There is a word that brings fear into the hearts of many women …
Some women even go so far as to avoid relationships and marriage because of it.
The word is submission. You may have wanted to skip reading on this topic because it’s so controversial. Let’s see how submission should be defined in marriage.
According to dictionary.com, the word submit is “to accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.” Submission in marriage is one of the most misinterpreted messages of the Bible. It’s interesting that whenever the word submission is mentioned, we mostly think that this is the role that the wife should play in a marriage.
Ephesians 5:22-33 is a passage often referenced when discussing roles in marriage and the family. But Ephesians 5:21 says, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” Here, we see that God requires submission from both man and woman to Him and to each other.
Most times this passage is read, we start from verse 22, skipping past verse 21. The obligation is then placed on the wife to respect and submit to her husband. This verse proves that as a married couple, both parties should be submitting to each other …
Since you are reading this article, we can surmise that you may be married and young — or pray to be married in the future. This is a good principle for a newly married Christian couple to live by. We should have plenty practice before marriage as we deal with our brothers and sisters in Christ on a daily basis.
Firstly, believers are to submit to God.
Before you can submit to your spouse, it is very important to remember your first covenant with God. We ought to put Christ first in everything.
To be a blessing to your husband or wife, remember that your submission and allegiance is to your Heavenly Father first of all. This would mean that if your spouse asks you to do anything that will be displeasing to God, you are to do what you know is right without hesitation.
There are many examples in the Bible where women go along with their husbands’ bad decisions and God is not pleased. God will honor your decision to follow and obey Him. In Genesis, Abraham ask Sarah twice to lie and say that they are brother and sister instead of husband and wife. The lies yield severe consequences (although God, as good as He is, still continued to prosper Abraham).
How should the husband submit to his wife?
Once submission to God is evident in the husband’s life, he will realize that he in no way overrides the authority of God in the life of his wife. God has placed man or the husband as the head of the home here on earth. Spiritually, both of you are equal in God’s sight, however, the headship is with the man. The husband is called to lead his wife and family by example.
Our greatest example to follow is the Lord Jesus Christ. Once the husband submits to Christ’s authority in his life, the decisions that he makes for his family will be godly. Demanding that your wife does something is not submission; the way to win your wife over is to love her as Christ says you should.
How should the wife submit to her husband?
The wife is called to submit to her husband because God has placed him as the head of the home. Does this mean husbands who aren’t Christians shouldn’t be submitted to? No.
We are not to be slaves to our husbands — your submission should be an act of love, where you simply cater to your husband and place his needs above yours. This is simply what we should do as believers.
The only time you shouldn’t submit to your husband is when a request is contrary to the Word of God. The wife should honor the husband’s decisions in the marriage, whether you agree or not. Whenever there is a disagreement on a decision to be made, this is where the husband’s decision stands (so long as it aligns with God’s heart).
As a wife, it is your duty to support and encourage your husband, to pray with and for him and ask God to give you peace in the decision that your husband makes when you don’t agree.
When we submit ourselves one to the other in the fear of the Lord as the body of Christ should, your marriage is destined to be great. Can you imagine a more harmonious marriage than one with mutual submission from both spouses?
Keneesha Liddie is a lover of God with a keen appreciation for books. As an educator, her main goal in life is to point others to Christ. Using her love of all thing literary she harnesses her creative mind for her Savior. She is married to Jerome and mother to Atarah.