Chapter 6: Lies Women Believe About Marriage
Day 4: The Power of Submission (part 1)
Lie #24: “If I submit to my husband, I’ll be miserable.”
Once you begin to understand that marriage is about glorifying God, you don’t need to fix your husband, and your job is to make his life easier, then you can find the freedom to submit to your husband’s leadership.
Submission is a sensitive topic, especially when it comes to marriage. However, that does not mean we should avoid it. Rather, we must work hard to make sure we have a biblical understanding of submission – who we are to submit to, why we are to submit, and what that looks like.
Ultimately, your attitude on submission reveals what you believe about yourself and your identity. When your identity is in yourself, your talents, knowledge, capability, and power, then you will refuse to submit and will instead assert yourself whenever and wherever possible.
If, however, your identity is in Christ, then you’ll find that submission is simply an extension of that relationship. When you believe that what’s true about you is what God says about you, and that His approval is what counts, and you find security in His love, goodness and power in your life, then you understand that submitting to your husband doesn’t cost you anything, and in fact, can often bring you great joy.
The reason we struggle so much with submission goes back all the way to the Garden of Eden. The age old temptation comes back to haunt us to this very day. Satan’s first attack was on the family, on gender roles, and on the marriage relationship itself.
In Genesis 3 (I’ll let you read it yourself this time!), the first thing we notice is that Satan directed his attack at Eve, rather than her husband. And the first thing she had to do was step out from his authority (which was established for her benefit, remember – to protect and provide for her). Then she chose for herself, rather than seeking God or her husband for direction or perspective. Then she offered the fruit to Adam. While Eve’s temptation was about power, control, and authority, Adam’s looked a little different: He had to choose between Eve and God. To obey God was to lose his wife; to obey his wife was to lose his relationship with God. Sadly, he chose his wife.
Men and women experience this same struggle today. Wives want the control in the relationship. And men want to give it to them in an effort to keep the peace and continue the relationship. But this is against the very design God established, and it can cause a variety of problems later on.
The root of our authority issues is pride, and nothing is more dangerous than pride in our lives; it blinds us to the reality of our actions and it kills relationships.
Let’s look at the four primary misconceptions about submission.
MISCONCEPTION: The wife is inferior to her husband.
TRUTH: Submission, by definition, is one person yielding to another. It does not indicate inequality, but rather is seen when two equals face a crossroads and one person chooses to yield to the other – much like in traffic.
MISCONCEPTION: The husband is permitted to be harsh.
TRUTH: The Bible is very clear that the man is never to be harsh or overbearing, but to love his wife. And in Ephesians 5, where husbands are commanded to love their wives, the command to the wife is simply “submit.” Even if the husband is harsh, does his sin justify yours?
MISCONCEPTION: The wife can’t have an opinion.
TRUTH: No! In fact, husbands need to hear their wives opinions! Men and women were created differently. Regardless of personality types, a basic difference is that women tend to be more emotional and men more analytical and objective. Now this is not always the case, but it shows why it’s so important to discuss decisions to get each other’s perspective. However, at the end of the line, you must leave the final decision to your husbad. How do you do this when you think his decision is wrong? You do it because you trust God more than your husband. We’ll talk more about this specifically next time.
MISCONCEPTION: The husband is always right.
TRUTH: I think we already know this is not true. Sometimes your husband will make a mistake. But you know what? So will you. It’s what happens when you’re human. This is why grace is so crucial for a healthy relationship. The biggest issue both you and your husband will need to face is not trusting each other, but trusting God. Again, we will discuss this more next time.
Here’s the bottom line: Everyone everywhere is under authority. And the only way a country, a business, a school, or a family can function as it should is when each person submits to the authority placed over them. Everyone everywhere is both in and under authority, and God created it that way on purpose. When you have a boss, you don’t have to figure it all out – that’s his job. When you’re a child, you don’t have to worry about finances or making dinner – that’s the parent’s job. Anytime you have authority in your life, it’s meant to help you, not hinder you.
When we submit to authority, we benefit by receiving spiritual covering, protection, perspective, encouragement, and grace. God gives us authority to teach us and help us and protect us when we can’t see the cliff we’re about to jump off. We need people who can open our eyes, people who can challenge and direct us.
As the leader of the household, the responsibility will always fall back on our husbands. This was true of Adam – when God came looking for them in the garden, He began by asking Adam what he had done, not Eve. This is why it’s so important to respect your husband’s knowledge, character and judgment. If you don’t, then you won’t submit to him, and you will make his job as your leader and protector so difficult. Ultimately, we must trust God in order to submit, but you will make it so much easier for yourself if you can trust your husband, too.
When we trust God enough to submit ourselves to His authority, and the authority that He has placed in our lives, then God himself will protect and provide for us. But if we step out from that authority, as Eve did, all bets are off. We are now lone-ranger Christians and vulnerable to attack on every side.
And so our submission is a test of identity, control, and ultimately, trust.
Are you trusting yourself, or are you trusting God?
Key Points to Remember:
- My willingness to submit to authority reveals what I believe about God.
- In order to submit to God, I must submit to my husband.
- Submission does not make me less of a person; it makes me a godly person.
- My husband’s job is to love, provide for, and protect me.
My job is to let him by submitting to his judgement.
- God put me under authority to help me, not hinder me.
- When I respect my husband’s knowledge, character and judgement,
it makes it easier to submit to him.
- I ultimately submit to my husband because I trust God.
- Antelope Hunting: How Loneliness Makes Us Vulnerable To Sin – True Woman
- Submission + Trust = Joy – True Woman
- The Law of Liberty
In a word: passionate. About Jesus, church, ministry, music, reading, family, friends, and sometimes even iced skinny soy mochas.