Disclaimer: if you’re going to read this post about submitting to your husband you need to understand that I write from the perspective that men and women are different. Equal? Yes. Same? No. This might be a hard post to read. It’s a hard one to write. Hang in there with me.
My husband is absolutely the wittiest person you’ll ever meet. At first he’s quiet but once you get to know him he’s hilarious. Occasionally he’ll pull the submitting wife card out of his pocket and say something like, “Doesn’t your Bible say you’re supposed to submit to me. Do what I say…wh-oman!”
While we can laugh about it now after twenty years together, submission has not always been a humorous subject in our marriage. In all honesty, I still struggle to truly comprehend this seemingly absurd concept. I have a feeling I’m not alone in my struggle. Ever feel like you’re not on the same page and you really wish he would just agree with you?! I mean, I’m an intelligent, capable, strong woman. Why do I need to be the one to follow? Why do I need to be the one to submit?
The Issue of Submission
I think submitting to our husbands is not just a single issue. God knows that the idea hits several issues that are deep down in our hearts. To our core, we have tendencies to look mainly inward, self preserve, and control. Why?
We live in a tough world where people hurt and take advantage of other people. To submit can be thought of as the opposite of self preservation. No woman wants to be a doormat, right?! Our first reaction is to look out for ourselves, protect ourselves…which can protect us in some situations. There is also the issue of free will and the primal instinct to compete with others. Everyone wants to be the one to come out on top. Again, this can protect us in some ways. Survival of the fittest, right?
“A truth, even when unpopular, cannot simply be rejected.”Truly Devoted to Him
Submitting does not mean becoming a doormat. But biblical submission still isn’t just an easy natural habit. Hey, if submitting to someone else was easy we wouldn’t need to be told to do it. We’d already be doing it! The New Testament instructs us to submit in several different relationships. Humankind is instructed by the Creator to submit to God’s law, to God’s righteousness. The word of God tells us as wives to submit to husbands and as people to submit to our leaders. His truth, even when unpopular, cannot simply be dissected and parts rejected.
Submit to God’s royal son…Psalm 2:12 – we must submit to His guidance each and every day in order to be ready for His return.
Everyone must submit to governing authorities.Romans 13:1 – obeying the laws saves us from punishment and gives us a clear conscience.
And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.Ephesians 5:21 – serving others is a Christ-like love
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord.Colossians 3:18 – wives submit and husbands love
So you see it’s not just a single command for women to cower before their husbands and do whatever they say. It’s a repeated theme in the word in of God directed towards all of His people for our own good.
What does submission really mean?
Some positive synonyms for submit are acknowledge, appease, humor, indulge, yield, defer, serve and go with the flow. Ok, I can wrap my head around these synonyms. These are not bad qualities of a person and we as wives even like to do these for our husbands!
Maybe submission really boils down to serving in love. Submission is about the willingness to put someone else’s needs above our own. It is a selfless love. And when we got married we agreed to love and to treasure our man. So how is submitting to our husband worked out in a practical manner now that the honeymoon phase is over?
Isn’t it much easier to follow the advice of someone that you admire? I looked up to him and admired all of his qualities. Sometimes I get frustrated with him and disagree with him. But when I keep reminding myself how much I admire this man it makes it much easier for my heart to soften towards him and not be up in arms over something. I remind myself that my husband has a good heart. He has good will and an entire list of admirable qualities. So, yeah, I’ll go along with him living life beside him, loving him and doing things for him.
Men have a natural urge to lead. Deep in the heart of a man is the desire to conquer. Acknowledging my husband as the leader of our family shows him respect. It shows him that he is a victorious man. He’s a winner. He is conquering this thing that’s so friggin hard that we call married life.
Acknowledging your husband’s authority does not mean going along with anything and everything. Our ultimate authority is God alone. Remember the story of Abigail in the Bible. Her husband was disrespectful to King David after David treated his servants and sheep shearers well. Had she simply stood by and submitted to her husband’s repaying David’s men with evil her entire household would’ve been destroyed. She did not. She did what was right and God took care of her. In the end she became David’s wife and lived in the palace.
Is your husband always going to get it right? Uhh no! Will you always be the one that’s right? No. No one is. But isn’t that a beautiful part of life? We live and we learn that assembling the crib in a different room doesn’t work well or that buying used appliances comes with risks. Being there for each other without blame in times when things go wrong actually helps us grow even closer.
Do you trust your husband’s intentions? Can you make the conscience effort to trust and defer to his intelligence? Remember, no one scores 100% but trusting that he’s doing things for the good of the family and his intentions are not against you makes submission easier to live out practically.
Appease, Indulge, Humor
I actually like these synonyms for submission!! I like to humor and appease my husband. I love to see that huge white smile of his and hear the laugh that so often accompanies it. It makes me smile just thinking about it! It makes me happy to cater to him and spoil him.
Is it always easy? HA! Far from it. Sometimes I just want what I want. But self awareness and analysis always work. Call it conviction of the heart. I occasionally have to ask myself:
- Am I doing things that satisfy him or that urk the crap out of him?
- Am I indulging him by letting him say something or cutting him off before he finishes?
- Am I humoring his stories and jokes (no matter how many times I’ve heard them)?
- Am I interrupting, contradicting or scolding him?
The Process & Rewards of Submitting
I am constantly working on these things to make submission to my husband an easier command to follow. When I have a different opinion or want to do something a different way we communicate! I’m no doormat. I have a strong personality. When I am able to swallow my pride, work through it with him and let my husband lead me I never regret it. It’s an investment in my marriage and it strengthens our relationship. It’s an act of selfless love that satisfies immensely more than getting my own way in a brawl does. When operating under the authority of God, we find true freedom within His guidelines. When we obey our Creator, we find long-term contentment and satisfaction that surpasses any kind of happiness we could create on our own.
That’s my wish for you 🙂
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