THE SUBMISSION QUESTION – HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

Wives, submit to your husbands.

Alright, we will, but does that mean we have to agree to everything they say?

Alright, we will, but what if what they say is against the bible teachings?

Alright, we will, but really, we’ve got minds of our own, you know?

Alright, we will, but we aren’t becoming anybody’s doormat.

Who has not wondered the above? After all the wondering, we seem to always come to no specific definition or extent of submission. Sometimes we choose not to submit at all, because submission seems so vague and unrealistic in this century, for this generation. Throw in the pertinent issues of gender equality (equity?) and women empowerment, then try to look for the place of submission in a marriage. Bizarre!

Perhaps submission is even overrated, maybe it’s not even vital for a relationship between a husband and a wife to flourish…perhaps we could even do without it?

Unfortunately, no.

The marriage relationship is supposed to be the epitome of all relationships. The only place you can bare your all in confidence and trust. We say vows to be in it, we sign papers for it; we bring two families together by it. It is special, it is deep, it goes beyond friendship, and sometimes it brings forth children, permanent marks of a union. It can make you or ruin you. You enter it voluntarily, with high hopes and insane excitement, and then you find this rule so vital for its success. A single rule that if ignored your marriage will not blossom as it should. A rule so greatly emphasized in comparison to any other instruction to you as a wife.

So lets see how we will go about it.

I am going to be all-biblical about this because that’s the only authority I take on submission. Frankly speaking, submission is such a big call that only God can require it of us, governments and laws can’t make us do it. Feel very honoured if you can muster the grace to submit!

First off, what is to submit?

Accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.

I have used Oxford dictionary for this definition, I will use the Bible to show how to submit.

Whom are we submitting to?

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands (Eph5: 22)

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands (1 Peter 3:1)

Being in subjection to their own husbands (Titus 2:5, ASV)

Yes, we are not required to submit to every other man, and not to our hubbies plus their friends and their families. Submit to your own husband, period. As you scroll down, you will see why, and you will be thankful that it is only to your own husband.

Why submit?

For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church (Eph5: 23)

It’s quite simple; if you choose to become a wife, you have chosen to have an authority over your life. You may then opt to disregard this authority or fight it continually, but that does not only strain the both of you, it also destabilizes your husband and he stops playing his leadership role seeing as there is nothing he can do to make you submissive. The thing with submitting to the government – there are laws that attract fines or jail-terms when broken. But submitting to your husband, not so much. Guy can only become passive in his position if you won’t submit; you have emasculated him, yet you want him to perform all his other masculine roles.

Seriously, girl.

How to submit.

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. (Eph5: 24)

I do not know how your relationship with God is, but I am sure you know how it ought to be from the scriptures. We ought to obey God fully; we ought to do it in humility and awe. We ought not create for ourselves sections of scripture that we obey, and those that we disregard.

And wives, guess what, we ought to also respond to the authority of our husbands with the same level of seriousness and devotion.

…in everything. No, you cannot choose to honour your husband’s desires when it comes to investments, and then disregard them when they are about how you spend your weekends or how you relate with certain people.

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands (1 Peter 3:1)

…in which same way?

Read the verses preceding this instruction in chapter 2, to understand which way this is.

Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. (18-19) To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. (21-23)

From these verses, I would like you to glean your submission attitude; it is a humble attitude, towards God more than an obligation to your husband. We do not submit because we have such wonderful husbands that we look forward to listening to and fully obeying (although some are); we submit because we fear God and we subscribe to His word. It is all about God, and that is why it is so difficult to teach a wife who is not willing to follow God to have a submissive attitude towards her husband! She will tell you of how it is impossible.

Notice too that submission does not seek conditions. It is not a 50-50 arrangement, in which the husband has to behave in a certain way for him to warrant a certain treatment.

An unreasonable husband with unreasonable demands…

“We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29)

This is your only way out of submission: if your husband is asking you to do something against biblical teachings. If he tells you to rob, kill, denounce God, etc., you are not required by God to submit. But try to give the specific scripture that conflicts with your husband’s request, or else you will be excusing all your insubordinations!

Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh (1 Peter 2:18)…I refer to this scripture because it is our example of how we are to submit. We cannot refuse to submit to our husbands just because they are harsh, unreasonable, or not polite. That is between them and God; let us do our part, because our part is between God and us. If your husband does not want you to be in a certain Chama (social group), that is harsh of him, but submit anyway. If he prefers to take breakfast that is only made by you and not by your house-help, that might be so unreasonable to you, but cut the guy some slack, make that breakfast, and top it up with some love. You guys will have a blast of a marriage, not just what you portray to the public eye, but within your walls and in your hearts, that marriage will be a celebration.

(If you are not married, please pray for and seek for a good and considerate husband, it will make your submission journey easier.)

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct (1 Peter 3:1)

Yea, submit to that husband that you do not consider deserving of your submission; you never know how your submission might be effect-filled!

This means wives are voiceless submission-machines…

No. Not at all. Far from it!

That they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sober-minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed (Titus 2: 4-5 ASV)

This is one of the verses that tell us to submit to our husbands, I especially love it because it recognizes that I have a mind of my own; there is the way I think things should be. Some versions have it as “to be sensible” and some “to be discreet” but the Greek root word of this is sōphrõn which means “safe, controlled {moderate as to opinion or passion}”.

Wives, we do have opinions, we do have a voice, and no one is telling us we cannot speak it out, but learn the general tone of the wife in relation to the husband. We do not have to be loud, forceful and aggressive in having our way where our husbands are concerned; we are required to be “moderate” in expressing our opinion. Not to be suffering in silence, but to sensibly speak out. Not to rash out in anger, getting all emotional, but simply speaking, clearly sharing, not lording it over and instructing our husbands like the divas in heels that our generation applauds. Try this way, the Bible way. You will enjoy your marriage, and more importantly, honour God.

What about the husbands?

It is only human to ask this, seeing how submission is a tough call on us. Do you now see why we can and should only submit to our own husbands? I write about it in due time. But let us remember that what God requires husbands to be is not dependent on what we, wives, are. The reverse also applies, so let us get on and get submitting. It is not easy, but it is totally worth it!

2 Replies

  • Eleanor
    Reply

    “What about the husbands?” Wives submit, husband DIE! Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.
    That’s all 🙂

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