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Wives, submit to your husbands (Eph 5:22)

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  courage 9 months, 3 weeks ago.

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I’m going to be completely honest here. The first time I read this verse I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. It really disturbed me.

When I was growing up I was taught (basically) that this verse meant you had to obey your husband. Like if there was a problem, you could discuss it, share your opinion but ultimately your husband would make the final decision. Also, you could maybe make little decisions but your husband made big decisions (I never did find out how to determine what made some a “big” or “little” decision…)

This bothered me so much because I knew people are fallible. I knew a man could make a mistake, and the wife could see something he didn’t, but if he decided to be stubborn, she just had too…submit? Not only did that seem disrespectful to her–as if the woman is somehow lesser than the man–but I had the vague feeling that this interpretation of the verse disregarded other scripture. And I think it does!

First of all, the only reason a wife would submit to a husband (according to what I was taught) is because she is female–a wife.
However, Galatians 3:28 states there is no male or female, we are all one in Christ. This means there is no discrimination based on your gender.

Second, Acts 5:29 says we must obey God rather than men. God works through many things, but since his Holy Spirit resides in us, leading us into all truth, (John 16:13) I believe he works mainly through our minds, intelligence and by placing things on our heart. So what if God is guiding you to travel to another country for missions for a month, but your husband disagrees? According to the common interpretation of Eph 5:22) you should disregard God’s holy spirit in favor of submitting to your husband; yet clearly this goes against scripture. And since God’s word cannot contradict itself, I think the answer is that this is not the correct way to view this verse.

How does this make you feel? What is your parents’ relationship like? What do you think your relationship with your future husband will be like? What do you think this verse means? I have an opinion of course, but this is already wayyyy longer than I thought it was going to be so I’ll type it up later. Have a good night lovelies! 🙂

February 2, 2016 at 21:40


You have the same concerns I do about this verse, and I like that you brought in other verses to the mix. This is one of the verses we looked at in my gender studies class. I know the Sunday school answer is that men and women are in two different, equal positions, but aside from the fact that that sounds a lot like Jim Crow laws, the fact is that this verse gives the male inherent authority simply because he has a Y chromosome.

February 8, 2016 at 05:01


Yes! And the truth is, if somebody is in authority over someone else, the positions really aren’t equal.

February 8, 2016 at 08:43


Well I think of submit as more of a type of respect and not a ‘you must do everything I say’. I’ll respect my husband and he’ll respect me. Therefore we are submitting to each other. Allowing another person to have a say in what we think and do.

February 9, 2016 at 21:45


I just finished submitting this question to PI in the relationships section. You put this point across way better than I did, though. I was contemplating this for a few days now, actually. Men are human therefore making them fallible. So, I might suggest something to my future husband and , according to this scripture, he’ll have the final say on it. What happens if his decisions is a bad one, one in which I could see the future repercussions but he gets to make the call anyway simply because he’s male? To be honest, I hope enough people ask this question so I can gather PI’s general view of this but in the meantime I’m going to try and ask other Christians for their opinion. I totally get where your coming from Adventure Girl

February 15, 2016 at 17:39


I read up some more on this topic since my last comment. The site below was great at explaining this in more detail and, if you read the comment section, then it helps give an even wider perspective.

February 17, 2016 at 01:49
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*How does this make you feel?
Like less of a person, incapable of making decisions simply because I’m female.
* What is your parents’ relationship like?
My parents don’t identify as feminists, but they both have equal say so in financial and material things. Ex: On date night, they’ll split the bill, or one of them will pay for the meal, and the other will cover the tip.
*What do you think your relationship with your future husband will be like?
I’m going to marry a male feminist.
*What do you think this verse means?
Women are incapable of making important decisions, and couples don’t know how to talk things out or compromise.

March 10, 2016 at 11:53
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