Submission in Marriage: A Biblical Standpoint

True, biblical submission in a marriage relationship is a thorny topic. These are treacherous waters to enter. But if marriages and family relationships desire to improve, we need to look into the Word of God to see what His teachings are.

God’s ways are not our ways.

His ways are much higher than ours, and we may not always understand the ways He commands us to do until we follow his commandments.

Only then do we realize the blessings we refuse when we refuse to follow his teachings. 

To submit and go under the authority of a human, carnal man brings about fear in a woman when she does not truly Trust God. 

For years I believed that my husband had total control over every situation. He made the final decision, and I was left to deal with it. 

What I have come to understand, however, is that unless your husband has no love for you and is completely self-centered and selfish, he will often bend to your will because he wants a HAPPY wife. 

Signs You Might Struggle with A Lack of Submission

Is there a lot of fighting in your marriage?

Do things always have to go your way?

Do you struggle with not being able to accept his decision?

Do you often believe your ways are often better than your Husband’s?

Me too. Join the club!

If this was not something that wives are prone to struggle with, this teaching would not be in the bible.

Ladies, men are far from stupid. They are often much more logical and balanced than we tend to be, but they have feelings too.

And when we make a show of submitting, but inwardly rebel, he knows.

A husband that wants to please his wife will often do things her way, just to keep the peace and not create a fight.

Before we go on, let’s go to what the Word of God says.

So you know that this is not just some idea that I came up with, let’s look at what the bible says about a wife’s role in submission. 

What the Bible Says About Submission in Marriage

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1 Peter 3:1-6 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 

While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 

Whose adorning let it not be the outward of adorning of plaiting of the hair, and of wearing of gold, or putting on of apparel; 

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 

For after this manner in the old time the holy woman also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

These verses have a lot of wisdom in them, but what really struck me when I realized that the start of the chapter begins with likewise, meaning that it was in reference to what Peter had just been talking about in the previous chapter.

Going back a couple of verses, he speaks about how a servant should be in subjection to his master, not only to the gentle but even to the harsh ones.

It is thankworthy when a man for conscience toward God endures grief, suffers wrongfully.

It’s hard to wrap our heads around this.

There he goes on to say, “For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable unto God.”

Wow! So I am actually called to bear it patiently when I am treated wrongfully.

I do not need to stand up for my rights, my thoughts, and my feelings.

Can you see how much out of line this is with worldly thinking? Our carnal nature rebels against the thought of TAKING it.

We believe we need to stand up for ourselves.

When in truth, we are called to suffer things patiently, just as Jesus suffered. We ought to follow His steps, not the selfish steps of this world.

This is for me just as much as for you. Submission does not come easily for me.

It is something I struggle with daily, but I believe that God will help me in this area as well. But before we can learn how to submit to our husband, we need to understand what submission is

What Submission in Not

1.Not a sign of Weakness

It actually takes a great deal of moral character to be a submissive wife. It is against our carnal nature to submit. Submission shows respect to your husband.

2.Not degrading

Submission is not humiliating. A truly submitted wife still has a voice, as she does her best to help her husband in any way possible.

She voices her opinions and thoughts in a respectful and humble spirit. Then she trusts God to help her husband along the way.

What she does not do is take authority over her husband. 

3. Does Not make Wives Inferior

We are all equally valued in the sight of God. God is a God of order, and he created everything wonderfully.

When we operate in the role God wants us to, we are much more fulfilled in our life.

What Does Biblical Submission Look Like For A Wife?

Respect your husband

Ephesians 5:33 ….and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

To revere means to have a deep respect for someone, to show honor in word and deed.

This can be difficult when your husband is not being respectable at all, but do it for God. 

Obey Your Husband

Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 

We need to obey our husband’s wishes. This does NOT mean when a man requires things from you that go against God’s commandments, as I know there are those kinds of men out there as well.

However, we honor God when we obey our husbands.

Be in Subjection To your Husband.

1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands.

To be in subjection literally means to be under the control of your husband.

We are honoring God and our husband when we allow him to be a leader and in control of our life. Where submission is the act of submitting or yielding to the authority of another person, subjection means to be under the control of someone else.

Submit To Your Own Husband

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

We should submit, or give up our own will, to our own husband. AS UNTO THE LORD. By submitting we are honoring God and our husband in the process. 

This does not mean we become a doormat.

At times it would be wrong of us NOT to express ourselves. But it does mean that we do it in a respectful and honoring manner.

Who should submit to each other?

In any given place, whether a workplace, a church, or a family, there has to be an order of authority for it to function properly.

Rebellion against all authority is a big reason why the world is in its state of chaos.

Satan rebelled against God because of pride.

In the same way, are wives rebelling against their husbands, children against their parents, and men and women against the government and any established authority.

Pride causes us to rebel against authority.

In a Godly Marriage,the wife submits to her husband. Ephesians 5:22-23. Nowhere do we read that a man should submit to his wife. 

A wife is to be in subjection to her husband and is called to obey him, as unto the Lord. 

Benefits of Submission in Marriage

Submission, once we fully understand it, is a beautiful thing that is a wonderful blessing towards us.

We can rest in Trusting God that he is in full control and that He will not allow any more then what his will is.

When you fully submit to your husband you can look forward to:

  1. Fewer fights
  2. Your Husband Will Appreciate You More
  3. A more confident husband
  4. A more responsible husband
  5. A more loving Husband.

This is such a controversial topic that I almost hesitate to write it.

I know there are men out there that have a WARPED view of Biblical Submission, and it is horrifying.

These men do not understand what true LOVE for their wife is, as Christ loved the church.

A sacrificial love, wanting the BEST for his wife.

However, Biblical submission is a beautiful picture of how we submit to Christ, and for that reason, we as Christian wives need to follow God’s advice.

Wives are most assuredly happier when performing in the role that God designed for them.

True biblical submission in a marriage relationship is a complex topic.

But if wives are concerned about doing their part, and giving 100% to their marriage relationship and want their children to grow up with a correct view of a family synergy, we need to look into the Word of God to see what His teachings are for our part.

4 thoughts on “Submission in Marriage: A Biblical Standpoint”

  1. I agree with much of what you state in your article. You say, “Nowhere do we read that a man should submit to his wife.” Where does Eph 5:21 fit into your thinking? Thanks!

  2. I really need someone to talk to about this. I am struggling through this lesson with God at the moment. Like you said, not many understand in this world and so I have no one to talk things through with. If you would be willing please reach out to me via my email. Blessings.

  3. My husband has cancer . The treatments are going okay, but his cancer is aggressive. He wants me to promise to marry his widowed cousin, if the treatments don’t work , so that the kids and I can have covering , be financially secure, etc. He claims that biblically speaking, I need to submit to his wish. Is he right?

    1. Wow, you are definitely going through a trial right now, and a really difficult situation. I don’t think that you can make that promise. You should submit, but you do not want to make a promise that is against God’s will. Tell your husband that if God wants you too, you will, but trust God. Your husband needs to trust that God will care for you even after he is gone. Your husband probably feels out of control of the situation and wants to take back that control over your lives. However, I would pray and fast about this and go where God leads. There is unfortunately no easy answer.

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