That’s a pretty scary word for alot of women. When I first heard about it, it was like acid being poured down my throat. Like seriously. Scared the heck out of me because I worked at Def Jam and in TV with a TON of strong, single, women that ran some things! I never really respected men in general–so all the sudden, I looked up & had a ring on my finger.. and I’m in pre-martial counseling.. I kinda-sorta submitted my life to God as a single, so I just KNEW that I could “make it happen” and do the same for my husband. Please. That took some WORK plus a ton of help from God. I was pretty lost.
At the alter, the pastor may say “Wives, submit yourselves to your husband as your husbands submit to Christ” You smile at the alter & if the pastor said, “will you promise to cook and clean and be a great wife?”
With tears running down your face as you stare into the eyes of your soon to be husband and look out at close friends and dear family that is sitting in the chairs..and the thousands and thousands of dollars you spent on that wedding, at that point, with all emotion, you would say YES!! I will do whatever it takes to make my husband HAPPY!…cuz I just loveeeee him.”
Then after that really good fight on that honeymoon, you are thinking, SUBMIT what?!.. he don’t RUN me?! I ain’t submittin’ to this fool he drives me up the WALL. He just wants to go to his man-cave, hang out with buddies, he EATS everything, won’t clean up after himself, I feel like his mama.. Then, 6 months into your marriage after those couple really good fights where you look at your husband and think, I’m stuck forever. whew. God, you gotta help me.
Ok, so let me give you the real deal from the Bible so you can’t say I made this up.
Even before sin entered the world, there was still the principle of headship (1 Timothy 2:13). Adam was created first, and Eve was created to be a “helper” for Adam (Genesis 2:18-20). At the same time, since there was no sin, there was no authority for man to obey except God’s authority. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin entered the world, and then authority was needed. Therefore, God established the authority needed to enforce the laws of the land and also to provide us with the protection we need. First, we need to submit to God, which is the only way we can truly obey Him (James 1:21; 4:7). In 1 Corinthians 11:2-3, we find that the husband is to submit to Christ as Christ did to God. Then the verse says that the wife should follow his example and submit to her husband. And I’ve said this before, if you aren’t submitting to Jesus now–constantly resisting Him, discontent, jealous, angry, mad..it’s going to amplify 100x once married. So you’ll rebel against your husband’s leadership, even though God put it in place. You’ll be jealous of other people’s marriage while refusing to do the work that it takes to develop your own marriage. Whatever your husband does for you will never be enough. Crazy how that works right? If you are struggling in these areas–don’t beat yourself down. Just DO what the Holy Spirit is telling you to do. Ie. Struggling with jealousy–stop going to those gossip blogs & watching basketball wives & other shows that make you compare your life to theirs. That’s not entertainment, it’s a seed.
Submission is a natural response to loving leadership. When a husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25-33), then submission is a natural response from a wife to her husband. The Greek word translated “submit,” hupotasso, is the continuing form of the verb. This means that submitting to God, the government, or a husband is not a one-time act. It is a continual attitude, which becomes a pattern of behavior. The submission talked about in Ephesians 5 is not a one-sided subjection of a believer to a selfish, domineering person. The submission I’m referring to is designed to be between two Spirit-filled believers who are mutually yielded to each other and to God. Submission is a two-way street. Submission is a position of honor and completeness. When a wife is loved as the church is loved by Christ, submission is not difficult. Ephesians 5:24 says, “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” This verse is saying that the wife is to submit to her husband in everything that is right and lawful. Therefore, the wife is under no obligation to disobey the law or God in the name of submission. (I have to put that in there–because someone is thinking–what if he writes bad checks, do I submit? Heck no.)
A wife should submit to her husband, not because women are inferior, but because that is how God designed the marital relationship to function. Submission is not a wife’s being a “doormat” for her husband. Rather, with the help of the Holy Spirit, a wife submits to her husband, and a husband sacrificially (dies to himself) loves his wife.
You MAY be thinking, alright Heather–my man doesn’t do the above. That’s in a perfect world. I do understand that there are situations where a wife is maybe married to an unbeliever or their husband has turned away from God. What’s the solution?
Understanding that you cannot change your man, but GOD changes them, not YOU. So even taking these scriptures and sayin’ “look homeboy, you need LOVE me like Christ loved the church, and you ain’t lovin’ me like that so I aint gonna submit.” You wanna know what that is? It’s manipulation. Your man is not perfect & neither are you but I can only talk to YOU about YOUR part. Submission will give you wisdom on how to deal with your man. While you are doing your part, God steps in & begins to change their heart. Because you aren’t nagging him every five minutes, God can speak to YOU about your part & show you the path to his heart so you can serve him. (And please, don’t be selfish & ask “what about ME & what he’s supposed to do?!”–that’s the problem, you are way too focused on YOU.)
Remember that YOU always have a part, so focus on doing your part & you’ll look up & it will be easy to submit! I actually enjoy submission now. I used to hate it & think that I had “NO” say so & that Cornelius & God was against me. But now my desires & my husband’s desires have become Christ’s.. we are walking together towards one goal & I trust that GOD is holding my husband accountable for our home. God could be showing Him something & as a WIFE, I have to trust that my husband can hear from God.
So while you are dating, if your man has zero relationship with God, spends no time with him, is rebellious, angry, mean .. but says he’s a Christian? The proof is in the pudding. PROOF of your salvation is in your actions. Out of your love for God, you won’t have sex with me prior to marriage. Out of your love for God, you’ll develop in selflessness, you’ll grow in Christ, spend time with Him, be sensitive to Him.
So, there’s no recipe to all the sudden submit one day. If you’ve been married for 20 years or married for 1 year, practice trusting your spouse daily. Ask God to renew your respect that you have for him, Ask God to open doors over your husband’s life and to lead him in the proper way. BUILD him up. You cannot build while tearing down. I CRINGE when I see woman talking down to their husbands in public. It’s the highest form of disrespect. You honor that man somehow, someway. Your man is getting beat up enough outside of the home trying to take care of you–the last thing he needs is extra voice..beat him down. So encourage him. (especially if he doesn’t deserve it)
I really love you ladies and I’m excited about a bunch of woman that are on fire for GOD, trust their husband’s leadership & are 100% submitted to God.
Love you all,