I Believe in Submission

What? Was there just a collective gasp from all the females on the planet? Please don’t take away my “female card” just yet.

Yes, I remember the song: I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar. I do believe in equal pay for equal work. But if you have been following for some time, you know that it is the Bible that frames my worldview.

The position I take most likely would not even be welcomed in some churches today. As a female, we have always sort of cringed when the topic of submission would come up, as it pertained to wives submitting to their husbands. Some believe this position is chauvinistic and was created by men who wrote the Bible for men.

I believe the Bible is the Word of God. My brother who is a pastor used to have the congregants hold up their Bibles before he preached a sermon and repeat:

“I believe the Bible is inerrant in its content, absolute in its authority, and complete in its revelation.”

He told me later that this was a statement from seminary, but I find it so declarative. If I doubt it for one wit, then there is no power nor authority in the Word; it would have no bearing on my life.

Unless, we believe the Bible is God’s word, then this discussion would be moot.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.  II Timothy 3:16,17 KJV

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not at any time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. II Peter 1:20, 21 KJV

So what does the Bible say about submission?   A lot! Let’s take a look at a couple.

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:21

Did you know that we are all expected to submit to one another because we fear God? This scripture is consistent with Philippians 2:3 where we are exhorted to esteem others better than ourselves, to not insist on our own way.

Ephesians 5 continues the submission discussion with wives:

Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the savior of the body. 24 Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-24

Was that painful? Actually, we all believe in submission, right? Don’t we all submit to the laws of the road? You do yield the right of way at the upside-down triangle road sign, don’t you?  If we are working, we all have a boss to whom we submit. So why is submission such a reprehensible word?

Submission is about order versus chaos. If there were no rules, or laws chaos would exist, and God is not the author of confusion. He is about order, and peace. Because women are to submit to their husbands does not diminish their value in any way.  God is not a respecter of persons. In fact, in Christ there is neither male nor female, we are one in Christ Jesus.

The submission defines our roles, much like described in the scripture in Ephesians where we see the husband is the head of the wife, yet the head of every man is Christ, as described in I Corinthians 11:3.

Why must the woman be the one to submit? All we need to do is look at the beginning in the Old Testament, Genesis 2:18 to find our purpose, and also in the New Testament, according to the scriptures:

For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man. I Corinthians 11:9, 10

I know that this is totally counter-cultural to how we believe today. But we can look to  Christ as a perfect example of submission.

Let this mind be in your, which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; 8 And, being found in fashion as a men, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5-8

I admit that it is not always easy. Sometimes it is very hard, but we do it because we love them and we love God. We do it because it is what God ordained, commanded. We were created to be the help mate. Yes we have opinions, very strong opinions and feelings, and should give our husbands the benefit of our perspectives. We help them!

Submission doesn’t have to make us cringe when we remember that submission is about order, function, and ultimately obedience.

What does the Bible say about a woman’s place in the church? Let’s discuss that in the next post.






20 thoughts on “I Believe in Submission

  1. If we males never demonstrate sacrificial love, nor submit to God’s Word, yet call women to submit, then we cause disastrous situations for children to witness. You clearly exposited the Word. Thank You. I believe that part of the main reason why it is hard for many wives to lovingly submit to their husbands is that we husbands need to be better submitted to God.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this message of God’s truth! So delighted to have crossed your path by way of Dulcinea @ Hodgepodge 4 the Soul via her Twitter page. As a woman, wife and mother that’s a homemaker of 22yrs I have had no problem submitting to my husband even at a young age when we first got married. (20 yrs old) The way you put things in perspective when it comes to rules of the road and having a job it’s the same thing. One scripture that sums it up for me for everything that we do (even volunteering at church) is: And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
    Col 3:23‭-‬24 NKJV

    God bless you always in Christ Jesus,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. God bless you Terra! I was going to include that scripture!!! Yes, whatever we do, we ought to do it as to the Lord! I am so glad you crossed my path and thanks for the follow! I will check you out too. Pursuing Christ, Barbara

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My two cents. I agree with you about submission, with a side note. Marriage and submission serve as an example of Christ as the bridegroom for His bride, the Church. Submission is in the context of this perfect union. The remainder of Ephesians 5 makes this comparison and notes that the man is to love the woman as Christ loves the Church, which, of course, means that he would lay his life down for his bride and serve all of her needs. Submission must be understood in this context because it requires a Christ-centered couple, who are following God’s commandments. I note this because there are many men in this broken world who are not worthy of a woman’s submission. Brings to mind scripture that calls us to be perfect as God is perfect (Matthew 5:48) even though that is impossible, and for couples not to separate (Matthew 19:3-9) and yet Moses gave Certificates of Divorce. Jesus’ response to the Pharisees about Moses allowing divorce was, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” I think the reality of fallen man is why submission is so offensive to many today. Although scripture calls for submission, it doesn’t require submission to a husband who is off course; just as a woman who is abused would not be required to stay married. Similarly, we are called to submit to authorities, including our government, but that does not require us to submit to authorities in a way that is harmful or in a way that results in our breaking God’s commands.

    Great post as usual. Always thought provoking and challenging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I miss you. You must be really busy doing your lawyering. I agree and know that marriage is the institution God ordained and in it we see the Christ and the church. I really wanted to focus on our detest for submission, not the husband’s role, but ours. I also agree that while God doesn’t call us to stay in an abusive environment, I Peter 3:1-6 describes how we respond even when our husbands are not worthy of our submission. Our submission is to God. It is the hope that through our submission they would by our behavior be won. God’s in charge of that. We just must be obedient. Not easy.

      Thanks Jay as always for your invaluable two cents!


      1. I have been far too busy. I think about blogging a lot but haven’t had time to read or write. Grrr. 1 Peter 3 does raise very interesting questions, particularly in light of 2 Co 6:14 (“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So, should a woman submit to an unbelieving husband in his decisions that are not from a Christian worldview? Or should she try to convince him that Christ’s way is the right way? I ask because the latter does not seem submissive to me. Not being argumentative here, just wondering how far this goes. Living a Godly example (in hopes of converting the spouse) and submitting to an unbeliever on everything seem potentially at odds (or two totally different concepts).

        As an example, there have been many times where I have made a decision that is not Christ-centered and my wife has either subtly or not so subtly corrected me. Is that submission?

        I want to be held accountable by my spouse. I see marriage as a partnership–one flesh. We move together or not at all. I constantly seek her counsel and she mine. She defers to me on certain decisions (business and finance for examples) and I defer to her on others (educating our kids for example–she is a trained educator). Not a model of submission but a model of a partnership.

        As a father and husband, I do feel the obligation to be the spiritual leader of the home, but I have no desire to rule the home. And any husband who thinks they rule the home is fooling themselves. 😝

        Oh, if being a Christian were easy. You might want to take back your comment that you missed me. Ha!


      3. Yes Jay, like I said, women are to provide their opinions, but the final decision maker is always the husband. Who did God go to first after Adam and Eve sinned? Adam. God holds the man responsible regardless how the couple works it out practically. The only time the wife is not to submit is if the husband is causing her to do something that goes against God’s commandments, just like we would do if the government required something that goes against what God commands. We cannot save our spouses, but Peter suggests they may be won by our behavior. I Corinthians 7 speaks to if the unbeliever chooses to leave, the Christian spouse is no longer under bondage.

        Yes, I miss you still. Hahaha!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. As a man, I strive to be the kind of man who is WORTHY of being submitted to. I’m not given the lead in a future marriage in order to lord it over someone, for the Lord is over me. Instead I’m given the lead in a future marriage…or job, or youth group, or anything…in order to bring life and prosperity to others, as much as it’s in my power. Thanks for this, Barb.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The more we honor God the more we live according to His Word. It doesn’t take much to live by God’s Word if we are studying each day. His Word comes alive! My marriage changed dramatically when I learned to submit to my husband. Also, it came easier when my husband was also in God’s Word. I knew he was hearing from God on matters regarding our family. God’s Word and prayer changes everything. Great post on this subject. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post. I admit that this is one of my struggles. I cringe whenever I hear people insist on the ‘gentleman idea.’ However, I still love the idea that God is preparing me to be the perfect helper for my future husband. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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