Why Not Submit?
I have to confess I’m rather nosy by nature. I peer over my husband’s shoulder whenever I notice him corresponding by e-mail. Thankfully, Charlie doesn’t seem to mind my snooping and I acquire some great information this way as he’s not a real chatty person. Several weeks ago I read something in one of his e-mails that I found very encouraging. He wrote, “I am so thankful that I have a Godly wife who is submissive to me.” I hope repeating this won’t make you think I’m trying to boast. There will be a point to this soon. Recently, while having dinner at my parent’s house, Charlie praised me again by announcing the same thing to my family. And again, I overheard him making a similar comment to our pastor. The point is: my husband values my submissive attitude above everything else I do. It blesses his socks off!
Much has been written about submission and it’s common to hear many women speak of their struggles with it. I would like to share a different angle with you. I can’t understand why any wife wouldn’t want to submit. This may sound selfish, but there’s a huge payoff. In Ephesians 5, it states clearly that the husband is the head of the wife. Is this to make her miserable, to tie her down, or to deny her getting her own way? No! God designed and created man to have this authority. Therefore, when we obey our husbands we allow them to fulfill this part of their lives. We complete them. It’s a perfect fit. Not only are our husbands blessed, but they are then whole enough as men to turn around and cherish us.
His touch is tender when he realizes I won’t dispute his leadership.
It’s not hard for me to submit to my husband. I love watching his reaction when I affirm him and comply with his decisions. There’s a softness that comes to his countenance when he realizes I won’t dispute his leadership. There’s a tenderness to his touch.
The gift of submission is ours to give to our husbands. They cannot force it out of us. We may as well not call it “submission” if we do it grudgingly. The “Okay; have it your way!” attitude is not what this is about. Webster’s Dictionary uses the words ‘meekness’ and ‘consideration’ to describe this word.
There is so much truth in the verse, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Think about a special gift you have given to someone at Christmastime. Maybe it was a handmade gift that you spent time preparing and the person’s response was so joyful and grateful that you felt blessed to be the one to bring such happiness. So it is with this gift of submission – there is a double blessing. When we submit willingly we also harvest blessings for ourselves.
I don’t know one woman who doesn’t want a healthy, loving marriage, yet I’ve known many women who are not willing to surrender this part of their lives. Unknowingly, many women make marriage difficult for themselves. They take authority away from their husbands and wield it themselves, but sadly, it backfires on them.
A marriage does not work with two Adams.
Adam and Eve were not given the same job to do nor the same role to serve. Adam was told to work and to dress the garden of Eden while Eve was made to be his helpmeet. Adam and Eve were each made to reveal different aspects of our Maker. Together, they make a complete whole. God knew how to create harmony with this order. A marriage does not work with two Adams.
God has outlined an harmonious plan for our marriages in His Word. It’s sad how many women have been taught an opposing doctrine by society - sometimes by their churches, and often by their own mothers.
My husband esteems me more because I choose to submit to him.
Submission is not repression. My heart goes out to the millions of Arab women who are not even allowed to show their faces because of the oppression they have been placed under by their religion. The Bible assures us in Galatians 3 that there is no distinction between male and female regarding our inheritance in Christ Jesus. There is no need to fear that submitting to your husband will cause you to lose your worth, or to simply become a doormat. The opposite is true. My husband esteems me more, not less, because I choose to submit to him. He cherishes this gift I give him and has told me he is careful not to abuse it.
I can almost hear someone say, “But I don’t have that sort of personality. I’m fiery and my husband is used to me being this way.” God has made each of us to be unique but don’t let this be your excuse for not allowing your husband to lead your marriage. Although I am not this way myself, there are a couple of women in my family who are red-haired and have temperaments that match (perhaps you can guess who they are!) They are not “docile little women” but they know the value of submitting to their husbands and they do it.
Okay; let’s get practical. How do we submit? You don’t have to wait until the next seriously important decision arises to allow your husband to lead. Submission is a lifestyle. I’ll share with you some of the ways I have found to be effective. “I wanted to check with you first” or “Would it be okay if…” are phrases I often use with my husband. As mothers and wives we have households to run and many decisions to make daily. Of course, there are many things we must decide on our own, but this does not give us license to disregard our husband’s leadership. The woman in Proverbs 31 whose price is above rubies brings honor to her husband. When you make plans that will impact the family, run it by your husband first, instead of charging ahead. If he disagrees, this is not the time to rant and rave or give him the silent treatment.
My children know that daddy is in charge.
My children know that daddy is in charge. In my husband’s presence I tell my children that Daddy answers to God for all of us. Believe it or not, it doesn’t make me feel less of a person when my four-year-old goes around saying, ”God’s the boss of Daddy and Daddy’s the boss of Mommy.”
Finally, when there is a decision to make that you have strong feelings about, you should feel free to share your thoughts with your husband on the subject. Remember though, as we are told in 1 Peter 3:5, that a wife’s meek and gentle spirit is precious in the sight of God. The way you share your feelings with your husband on the matter will affect his ability to listen. Remind him that you’ll support him whether you agree with his final decision or not.
Burns, Tennessee, USA