This right here is something that we have a hard time talking about. For some women, as soon as the topic is brought up, we shut down. I mean, think about it. Your husband comes in expecting it from you, but he hasn’t even taken the trash out. Maybe he’s a lazy mama’s boy who, if he is honest with himself, is looking for a woman who will take care of him. However, he expects you to be willing and ready to give it to him whenever and where ever. What about trust? If you can’t trust him, you are definitely not going to be excited about giving it up. How can he expect you to just throw it at him when he can’t even stay on top of paying the bills? He MUST be crazy! What is this “it” that I’m referring to? Submission. Yeah, THAT word.
Ladies, if we are honest with ourselves, a lot of us do not like to talk about being submissive to our spouse. I know I personally had a hard time fully embracing it myself. But I have come to realize that nine times out of ten, when a woman does not like to discuss the topic of submission it is either because she is ill-informed on what it truly means or her spouse is ill-informed and trying to enforce his backwards theories. So today, class, we are going to dispel the myths and get a clear understanding of what submission looks like for a wife as well as a husband. Yeah I said it! Your man is NOT exempt from this principle, Sis!
Let me start this off by pointing out something very important. If you have yet to notice, I used the words “spouse” and “husband” in the previous paragraph. It was intentional and purposeful. Ladies, we should not be submitting to our boyfriend, cuddle buddy, or anybody else who has not placed a ring on our finger. That is not just my personal opinion. That is Bible. Ephesians 5:22 very clearly states that a wife should be submitting to her husband. PeriodT. And no, the “T” is not silent. I don’t care how long Jimmy has been around or the fact that your mom calls him her son-in-law. If Jimmy has not “made an honest woman out of you” (whatever that means), do not let him give you the submission sermon. Have several seats, Jimmy!
A lot of misinformed men like to use Ephesians 5:22 to preach to their wives about submission and how she is supposed to basically “bow down” to him. One thing I know about the Bible and its various passages is that you have to read the surrounding verses if you want a more accurate understanding of what was written. Verse 21 of this same chapter says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Submission is a two way street, but a wife’s lane looks different and serves a different purpose from a husband’s lane. Let’s explore the differences while we dispel a few myths.
A misinformed woman typically thinks of submission as slavery or a form of control or oppression. Let’s dispel that myth.
Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”
Side note: Did y’all catch the shade in this verse? Submit yourselves to your OWN husbands. I’m just gonna leave that at that.
What does this passage mean? It means that we should see submission as an act of worship to God. It’s the same concept as Colossians 3:23. Submission is something we should do to honor our husbands just as we aim to honor God. When you think about your relationship with God, what comes to mind? It should be a relationship that benefits you as you honor God with your life. It should not be a one-sided relationship where God gets all of the glory, honor, and praise while you have nothing to show for it. This is exactly what a marriage should look like. As you honor and submit to your husband, you are blessed by God because of your obedience and blessed by your husband, as he is even more motivated to express his love and appreciation for you.
John Piper’s definition of submission in his article entitled “Six Things Submission Is Not” beautifully captures a woman’s role in her marriage. He defines it as “the defined calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership, and so help to carry it through according to her gifts.” The accuracy of this! This definition made me feel empowered. I have the power to honor and affirm my husband in a way that pushes him to better lead our family. Therein lies the beauty of a wife submitting to her husband. When done well, you ultimately reap the benefits.
A misinformed man typically thinks of submission as a way to do what he wants, when he wants, and how he wants without a sense of accountability. Let’s dispel that myth.
Ephesians 5:22 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”
Husbands have been charged to submit to their wives by loving them “just as Christ loved the church…” The question to answer here is, “How did Christ love the church?” He expressed his love for us by sacrificing his life so that we could live eternally. Think about it. Surrendering your very life for someone else? If THAT is not an expression of submission, I don’t know what is.
A man who genuinely loves his wife will not want to lord over her. Instead, he will act just as Jesus did and make it his life’s mission to do whatever it takes to ensure that she is able to live her best life. He will submit his plans and goals to God because he understands that he cannot effectively lead her without divine guidance. A loving husband will consult with his wife and take her thoughts into consideration because he values her opinion. He will also sacrifice his time and his own desires in order to make sure his wife has everything she needs (and even some of the things she wants). This is what submission looks like for a husband: love and sacrifice.
When I left home for college, I never looked back. I did not go back home after graduation, but I decided to stay in Austin and figure this thing called life out on my own. In other words, I was an independent woman who was making things happen when I met my husband. I am a very smart woman who has never NEEDED a man by my side in order to make it. So when it came to being submissive, I really was not trying to hear it. Submission had a negative connotation for me, and I’m sure I am not the only one. I felt like I would lose my independence and self-worth if I submitted to my husband, and I was not having it! But boy was I wrong.
I thank God that my husband was patient with me and took the time to help me understand the TRUE meaning of submission. I thought submitting would cause me to feel confined and enslaved, but it was actually very liberating for me. Once I made the conscious decision to submit, I felt a level of freedom that I had never felt. I also experienced God’s love through my husband. Just as Matthew 11:28-30 states, I was able to find rest for my soul and lighten the load that I had been carrying alone for years.
All of that time that I spent fighting to maintain control, I was missing out on the opportunity to allow my husband to be my hero. Do not make the same mistake, Sis. Give your husband the chance to be your Superman. Let him step into the crown that God created for him. He needs that, and whether you know it or not, so do you.
I hope that I didn’t ruffle too many feathers with this one. However, if I did, take it up with God (insert shoulder shrug). Drop a comment below and let me know what you think about what I had to say. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook.