Becoming a Submissive Wife: It Isn’t So Bad After All

being a submissive wife

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 

Ephesians 5:22-24 (NIV)

Don’t run away. I know that is the usual inclination when words like submission are thrown around. People don’t like the word. Women sometimes hate it the most. I think at times for good reason. Visions of brow beaten women. Used and abused. There to clean the house. Care for kids. And husband. A life spent on others. With few rewards. Bent under the rod of submission. And expected to be happy doing it. But despite how we may cringe. The Bible uses that detestable word, So is God asking us, as women to be less than? Could He possibly expect us to bow down at the supreme authority of the men in our lives? Losing who we are in order to constantly please? 

I don’t believe that is what God has in mind. Yes, we are called to submit. The Bible is plain. But what does that really mean?  

My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years. Our marriage is strong. We love each other more every day. But it has taken work. Every day kind of work. We have both changed and matured. As a wife I have had to learn what it means to submit. I have opinions. A LOT of opinions. I like to make those opinions known to my somewhat passive husband. It is easy for me to overpower him. To push my desires on him. And be stubborn until he inevitably gives in. I have mule powered stubbornness people. And I like getting my way. But I have realized that me getting my way is not what adds strength to our relationship. A relationship I want to last forever.  

What does being a submissive wife look like?

Submission is what makes it work. Believe me. I am not a roll over and play dead kind of wife. I like to be involved and be a part of decisions. But I have learned that working on the same team as my husband is far more effective than competing for control. [Tweet “God has given us unique roles. Unique perspectives. And together we accomplish things.”] We have fun.  I am not less important because I am not a man. But my job is different. As wives we don’t bear the weight of responsibility for the family. We can help relieve the weight by supporting our husbands. Trust me it works better.  

It isn’t about giving up everything we want.  We may have to give up some things. But we gain so much. But we gain peace. And we gain strength. We gain the trust of our husbands. God knew what He was doing when He asked us to be help mates. In submitting to the authority of our husband we gain the freedom to be who God has called us to be. When we submit to the Lord our lives make more sense. They certainly aren’t always perfect. But walking in the will of God is always better than being out of it. And when we submit to our husbands as God has asked to do, it has much the same effect.  

So the next time you hear the word submit try not to run the other direction. Instead think of it as an opportunity. An opportunity to make your marriage stronger. To be a team player. To be the woman that God has called you to be.  

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  1. kentuckygal50 says

    When we obey the laws of the road while driving, we submit ourselves to some of the country’s or state’s laws. We submit. And no one thinks that is a ‘dirty word’. (Ok, some submit to those laws better than others.) Marriage isn’t indentured servanthood, or in my opinion at least, shouldn’t be. It is a partnership. And each partner has his or her role.

    • Lauralee says

      I completely agree. Marriage can be (should be) such a beautiful thing. And it can be when we aren’t in a war for seniority status. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Barbie says

    When we look at submission under the premise of God’s love, how He loves, it’s easy. Submission is beautiful when marriage is a partnership, both preferring one another.

  3. says

    I fully believe in submission. My husband jokes and says I’ll never be a complete submissive, but I do try. I believe when it’s done correctly it makes marriage into a beautiful thing.

    • Lauralee says

      I think that is the way I am too. I try really hard and in some things it is pretty easy. But when I have an opinion I really have to watch it otherwise I can become Lauralee the bulldozer. 🙂 Fortunately, we work pretty well together and we kinda like each other so it all works out in the end. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  4. says

    I was just thinking about how the husband presides and the wife submits earlier today, then I happened to see this post on We Are THAT Family’s link up, so I followed it.
    My thoughts went a bit like this:
    “Sure, the scriptures say my husband presides and I submit. But what does that really mean? We’ve been married 4 years now and so far it’s meant that when we have big decisions to make (like what jobs to take, what state to live in, if we move in with his sister’s family, etc.) we both talk about it as equals and come to a decision. Or are we equals?”
    “Maybe it’s more like, we listen to each other and then my husband comes to a decision, but he makes sure he takes my feelings into account.”
    Maybe we are just so fortunate that when big decisions arise, we have never been dead set against each other.
    Can you think of an example of righteously submitting to your husband? (Or a hypothetical example?)
    I promise I’m not trying to be annoying.
    Maybe submitting could partially mean that whatever decision and compromise that is made, you submit by having a good attitude and completely support your spouse.

    • Lauralee says

      I don’t think you are annoying at all! Thank you for your thoughts. My husband and I talk about everything, just like you and yours. And I think most of the time submission isn’t a hard thing or something I have to think about all the time, because we do work so well together. But ultimately he is in charge. Our family made some pretty significant changes (we moved 5 hours away from family and friends). I didn’t want to go, but I knew that I needed to support what the hubs decided for our family. So we moved. Everyday I wanted to leave. And he had an opportunity to move us back closer not to long after we got here. I wanted to go. But as I prayed and asked God to ‘please let us leave’, He gently reminded/encouraged me to trust my husband’s decision. It was scary at first. But as I began to trust God provided me with a peace that truly surpassed my understanding. And when the hubs told me he believed we were supposed to stay, I was able to submit to that decision without anger. 🙂

      • Vivian Hampton says

        My husband and I were married 41 years and he passed away in March. We had a great marriage, not perfect but great! We respected each other and their opinion, we prayed together, we went to to church and raised our twins together on the same page. We talked about everything and always checked with the other before making plans. Ultimately he had the final say on large decisions and I trusted his answer for I knew he had prayed for guidance and wisdom before making it. It wasn’t always the answer I wanted but I’m so glad I trusted his leadership. We to were going to make a move closer to my family which I wanted. It was a job change for him. We went to the area and looked at churches, schools etc.. But he could not get peace from God about the job and change so we did not move. Thankfully because of his obedience to Gods answer we didn’t,because 6 months later the company closed up! Not only do we as wives need to submit but our husbands will answer for how they lead our homes. They to have to be submissive to our Heavenly Father! Let’s all work together for a happier life here!

  5. Hazel says

    I’m not submissive. I have never been. I was quite rebellious, although I can say that I never strayed from Christ and I never did drugs, so that’s good. But I can say that I work with my husband, not above or below. My job is different, but I work, and when I get home I help the kids with homework and then my husband gets home and we usually cook together and I clean the house and catch some TV before bed. But he helps me o and clean, and I help him with his work that he brings home. (He’s a youth minister) We’re a team. He’s not my master, he’s not above me. I’m not a feminist though. Here’s my thought on feminism. Women CAN do everything men can but that doesn’t mean they always SHOULD. Those are my thoughts. 🙂 Have a good day!

    • Lauralee says

      I don’t think that working together and sharing household responsibilities is wrong or a sign of not submitting. My husband and I’s marriage is much the same. It is definitely not a servant/master relationship. And I think that is where some of the confusion comes in when the word submission is used. We get images of losing ourselves in the name of submission. But it isn’t supposed to be like that. It is supposed to be a partnership. But just like on any team there is a captain, in a marriage the husband is the head. He gets to call the plays. It doesn’t excuse him from being a member of the team. And it certainly doesn’t make him more important. But it does give him more responsibility. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  6. says

    This has been the hardest, biggest struggle for me in my marriage. I have an opinion about my life and the way things in my home are ran…being a survivor of domestic violence (my son’s bio-dad) I have a hard time now understanding what is a normal relationship and what is a controlling husband. I want to submit but I am so scared of the way the integrity of our home would fall apart in my husbands care. I am too controlling I guess, but what do you do when you don’t agree with the way your husband leads the family? Just shut up and pick your battles? My biggest concern is the well being of my family ;emotionally, spiritually, morally, and financially. All of which we are on opposite teams, how do you get on the same team without compromising your beliefs and dreams for your family. (And yes, my husband is a Christian, but he reads “wives submit” to me all the time and stops there) Marriage is SO scary to me post wedding, we have been married for 2 years now, and I feel like after the rings went on the masks came off. Things we talked about in premarital counseling went out the window. How do you agree with your husband and support him even when you really don’t seem to ever agree on anything?

  7. says

    I just don’t understand how you can submit and follow his lead on the big things. My husband does a great job meeting all my needs and even trying to provide my wants, but things like a move, that seems impossible to be trusting. I would be trusting to God to guide us BOTH TOGETHER EQUALLY to make a secure choice for our family. But, God put us together to work as a partnership and without relying on your partner in making the big choices together, I feel like that is a disservice to your marriage. I say this after doing two cross country moves within 2 years, one at 34 weeks pregnant. I never once felt at the end of the day it was my husband’s decision. But, I will say that in his speaking about the potential job across the country the words “I feel i can provide and lead our family by taking this job” were used and it did sway heavily in his favor for moving after hearing his opinion. But my opinion was 100% equal in the decision.

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