Submission in Marriage

I have said this a lot lately but I am going to say it again, I want to make sure that the way I am handling this blog never leads a reader to think, "Man, this girl has got it all together." I want this to be a place of honesty, because to be honest is to be vulnerable. So while this blog is not my journal by any means, I do want to be careful that I do not turn this space into a place for me create a false reality for myself.

So today, let's talk about submission in marriage. 

Most of us have all heard this verse, "Wives submit to your husbands, as to the Lord." Ephesians 5:22 I think that women often find themselves subconsciously resenting this verse. Many wives interpret this as the Lord saying we are lesser than the man. He is the king and we are the servant, submitting to his every command and wish. Can I tell you though, this is not what we are called to as wives. 

The Lord has placed the man in the role as the head. He is the leader, and the stronger one, but that is not why we submit to him. We submit to our husbands because they serve as an earthly picture of our Heavenly Father. We love, serve, submit, and care for our husbands because we have been redeemed by a gracious Savior and are called a child of God despite our own sinfulness. So we submit to our husbands as we would if our husband was Jesus Christ himself. That changes things doesn't it? We can no longer base our submission on our husband's performance, because we are sinners who have fallen short of the Lord's grace yet we still receive that we find ourselves longing to lovingly submit to the one who represents undeserved grace.

Since I am being honest here, this is so hard! I love being married to Ben. Marriage has been the greatest gift and blessing I have ever been given. Yet it has been the most sanctifying experience of my life! Submission was something I began to resent in the early months of our marriage. Who was my husband to tell me if I was gossiping, or having a bad attitude? Who was he to make me talk out our conflict when all I wanted to do was go to sleep?...well he is my established leader, my head, and he is called in that same passage in Ephesians to mirror Christ as He sanctifies his bride. So he is called to do those things by Jesus Christ. 


So I began to realize I had no right to not submit...If I wanted to walk in obedience with the Lord then I must, no matter what, submit to my husband. Even when I feel he doesn't deserve it. If I look for the Gospel in my marriage through the practice of submission this is what I find... I am a sinner, my husband is also a sinner. We are guaranteed to have conflict because of this fact. However, Jesus Christ loved me despite my constant sinfulness, and He calls me his own even when I don't deserve it. Jesus does not hold my wrongs over my head or silently punish me for my mistakes. Marriage is to be a picture to the world of unconditional love, love that is not based on emotion or who is right. So I am to submit to my husband not because I am lesser, or a servant, but because I want the Gospel to be seen in my marriage. I want our marriage to look more like my relationship with Jesus. 

So while there have been moments I have looked my husband in the eye and told him I did not want to submit to his leadership (true story), I am constantly reminded of the unrelenting love of our Father when Ben so graciously deals with my sin in love and tenderness. 

Marriage means sanctification. Sanctification means difficulty. Think about gold that must go through the fire in order that all impurities can be that the gold may be sanctified. Then in order for the fine metal to be transformed into precious jewelry, it must be bent, hammered, beaten even into the final product. So it goes with marriage. It is full of joy, and full of sanctification. I am thankful that the Lord is patient with his children and that he does not measure us by what we do right or wrong. His grace abounds.

Check out this other great read on marriage/submission- 5 Admirable Traits of an Early Church Marriage

Much Love,