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Christian Life

Submitting to Your Husband: One Wife’s Perspective

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Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands… In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body. (Ephesians 5:22-24 and 28-30)

 

Ladies, one of the most controversial teachings in scripture is the one that calls for women to submit. This subject causes the defenses to go up pretty quickly between man and woman, and arguments to ensue. Those who don’t understand the truth about this teaching believe it to be an unfair hierarchy in a marriage that puts man above woman and assumes the latter to be a slave to him.

But is this really the true meaning behind the verse?

Read the above verse again and then consider these eight truths you should know about submission:

  1. It’s not about being walked all over. Some women have the misconception that submission means “letting husbands boss wives around” or “women not having their own minds” or “women being second-class citizens in the home.” But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
  2. It’s about structure to avoid chaos. In any company or business, there’s someone who takes the lead. Someone who makes the final call. With someone in charge, there is order. This is the same in the home.
  3. It doesn’t mean women are not as valuable or important. The belief that women are not as worthy as men is so wrong, it’s sad that even some Christians believe it. Right after wives are called to submit to husbands, husbands are directed to love their wives. And if a husband truly loves his wife, he would never devalue her or make her feel unimportant. In fact, it would be the complete opposite. A man would hold his wife in high regard, treat her like a princess and make her feel like the worthy person that she is.
  4. It only works in a Godly marriage. Seriously! A wife can’t submit to an ungodly husband. If he treats her badly, abuses her, insults her or makes terrible choices for the family, then it’s beyond difficult for a wife to submit. But a Godly man would be trustworthy and would strive for the best for his family. Submitting to a man who puts his family above others and holds God to the highest regard is a lot easier than the alternative.
  5. It takes humility. A wife will surely find it nearly impossible to submit to a man if she is bogged down by pride and resentment. A Godly wife knows that submission requires a lot of humility. But that’s okay, because Christians are called to be humble in general, right?
  6. God picked man to lead. Man didn’t place himself in charge. God picked man because He created man first. Additionally (and some of you may not like this part), when God created woman, He created her for man. “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner'” (Genesis 2:18). This is reiterated in 1 Corinthians 11:8-9 when Paul writes, “Indeed, man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for the sake of man.” Now many women take this the wrong way, assuming it means man owns woman. But again, it doesn’t mean this. It means woman was created for a role that man can’t fulfill—the role of mother and nurturer. (I may go into this a little further in another post as I’m sure this will leave many of you ladies with tons of questions.)
  7. Scripture calls for submission in man also. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) If we all allow God to take the lead in our lives, then we will live holier lives. We will better resist temptations.
  8. Jesus submitted to His Father. Remember in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked God to have the “cup pass His lips,” but still accepted His fate if God willed it. If Jesus can submit, so can we.

Ladies, being a submissive wife only works if the husband loves her as he should. Remember that. A submissive wife is not treated badly by the husband, nor does she allow herself to be. A Godly marriage is not about the wife living according to her husband’s desires. A Godly relationship is not like the 50 Shades of Grey movie (which I have not watched and will not watch, by the way).

A submissive wife and a loving husband come together in mutual respect of each other’s roles and responsibilities in marriage. God created marriage. And when it’s honored in the way the He designed, then it works to perfection. Everything God created, when honored in the way He designed it, works to perfection. Sadly, much of what He’s designed has been distorted and abused and reinterpreted, so the Truth is lost. We shouldn’t let our pride or worldly desires get in the way of a life that God designed for us.

Ladies, how do you feel about scripture calling for women to submit?

Contact me via social media for any questions, advice, prayer or just to say hello:
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Twitter: @TMGaouette

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17 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by alydia on May 17, 2015 at 11:52

    Ladies,

    I would like for you to listen to my opinion. I saw this post as in a woman who submits to the husband as the husband submits to the wife. I saw this in the way of compromise for each party. Not for one to “lead” the other. In one example, I saw this woman said that her and her husband share roles based on their strengths in a certain area. I had interpreted this passage as such. I have to agree based on the 50 Shades of Grey comment. But, I also have to say, the movie/book shows the cycle of abuse and what it can do to you psychologically. I’m not pushing for you to watch or read the movie, but also I want you to know the deeper meaning than the what people call, “romance.”
    I hope you have a blessed Sunday.

    S,
    Abigail

  2. torirose

    Posted by torirose on April 30, 2015 at 14:07

    Love this! Too many Christians ignore this verse in the Bible, thinking this doesn’t apply to the 21st century. Gods word is the same yesterday and today. God even said women would struggle with submission and would want to lead. Submitting is hard, but with God, it’s possible!

  3. QueenFemminist97

    Posted by QueenFemminist97 on April 21, 2015 at 19:07

    I am sorry, but I don’t agree with this. The world has changed and so has gender equality. Yes, as the article points out that man and wife are partners, but still says man takes the lead.

    My boyfriend and I are dating with the purpose to marry eventually when we’re ready. He would never in a million years immediatley assume that he will be taking the lead on everything. A majority of the time, I take the lead. Mainly because I am more organized and less forgetful. Also though because he takes the lead on some things that are his strengths. We take the leads at different points.

    I could not have a marriage with a man who took the lead on everything because it doesn’t matter how good his decisions are, I am his partner and we will split the leadership.

    God created women to be strong (we do suffer through periods and childbirth), as time as gone on, he has seen us become stronger in both mindset and determination. I am sure that he agrees with the splitting of leadership because he created this world to adapt and change.

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by mrscrowley1029 on April 16, 2015 at 22:08

    My husband and I make every choice together no matter what is.. We both cook and clean.. I raised in church where the man did nothing and the ladies did everything so I disagree..

  5. 01banana

    Posted by 01banana on April 14, 2015 at 15:38

    I want to start off by saying I agree with this post and this is why… I used to really struggle with this as well. I can be really stubborn and always want to do things myself or my own way. However, I am a strong believer that the Bible speaks the truth no matter how it makes me feel. So, I prayed and asked God to help me understand what it meant to be submissive to your husband. I wanted to know because although I am not married, someday I just might be and I wouldn’t want my independence to get in the way of God’s beautiful plan for husbands and wives. His plans are so much better than our own, girls. Sometimes we don’t always understand but he will help us understand if we ask him to because he cares for us dearly. I got to say it was definitely pride that made me feel so defensive whenever this topic would be brought up. I did not like the idea of someone “controlling” me. That’s how I viewed being submissive before but it’s simply not true. It doesn’t mean that the husband if more important than the wife either. The husband and wife are one just as God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all one. They’re all important! Did you know that the Holy Spirit is also called the Helper? Does that make the Holy Spirit any less important than God or Jesus? No! It’s the same for the wife. The husband and wife are both sinners that can be saved by grace and God loves them both equally. They just have different roles. God assigned those roles. They work like a lock and a key. You can’t have two locks and you can’t have two keys. Together they work great though. Anyway, if you have difficulty accepting this but you want to understand more then I would encourage you to pray about it with an open mind. Speak to a trusted godly person. Don’t just go to someone who will tell you what you want to hear. Find someone who isn’t afraid to tell you what you need to hear and what is honest.

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by savinggrace on April 12, 2015 at 04:44

    Well put…This has been a problem in the Christian family for years. We as women have a hard time with submitting. This is not a argument God clearly gives the ordinance…God is head over Christ, Christ is head of man and Man is head of woman. Those who try to give a “but” are rebuttal to what is written usually find themselves having marriages that suffer,go through trials or situations that put a strain on their marriage or it doesn’t last. Not to mention the enemy Satan doesn’t like the unity so he will try everything he can to destroy what God intended. Those of you who disagree with this message try it first that’s the word of God and then speak down and out it. I’m speaking from experience I felt the same way why submit. God said why not if you love me you will keep my commandments that’s his laws his way of living that he has given us in the word. He will not allowed anything that is not of him cause you hurt.

    Love your post and don’t allow worldly people or those who are unlearned stop you from spreading God’s good news are word to the body of Christ and to those of us who may be lost.

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by stingwray0997 on April 11, 2015 at 08:20

    Sorry I just don’t agree. I’ve lived under the thumb of a man for a long time and never will a man make the final decision in my life again. My husband is more than welcome to make suggestions and depending on the situation what he thinks is best is what Will be done. I was raised to be very independent and not need a man in my life and I don’t. I am a woman yes, but that does not limit me to be just a caregiver and nurturer. I can do all the things a man can. A marriage is an equal partnership, meaning I have as much say in the marriage as my husband does. I have the right to make the final decision just as much as he does. I have to agree with faithsmith on this. I will not submit to a man. I’ve had the submissive thing described in a way that was positive, and this was not it.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by stingwray0997 on April 11, 2015 at 08:26

      With submission you’re doing something that someone else wants you to do whether you want to or not.

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by faithsmith on April 10, 2015 at 19:15

    This article made me feel like we stepped back in time to 1950s where men were superior to women. I firmly believe the bible is open to interpretation at some points. It does say wives submit to your husbands, husbands to your wives. You won’t find me allowing a man to make the final decision. This is 2015, marriage is about making choices together. In my opinion, number 2 is ridiculous. I think this article will make me no longer follow P.I. I really like the ministry but lately these posts have been very one sided. Girls this age need to make their own decisions not be told how to think.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by stingwray0997 on April 11, 2015 at 08:21

      In total agreement with you

      • Celeste

        Posted by Celeste on April 13, 2015 at 00:49

        faithsmith and stingwray0997 , I don’t necessarily agree with your statements, but you are entitled to your own opinion 🙂 just like a wife to her husband.

  9. BreyLove

    Posted by BreyLove on April 10, 2015 at 15:51

    I love how you worded everything! I have many people around me in my family and friends that ignore this passage of the bible because they don’t like it and claim that Paul was only referring to women of that culture, and I find myself outnumbered in this belief and unsure of how to phrase my position. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words, so hopefully I can do the same 🙂

  10. jnotemusic14

    Posted by jnotemusic14 on April 9, 2015 at 19:46

    Beautifully written. I’ll have to admit I feel like I will struggle with this if I don’t nip it in the bud soon, since I have a hard time even submitting to my parents. I tend to be very prideful and very defensive, and I think I need to fix it as soon as I can so it won’t be as hard when I am a wife. Thank you for this! 🙂

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by SharkbaitShea on April 11, 2015 at 17:42

      Thank you for talking about this! Its a hard passage to understand, and even harder to explain to others. This definitely gives me some tools for doing that 🙂

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on April 10, 2015 at 09:42

      Thank you jnotemusic14; And it’s not easy. I’m a wife who struggles daily with it. But I know God created this structure for a peaceful union that works for His purpose and glory not mine or even my husband’s. Blessing, TMG

  11. Aryandil

    Posted by Aryandil on April 9, 2015 at 12:26

    Can’t there be like an equal working relationship or something? I mean, I get that it’s kind of better for the guy to take the lead, but that doesn’t mean the girl can’t take the lead sometimes too.

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on April 10, 2015 at 09:56

      Thanks for the question Aryandil; You are equal since your marriage is a partnership and everything you do is for the benefit of your family and the glory of God. Additionally, you and your husband establish the areas in which you or he take the lead. For example, in my household, we homeschool. I teach our children and I am in charge of that area. However, my husband is interested in my children’s education and he is going to make suggestions whenever he deems necessary (he hardly ever does since he’s pretty happy with what I do). If we disagree about anything, whether it’s to do with his responsibilities of mine, he will be the one who makes the final decision, and I trust that it’s good for the family as a whole. But my husband doesn’t disregard my thoughts, feelings or opinions. We value each other’s decisions and many a time he’ll go with my suggestions. I hope this helps. Best and blessings, TMG