When did it become a word that makes many women recoil in disgust?
Why have we let an important Biblical command become so misconstrued and misunderstood?
As believers, we are called to be submissive to our husbands, but that doesn’t mean we are to be dominated by them.
According to Merriam Webster, submission is the act of submitting to the authority or control of another. Christ showed the truest form of submission by yielding to the will of the Father. As in everything we do, Christ is our example, so why are we so offended by submission?
The idea of wifely submission is tackled head on in 1 Peter 3, but the true concept of it has been distorted and lost over the years.
Somewhere along the way, many Christians stopped viewing submission as an act of faith; faith that God is working through our husbands to accomplish what is best for us.
Believe me when I say that I have struggled with the concept of submission my whole life; I have always been a strong-willed woman and the thought of submitting to anyone was cringe-worthy.
However, as my personal relationship with Christ began to grow and I began to truly understand the real meaning of Biblical submission I actually began to strive to be more submissive.
As my husband’s walk with the Lord began to mature, my desire to submit to him as the leader of our home grew. I began to fall more in love with my husband the more I understood what it meant to truly submit.
Unfortunately, unbelievers often stereotype a submissive wife as someone who never stands up for herself, who is told what to say and how to dress by her husband, and who doesn’t get to have any fun.
These stereotypes are so far from the truth.
Sadly, even many believers think them to be true. You’ll hear other believers stereotype the submissive wife as “that Christian woman who is always well dressed and made-up,” someone who never speaks up or out of turn and always maintains a sweet and approachable demeanor.
Peter actually tells us in 1 Peter 3:3-4 that we are not to rely on outer beauty and appearance but to rely on our spirit. Woman are called to enhance our spiritual beauty by being in the Word and by having dedicated time with God. These are the things that will help us to be more submissive wives for the right reasons and in the right ways.
Women are not called to be submissive to someone that is breaking laws or going against God’s will. Marriage is an institution that is ordained by God and the foremost reason a wife should strive to willingly submit to her husband is because we are ultimately, in all things, surrendering to God.
In 1 Peter 2:13 it says, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake” (KJV), so it is not all about wives submitting to their husbands, we are all, men and women, called to submit just as Christ submitted to the Father.
1 Peter 3:8-12 tells the entire church to have unity, sympathy, love and humility towards one another and that we should not return evil for evil. Peter is telling us we must submit to each other and serve one another; the Bible does not solely dictate the submission of wives to their husbands.
If we desire to be Christlike, we must understand that part of that means submitting in many different ways. Submission does not mean agreeing with everything your husband says or feeling as if you left your own will at the altar, and it most certainly does not mean putting the will of your husband before or above the will of God.
This is where so many misunderstand what it means to be a submissive wife.
A submissive wife is not to accept abuse, a dictatorship, unlawful behavior or immoral acts from her husband; it also doesn’t mean that our spiritual strength comes solely from our husband.
A good husband will strengthen and sustain his wife in a loving and kind manner.
Submission is honoring your husband and affirming his leadership.
Submission will never follow a husband into sin.
Submission does not mean we shouldn’t discuss decisions with our husbands especially those we may feel are not a good idea and certainly those we know are not Godly.
Instead submission, true Biblical submission, means that we respect our husband’s leadership and we respect his faith in the Lord. It also means that we respectfully and gently discuss with him those things causing strife or problems in a marriage.