Nothing get feminists angrier than that one word.
Like everything else in Scripture, the world is going to hate it because they hate God. The world will continue to tell women that submission is bad and offensive because they despise His creation and order.
But, true Christians find delight God’s design. We know that submission is #notabadword and actually reflects love. Not just love for your husband, but your submission to your husband also measures your love and obedience to God and His Word.
To think that submission to someone means you are inferior to them is unbiblical. Christ himself submitted to the will of God by going to the cross, and we know that Christ is not inferior to God. Each member of the Triune Godhead is equal to each other.
Just like the Trinity, God created men and women equal but with different roles. This is known as complementarianism. We were created to complete each other. “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). Women, while no less valuable, are the weaker vessel and helper. It was only after the fall, that part of the curse of the woman would be the desire to rule over her husband. “Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16). If we give into that desire, in the name of “freedom”, we tear apart God’s design for the family. We must fight the sin to rule over our husbands and repent of it, if we have been.
Marriage, the way that God created it, is wonderful because it reflects the beautiful relationship between Christ and His church. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”(Ephesians 5:22-24). The true church would never rebel against the headship of Christ, and so it should be inconceivable that a wife would rebel against her husband’s headship.
The respect we show, through submission, of the biblical order also brings peace to our homes (Matthew 5:9). Wives are the keepers of the home (Titus 2:5) and our homes should be a safe haven for our families. As Martha Peace wrote in her book, The Excellent Wife, “The wife and mother in a family often ‘sets the tone’ in the home. The ‘tone’ God wants her to set is one of joy, optimism, and a delight in the Lord and in her family.” For “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife” (Proverbs 25:24).
In 1 Peter, Paul applied the same principle of harmony to parents and children, and to masters and servants, as well. Therefore, we can see that God’s order of authority is reflected in numerous relationships. Wives were not singled out to be the only ones who need to submit to another. But even if wives were singled out, we should rejoice in it, as it is how God would want it.
If you’re a professing Christian woman who scoffs at the word submission, maybe you’re not actually offended, but rather convicted. I encourage you to pray and read the Scriptures. Listen to God’s Word, and not the world. If we don’t have our spiritual earmuffs on, the distortion of God’s Word by the world can slowly creep into our lives and negatively affect how we obey and view God’s Truth.
We also must remember that the world’s definition of a word is not the same the biblical definition. The last part of verse 22 says “as to the Lord”. Christian women submit to the Lord, first and foremost. Meaning, we submit to our husbands in the ways that are right, biblical, and God-honoring. To say that wives should submit to their husbands in ways that aren’t, is to twist Scripture. John Piper wrote Six Things Submission is Not that lays out a few of the misconceptions that the world and even some Christians tend to think about submission.
I also highly recommend Jeff Pollard’s excellent sermon series called “Encouragement in Submission”. A must listen for all wives and wives-to-be.
Voddie Baucham famously said to husbands “Go home and love your wife”. So, I will say to wives, “go home and submit to your husbands”.
*It is important for me to note that headship is not dictatorship and never allows abuse of any kind. As I mentioned, it reflects the relationship between Christ and His church, and we know that Christ would never abuse His church. If you are experiencing abuse at the hands of your husband or anyone else, I encourage you to seek help.