The Reason Wives Won’t Submit
The Bible is pretty clear. Wives are to submit to their husbands.
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. – Ephesians 5:22
Yet, it seems most Christian wives do not subject themselves to their husbands as they do to Christ. Most Christian wives recognize the headship of Christ and are willing to obey all He has asked. The question becomes: Why aren’t they submitting to their husbands in the same way? Are these wives being unbiblical? Are they being poor Christian witnesses? Are they too worldly?
I believe the answer lies a few verses down:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, – Ephesians 5:25
Wives aren’t submitting to their husbands because husbands aren’t loving their wives as Christ loves us. These commands to wives and husbands are intertwined. They are not separate from each other. This scripture is defining the perfect marriage relationship.
Marriage as a Type
God is teaching us that Marriage is a type (a pattern) of the relationship between Christ and the Church. In other words, when God created Marriage, He did so to give us an idea of what the relationship would be between Jesus and His Church in eternity.
…that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. – Ephesians 5:27
In order for the Church to be Perfect – holy and blameless with no spot or wrinkle or any such thing – Jesus would need to love the Church and the Church would have to submit herself to Christ. Jesus did not expect that His Church would submit to Him without cause. Therefore, He gave Himself first so that the Church would know His love for her.
The Christian Husband’s Attitude
This is how a husband is supposed to love His wife. It is the attitude a husband should have regarding his wife. He can only expect his wife to subject herself to him if he has already loved her sacrificially.
It is clear that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. What did that look like?
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Philippians 2:8
Jesus humbled Himself before the Church was ever subject to Him. He gave His life for her before the Church was expected to submit. He did not say, “I will humble myself and die on the cross because my Church is submitting to me.” Instead, he said, “I will humble myself and die on the cross despite my bride hating me and treating me wickedly. Though they have abandoned me and it is their sins that have hung me on this cross, I will die for them.”
Because Christ has had this attitude, we give ourselves up to him. We subject ourselves because Jesus loved us sacrificially.
This is the way husbands are to love their wives. Until we do, we are asking the wrong question. We should not be asking why wives aren’t subjecting themselves to their husbands. Instead, we should be asking why husbands aren’t loving their wives as Jesus loves the Church.
Every husband will say he would die for his wife. But would he humble himself and do things that he hates or is uncomfortable?
It is the husband who has taken on the ways of the world. Christian husbands have decided they will not love sacrificially but only in return. “She doesn’t do this. She always does that.” Husbands have determined they will only love their wives if there is some benefit to themselves. We might love them unselfishly in many ways, but we are not ready to give up everything to love them. “That’s too hard.”
My Personal Lesson
Before Jackie’s broken back, I thought I was a selfless husband. I helped with the kids, the laundry, the dishes while working to pay the bills and caring for the house. What a great guy I was. After she was hurt, I actually felt resentful that I had to do my part and her part as well. I would blow up at her thinking it was her fault she was not keeping up with her part of our bargain.
A couple of Christian friends sat down with us and helped us talk it out. I realized how selfish I was. I loved my wife for all the wrong reasons. I thought the same way the world did. I prayed for God to change my heart and He did. I stopped complaining and began looking for ways to serve her. I wouldn’t let her do anything that might bring pain to her back. Some people might say I spoiled her. I would say they need to have God change their hearts the same way He changed mine so they too can see what sacrificial love looks like.
When a husband gives up all for his wife, the wife submits to him. Why wouldn’t she? There is nothing that this husband won’t do for his wife. Why wouldn’t she follow him to the death?
The Circle of Love
This becomes a beautiful cycle. Since there is nothing this husband will not give for his wife, the wife trusts that he loves her and will do anything for her. She not only submits to him but gives of herself in the same way. There is now nothing she will not do for him because of his love for her.
There we have the Biblical view of marriage: The husband will do anything for his wife and the wife will do anything for her husband. A Perfect Marriage. Like Christ and the Church.
Husbands – what do you need to sacrifice to fully love your wives? Wives – what about your husband keeps you from fully submitting? Share in the comments below.
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Am a husband here for a reason this puts good advice but I think the two are mutually exclusive. While I believe as a husband I have a duty to
What you overlook is that a wife must submit to a, Christian husband so is more a command than give and take
My wife will not submit though loved
god actually never says it as a command. It’s a concession specifically states not a command but a concession. So maybe first read scripture very carefully so you don’t run the risk of misinterpretation. I know this is an old comment but I have seen it time and again…. The Bible doesn’t even call for marriage unless you specifically cannot contain self control in fleshly desires thus then is it good to get married. But the man is the head of the home. He is to lead. To ask for submission is to show leadership and protection and initiative. Much like you hear to be modeling behaviors you want your kids to possess the whole do as say not as I do ruins that corrective modeling and thus in marriage it is no different because you’re the head of your wife not your children they are not the body so taking initiative in Christ and leading your wife through life and marriage biblically is what is called upon the man if he wants to marry. Submit yourself before asking for submission. It is a mutual submission as well meaning one cannot be more submissive than the other in a marriage for this to work. You are one you wouldn’t take half your body and bring it to a higher priority than the other half. What you do to one will be done to the other and this my friend is no different than marriage.
Women mustn’t submit to men. Never
My dear friend. Your theology is so far off. If a husband doesn’t love it doesn’t give the wife an escape clause to disobey God. And the same for the husband as it relates to loving his wife. Example one (1 Peter 3:1-2) “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.)
The above verse points out his lack of obedience to the Word gives her an out anymore than it gives him an out.
Yes it is easier to submit when loved, but your logic played all the way out would tell us to only have unconditional love for those who love us unconditionally. That is culture influencing us and not the Word of God influencing us.
In some cases the husband isn’t loving his wife enough, but that may not be the issue in all cases. Many women today are taught they don’t need to submit or even that their husbands should follow them. It might not always be if men love more, women submit. I’m sure it helps but nowhere (that I’m aware of) does the Bible give that promise. Many churchgoers, teachers, elders and pastors are rebellious to Christ even though he gave his own life for us. It’s not a formula, but you’re right that husbands should love their wives even if their wives don’t submit, but an imperfect (human) husband is no excuse for a wife not to submit to the godly authority of her husband. Many women submit too much to the world and the world tells women to be fools (just like it tells men to be fools). So what if a man’s wife is just a foolish woman? Divorce isn’t a biblical answer unless she’s committing adultery, but a man should love his wife like Christ loves the church. She may never respect his authority, although she has been given the task to submit to her husband as she would to Christ. She will answer to God for her disobedience if she disobeys without repentance, but her having a Christlike husband won’t cause an ungodly woman to submit in all cases.
Actually the Bible specifically states that a man’s role is to love his spouse and he loves himself and it never once states that the wife must love her husband. It does say she must revere him but this is only when discussing a true Christian marriage not deceiver marriages. One can say that are Christian and believe in biblical values and commands but very rarely can one or both partners say they practice it. If it is a true Christian marriage, then these commands work but merely stating your one doesn’t equate to being one. If it was a true Christian marriage the man would be doing as told by God loving her even more than himself because he is called to die to himself for his spouse every day again the Bible never states a wife is to do the same. That’s what true submission would entail right? Follow me and I’ll protect you and cover you and give you your needs (love to the point of dying to one self) and in exchange a true Christian woman being treated biblically would have no qualms submitting in all matters as long as it doesn’t contradict the Lords word.