 that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. We also read in 1 John 5:3 that His commandments are not burdensome! We cannot say that we love our husbands and yet continue in disobedience….we will only be fooling ourselves.
Hebrews 13: 17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
While this verse is typically used in reference to elders, are not our husbands also counted among “those that have the rule over us”? Scripture teaches us we are to honor, obey, revere, and submit to our husbands – and certainly they will have to give God a report on the behavior we have exhibited! What will our husbands say about us? Have we been peaceable, or difficult to live with? Have we delighted in our work, or have we grumbled? Have we humbly taken the passenger’s seat through life, or have we tried to take the wheel? These are all things that we are going to have to answer for. I don’t want to be known as the wife who had her husband on a ball and chain. I want my husband to say of me that I was a servant; that I was lovely, meek, humble, understanding and eager to please. I want my children to remember me as a wife and mother who always put her husband first.
I have heard many say that the New Testament put away dominance/submission in the marriage relationship. Friends, this could not be further from the truth! There are in fact many verses that illustrate God’s plan for a woman’s part in marriage. We are to submit to our husbands as it is fit in the Lord, (Colossians 3:18), as unto the Lord, (Ephesians 5:22) see that we reverence our husbands (Ephesians 5:23) be subject to our husbands as the church is to Christ, (Ephesians 5:24), be in subjection to our husbands even if they are not Christians, (1 Peter 3:1) obey our husbands as our Lord, (1 Peter 3:6) and love and obey our husbands! (Titus 2:4-5). We read in 1 Corinthians 11:3 that: “the head of every man is Christ, the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God.” Will we be so bold as to go against this natural order? If we fail to submit to our husbands, we have put away our natural function in God’s kingdom! (Deuteronomy 22: 5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.) Spiritually speaking, to wear one’s garment is to take on one’s character. This is an abomination, girls….we MUST be women, and not men.
Some women try to argue that their husband in particular is not deserving of reverence. They claim that his unholy behavior, etc would deny him the right to be treated as a king. “When he straightens up his act, then and only then will I submit to him” is the attitude of many women I know, but submission is not a reward for good behavior! It is a gift we are obliged to give regardless of the recipient’s merit points. I know it is completely possible to submit to an undeserving husband, because I have seen it. I knew a dear woman who found herself in a very unfortunate life situation. Her husband was not measuring up to God’s standards, had no desire to cherish his wife, and was utterly in chaos mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. One might say that her husband deserved little to no respect, yet time and again I would see this woman yielding her own needs to his in the most selfless of ways. When she spoke of him it was without disrespect or contempt, but her speech was holy and chaste. By her humble honor of her husband, she has instilled in her children love for the unlovable, and shown all who know her how to “overcome evil with good”. (Romans 12:21)
Performing God’s will is not always an easy task. If it was easy, everybody and their brother would be a Christian. Being a godly wife is not for the faint of heart, but it does have immense rewards; if not always evident in this life, certainly in the world to come. If you have not been the submissive wife you should be, it is not too late to start! The best place to begin would be to talk with your husband about the truth God has revealed to you from His word. Pray together, and find ways that help him to be a better leader, and that help you to be the loving bride God created you to be. Your submission will be one crucial step towards a God-honoring marriage. May God be with you along this journey, and may you and your husband grow deeper in love as “heirs together of the grace of life”.
God bless, and take a chill pill!
Romans 13 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
1 Peter 2:3 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
1 Peter 2: 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.