I recall crafting an article a few years ago which focused on marriage, wives and submission. The title was “When He Can’t Lead”. What I remember most was the reaction from so many women who struggled with the idea of having leading and husband in the same sentence. There were nearly 80 comments and the majority were from women questioning why men were automatically assumed as the leaders in the home. A few men chimed in, but their comments were definitely overshadowed.
Submission in marriage seems to be an ongoing battle. Those of us who practice Christianity learn about submitting to our husbands through our biblical study and application. It is clearly stated in Ephesians 5:22-33, as it reads:
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Those from different faiths, I am sure, have principles that are applied to their marriages as well.
Some wives are struggling with the word submission because they are stuck on what’s expected of the wife and not at all realizing the husband has a great responsibility in the marriage as well.
Many women are also concentrating on what they feel they might be losing, instead of understanding the bigger picture. Both partners have responsibilities in the marriage. The husband is required to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Now if we think submitting is the largest of those two sacrifices, we are mistaken. Submission is about yielding to the guidance of our husbands. Yes, it is about sacrificing, but marriage is about putting the needs of our spouse ahead of our own.
Independence also plays a role for those women who can’t submit. They’re more worried about what it says about them as a woman than the overall good of the relationship. Some are worried about the ego it might create in the husband.
We may also be questioning the word “authority” in the definition of submission and it causes us anxiety. When I think of submitting, trust, honor and respect come to mind and these are definitely qualities I want displayed in my marriage toward my husband.
Every marriage is different, what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. However, our marriages need a solid foundation. There should be principles in place to help keep us on track. The bottom line is some of us are too worried about why we can’t or shouldn’t submit. Our focus should be on what we need to contribute in order for our marriage to prosper.
BMWK, what role does submission play in your marriage? What are your thoughts on wives submitting to their husbands? How is submission displayed in your marriage?