Recently, I have learned quite a lot about submission in my Bible. And it has made me want to dig deeper into the topic especially when it regards marriage. Now, I am not married, I have never had a boyfriend, or let alone even been on a date. So, the idea of “submitting” to my future husband, before really understanding it, seemed a bit absurd to me I admit. I think that is due in part to our preconceptions of what submission is.
When you think of submission what do you think of? Some people would probably think of it as being weak and powerless. Some would think that a submissive person does not have a backbone, allowing others to constantly “step” on them. Yet others would view submission as being obedient to another, being controlled by another, and never thinking for oneself. These are but some extreme examples I have heard people say submission is.
In marriage, I bet some people think that for a wife to submit to her husband she would have to view her husband’s words as law, being obedient to her husband in everything he says or wants from her. Maybe therefore we never really hear the word “submission” or any words relating to it in wedding vows? But submission is truly not a bad thing.
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
God the Father is the head of Christ. Christ submitted his will to the Father. Christ is the head of the church. The church submits its will to Christ, honoring him by following his example. If we are to follow his example, what is wrong with a wife submitting to her husband, to honor him? Let us not forget, the husband is submitting as well.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. "For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. – Ephesians 5:25-33
To give yourself up for her. To feed and care for her. To love your wife as yourself. The husband is submitting. Know why?
Submission is the willingness to set aside your needs for the needs of others.
Submission is not powerlessness. It is not a weakness. Submission is not to be a doormat. No. Submission is loving, respecting, honoring, and putting others before yourself. It is serving others as Christ served his disciples by washing their feet.
If I am to get married in the future, I will gladly be “submissive” towards my husband. I will gladly put his needs before my own. I will love him, respect him, and serve him, and I know he will do the same for me. I am confident it will come easily for the both of us.
Because submission is easier for us to do when we submit to God. His will be done. Continually putting God first in our lives puts everything else into perspective. The more we want God’s will, the more submitting to others will come naturally. The key is to have a strong relationship with our Father. Because then we will naturally put another’s well-being ahead of ourselves. After all, we need to:
Submit to one another out of reverence for ChristEphesians 5:21