Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5: 22-24
Some readers will quit reading right there. After all, “husbands taking the authoritative lead in marriage” and “wives submitting” is not a popular message in today’s world. It’s viewed in a negative way. It’s viewed more so that women are just there to sit and look pretty. But that is not how God meant it at all. I struggle with this. I come from a line of women who have always been strong-willed and opinionated. These things are okay if used in the right way. That is what I am learning to do. I can’t change certain things about my personality, but I can use them for the glory of God.
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. Proverbs 31:10
I have always admired my Mother-in-law when it comes to her role in her marriage. Her actions display where I ultimately want to end up in my own marriage. She has allowed my Father-in-law to lead their family, she states opinions in a respectful manner, and she is the ultimate caregiver. Because of the role she played in her family for so long while my Father-in-law leads the family, her opinions matter. He looks to her to help him with the decision-making. He depends on her and adores her. Now mind you, this is all from the outside looking in. I strive to take on this same role with my family. I have a long road ahead of me and many many Bible studies to help me get there.
It is better to live on a corner of the housetop than in a house in company with a quarrelsome wife. Proverbs 21:9
It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and easily provoked woman. Proverbs 21:19
It seems to me that God was pretty serious about the submissive and non-argumentative wife. He repeats himself many times. That is what my parents did when they meant serious business.
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord.You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. 1 Peter 3:1-7
This illustration of marriage symbolizing the relationship between Christ and the church adds further encouragement for wives to submit to their husbands. Although this is a difficult challenge, the verse promises that her Godly character and inward beauty will win over her husband more effectively than words.
If we’re not careful, we will miss that these verses also highlight the equal partnership of husbands and wives. Though the husband exercises the role of authority and leadership, and the wife fulfills a role of submission, both are equal heirs in God’s kingdom. The roles are different, but equally important.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Colossians 3:19
While submitting to our husbands and striving to be a Godly wife it is very important for husbands to “love the wife as Christ loved the church”. Husbands are urged to lay down their lives in sacrificial love and protection. And in this safe and cherished embrace of a loving husband, what wife would not be willing to submit to his leadership?
I will be working extra hard to be the wife God wants me to be. It will take time and a lot of self-training to use my stubbornness and opinions in a respectful way.