Wives Submit?

I’ve been talking about sex on a predominantly Christian blog this past week. Yes, if you haven’t been reading, married Christians do have and enjoy sex.

I was just rereading Sex Ed for the Saints and was pondering 1 Corinthians 7:4 where Paul talks about the wife not having authority over her own body, but the husband, and the husband not having authority over his own body, but the wife. This reminds me of another scripture that is UNcomfortable for some.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-24

According to Merriam-Webster, submit means to yield oneself to the authority or will of another.

In our society we don’t value submissive people. We value authoritative people…take charge people…people who know what they want and aren’t afraid to go after it…we want a leader not a servant.

Add in to that mix someone like me. I’m a woman. I’m competitive. I live for a challenge. Tell me I can’t do something, and I’ll prove you wrong. Tell me I can’t do something just because I’m a woman and I’ll definitely prove you wrong! Even if I hurt myself doing it.

By most people’s definition, I am authoritative. I am a leader. I am a go-getter. I won’t lie, there are days I rue the fact I’m female.

How does this picture of me fit in with the instruction found for wives in Ephesians? How can I, a strong-willed woman, accept the fact that scripture instructs me to submit to my husband?

I mean, does it really mean I have to let him have the final say? Does he really have the right to tell me what to do?

I struggled with this for many years. Fortunately, unfortunately actually but I’ll cover that another day, I married a man who isn’t very authoritative. So, my struggle with this scripture didn’t cause conflict in our relationship. I just struggled with the idea that God wanted me to give up power over myself to my spouse.

Let’s look at this a different way though.

I am a Christian. God invited me into that relationship through the leading of the Holy Spirit. He made the relationship possible through the blood and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ.

God created the heavens and the earth. He created me. He could have forced me to worship Him. He could have made me serve Him. In all honesty, I was created for that purpose.

However, instead of forcing me into a relationship I may or may not want, He gave me freewill and allowed me to choose. He issued an invitation, and it was my decision to accept or not.

I did not have to marry my husband. The saying goes there’s plenty of fish in sea. I chose to marry Him.

Why would I choose to marry someone that I didn’t trust? Why would I choose to marry someone that I wouldn’t be willing to listen to their opinion and accept their position on the topic?

Just like God didn’t force me to become a Christian and follow Him, my husband didn’t force me to marry him. I chose both of them. Therefore I shouldn’t have any problem at all following where they lead.

Notice that this verse says wives should submit to their own husbands. I am not supposed to submit to all men in general. This scripture does NOT indicate that women are inferior to men. It does not place men in an elevated position and women in a demeaning position. I, as the wife of my husband, should submit to him as I would to the Lord. Not because my husband is God, but because it is a reflection of my submission to God.

There is actually freedom in submission.

I wouldn’t have made that statement in my youth, but now I’m a tad bit wiser. By submitting to my husband, I find freedom from decisions that I probably shouldn’t have ever been making to start with. I don’t have to worry about him finding out what I did or didn’t do.

Sometimes it’s nice just to be a follower…I don’t always have to be the leader!

Here are some websites I found about submission in marriages:

A Husband’s Take on Leading a Submissive Wife

Girls Gone Wise: 7 Misconceptions About Submission

Why I Choose to be a Submissive Wife


2 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Carrie, As a wife I normally am submissive to his wants, needs in general his way. Even though we usually agree and are more equals. I have been told I was crazy by family and friends in the past. “Why do you get him his dinner, he has 2 feet?”

    My question is…My husband has a disease that similar to Alzheimer's causes him to at times have episodes of memory loss, anger, depression, etc. Where I need to make certain decisions for his health and/or the family because he is unable to think clearly. This is only going to get worse as he gets older, he is only 41 now and has had 6 strokes. He sometimes gets angry, more with himself because he isn't “the strong man” anymore and tries to do things he just can't do.
    How does a wife that is supposed to be the submissive partner handle this? I pray I am doing right. I struggle with the thoughts of what the future might bring.


  2. Hi, Kimberly. First let me say that I have been praying for you and your husband since this comment popped through to my e-mail and I will continue to lift your family up in prayer.

    Second, while I'm sure your extended family believes they have your well-being as their priority, if you feel that you are doing what God has called you to do, if you are happy, then you are right where you are supposed to be. Sometimes those who love us don't take time to understand us before passing judgment and advice. 🙂

    I absolutely haven't been in your situation. I am not qualified to counsel you. However, as a married Christian woman, I believe in my wedding vows…in sickness and in health. I believe if God brings you to it, He'll carry you through it.

    While we as humans don't understand it, God has placed us exactly where we are for a purpose. You have been created for this purpose…to bloom exactly where you are planted right now.

    Yes, you are more than likely going to have to be the decision maker and the “strong” one for a season. Your husband trusts you. It's one of the reasons he married you. If he had to choose someone to take over his role as head of household, it would be you hands down. By filling that role, you are being submissive.

    And I don't believe you will ever have to handle all of it alone. Your Father, your Creator, the original Lover of your soul will never leave you nor forsake you. When you can't, He will.

    Be encouraged. Be strengthened. You were created for such a time as this. God has a plan for your life. One that will give you a hope and a future. No, it may not always be easy, but you will NEVER be alone.


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