Biblical submission is a highly controversial topic in today’s society, and I believe the definition has been twisted and molded into something it was never meant to become.
I believe submission within a marriage goes hand in hand. And while many people like to spin Scripture in order to hold an iron first over their wife, I believe God’s intention for marriage was something quite different. It was never meant to be about control. It was never meant to be about ownership.
When it comes to the Wilson household, my wife and I have come to the agreement that we will discuss big decisions as a couple—all in hopes that we are truly seeking what is best for our family in the eyes of God. Your household might be run a little bit differently, and that’s OK. The point is to come to a decision that you can both get behind as a married couple.
My wife has entrusted me with leading our family, but that doesn’t mean I am the almighty dictator. In fact, it’s quite opposite. I never make decisions without her. I value my wife’s opinion and voice just as much as I do my own. It’s an honor to lead our home together, and the reality is I couldn’t do it without the support and wisdom of my wife.
She’s a champ. We do it together and that’s how it should be.
What Does the Bible Say?
“Wives, be submissive to your own husbands as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head and Savior of the church, which is His body. But as the church submits to Christ, so also let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, and that He might present to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. In this way men ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord cares for the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I am speaking about Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:22-32, MEV).
After reading through those passages of the Bible, it’s clear what God’s intention for marriage is. But while the intentions seem clear to me, I believe many others have interpreted these words for their own benefit. Let me explain …
Here are three things “Wives Must Submit to Their Husbands” doesn’t mean:
1. A husband gets to bully his wife around. Biblical submission and bullying don’t mix. Let’s not forget that Ephesians 5:25 states that a man must love his wife as Christ loved the church. Christ never bullied his people but instead loved cared and nurtured them on a daily basis. Let’s also not forget that Ephesians 5:28 states that husbands must love their wives as their own bodies. When putting both of these verses into personal application, a husband is not to bully nor control his wife, but instead love and nourish her the way Jesus loves his own people.
“My wife has entrusted me with leading our family, but that doesn’t mean I am the almighty dictator.”
2. A wife must submit to whatever her husband says. A man isn’t his wife’s boss, nor is he her slave master. Being a man doesn’t give one any special treatment in the eyes of God, nor does it give someone the freedom to make one’s wife do whatever he pleases. This isn’t a dictatorship. Mutual respect and honor must be present in any marriage that is yearning to last the test of time.
3. A wife has no say in decision making. As much as some men would like it to be, this isn’t true either. Marriage is a joint effort. And although some households might decide on giving the man the final say in big decisions, one must understand that a woman’s voice is just as important if not more in certain circumstances.
The Bible states that a man and woman will become one flesh in the eyes of God, which means both parties must work together for the betterment of their marriage, family and life.
Jarrid Wilson is a husband, pastor and author relentlessly sharing the love of Jesus. For more from Jarrid, visit jarridwilson.com.