Submitting To Your Husband Is Not A Weakness
“22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5: 22-24
I can’t understand why so many wives have a problem with these words “submit” and “submission”. Truth is, if you are a believer in Christ you should not have a problem with these words. If you are a wife, it is impossible to build a successful marriage without these two vital principles. They are very much a big part of what makes marriages work. With the changes that are happening in our culture, especially the proliferation of “male bashing” in the media, it is so easy to forget that God called the man to lead. Masculine leadership is still relevant and needed in the home. Let me be clear to you, God knows exactly what he was doing when he created the man and the woman. Our needs are different as it pertains to love and submission. Love and respect is a BIG part of why marriage succeeds or fail.
Both husband and wife differ regarding their respective needs for one or the other of these emotional “commodities”. Men need to feel respected by their wives and women need to feel loved by their husbands. This explains why the Apostle Paul specifically instructs husbands to “love” their wives and wives to “respect” their husbands (Ephesians 5:33). It is impossible for your marriage to work without these two essential components. A wife will find it very difficult to submit to a husband who does not love and respect her. A husband will find it hard to love and honor a wife who does not respect and submit to him. These points cannot be ignored in a marriage.
To me, submission means…
To submit means willingly following her husband’s leadership in Christ. For the husband, it means putting aside his interests to care for his wife. Submission is rarely a problem in homes where both partners have a healthy relationship with Christ and where each is concerned for the happiness of the other.
The Apostle Paul also counseled all believers to submit to one another by choice, wives to husband and husband to wives.
There is a reason why love and respect are at the top of the list that couples argued they are not getting enough of. My wife and I asked twenty couples what they needed most from their spouse. The wives said they needed more love and affection from their husband and the husband said they need respect from their wives. It is not by coincidence that these two things are such a big deal in marriage. It is impossible to build a marriage without them, yet it is the two things that most couples deprive each other of. We serve an amazing God; he knows exactly what the man needs to better serve his wife. He knows exactly what the woman needs to better serve her husband.
Emerson Eggerichs, the best-selling author of Love and Respect*, asserts: “Women need love. Men need respect. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.” The foundation for his platinum-level former book-of-the-year is a theorized gender difference he identified by posing this question:
If you were forced to choose one of the following, which would you prefer to endure…to be left alone and unloved in the world, or to feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone?
In his original sample of 400 males, 74% said that if they were forced to choose, they would prefer feeling alone and unloved rather than feeling disrespected and inadequate (p.49). He collected data on a female sample and found that a comparable majority would rather feel disrespected and inadequate than alone and unloved. Based on this data, Eggerichs concluded that a wife “needs love just as she needs air to breathe” and a husband “needs respect just as he needs air to breathe” (p. 37).
Most of us miss this vital principle for marriage because we move away from the law of God’s word and follow a system made by man that was designed to dishonor and disrespect the union of marriage.
Submission brings harmony to the marriage; it also preserves and increases love and respect in the marriage. When there is harmony in the marriage, it brings peace. I want to reflect further on the subject of submission because I am convinced it is a vitally important part of the Christian life. Consider one of the reasons submission warrants such careful consideration: Submission is the key to unity and harmony in human relationships. In the Godhead, in the church, in marriage, and in any relationship, submission is the basis for unity.
Most wives think that if they submit to their husband, they are giving up too much authority. That is not true at all, I think because of the individualistic society we are living in where everyone thinks more about themselves, we don’t want to believe that authority matters. Authority matters for both the husband and the wife. Have you considered that God created you to be the husband’s helpmate? The reality of marriage is you don’t have to get the best treatment from your spouse to be the best spouse. Being the best; you can always have a positive impact on the marriage and often influence your spouse to change. Your husband might not show himself as a good leader at times, but it is the wife’s responsibility to help him. He is not your boss, he is your husband. If he is treating you like one, then he is not honoring his assignment has a leader.
The Bible tells the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. According to the Bible, the man is the spiritual head of the family, just as Christ is the head of the church. Christ dies for the church, so the husband must be willing to give everything for his wife. Wives should acknowledge this kind of leadership. THE WIFE HAS TO SUBMIT, BUT THE HUSBAND HAS TO DIE. Real spiritual leadership involves loving to serve. A husband must love to serve his wife, and she desires a man who knows how to serve and honor her. This kind of service is equivalent to dying. He must be willing to do what it takes to make the marriage work. Just as Christ served the disciples, even to the point of washing their feet, so the husband is to serve his wife.
A wise and Christ-honoring husband will not take advantage of his leadership role, and a wise and Christ-honoring wife will not try to undermine her husband’s leadership. Either approach causes disunity and friction in a marriage.
Wives, submission is not weakness; to submit gives you power. A wife will not win the heart of a man she is not in submission to him.