Dating with Godliness: Submission

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A lot of women find it hard to accept the idea of submitting to their husbands. The idea of submission is portrayed as archaic. After a couple of conversations on this topic, I have realized that the idea of ‘submission’ is misinterpreted. The biblical charge – ‘wives submit to your own husbands’ has been misunderstood.

First of all, it is important to understand that God instituted marriage- man and woman being together and becoming one flesh was envisioned by God. (Genesis 2:21-25). So in order for us to have a successful marriage, we need to be led by God and also submit to the instructions/ roles he has called us to play in a marriage. Just like with most commands in the Bible, you need the help of the Holy Spirit to obey them.

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Ephesians 5:22-24
This is the command God has given wives. As a woman if it is your plan to get married some day, you need to understand and practice this command. In this series, I will clarify the biblical meaning of submission. I pray that this post clarifies some of the things that have been misunderstood concerning submission.

What is submission?

When a woman chooses to submit to her husband, she chooses to yield to his leadership. Submission is not something that man forces on you but it is something you do out of reverence to God. It is something you do because you understand that God instituted marriage and he gave certain commands to oversee this institution. Marriage is a mystery (Ephesians 5:29-33) and no one can fully understand everything, even Paul admits to this. However, just like with every other command in the bible, we know that it is always beneficial for us when we obey them.

‘The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing’
Ephesians 5:22-24

I know some people might be curious as to why men assume the role of leadership. A man is not the leader based on any perceived sense of superiority or masculinity. A man is the leader of the home because God ordained it so. However, we must understand that godly leadership is very different from the way we see leadership in the world. Jesus was not only a perfect example of a leader but he also taught us that a leader is one who serves, you cannot lead if you are not ready to serve (Matthew 20:26). So the leadership role given to men is really an act of submission. This is why the instruction for husbands to love their wives the way Christ loved the church is so profound. Christ laid down His life for us, he put us first before himself, and this is true leadership.

So submission is not a way to downgrade women or another way to show that ‘women are not leaders’. The instruction given to husbands and wives is to make sure they serve one and other. True love is selfless and it is important to understand this before entering a marriage.

However there are still some big misconceptions about submission and its practicality. The next article will explore the aspects of submission people often misunderstand.

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