I’m Single and Believe Wives Should Submit to Their Husbands

Wives blame husbands for not being strong but then emasculate them when they are. Submissive wives can change that (without losing their dignity) and here’s how.

| Topics: WOMEN OF THE BIBLE
Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90

Recently, I was mindlessly swiping through stories on Instagram when I came across a re-shared post that caught my attention.

The post? A list of women in the Bible who were known for acts of bravery, not thanks to their “submissiveness to men” but precisely because they didn’t submit. She continued to say something about the “male patriarchy,” but she had lost me at “non-submissive.”

I reread the list of women just to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. All the greats were there: Sarah, Rachel, Abigail, Ruth, Deborah, Jael, Esther, Miriam, Mary Magdalene, and more.

What then should we do with Ephesians 5:22? Erase it and declare it irrelevant and outdated? Or can a woman be submissive within her marriage without losing an ounce of her value?

I feel compassion for this emerging ‘modern-day Christian woman,’ and absolute revulsion toward her remarks, as they are ultimately causing a rebellion, seemingly against ‘the patriarchy,’ but in reality against God’s own design for humanity.

The brazen emasculation of men amongst the “woke” has become the norm. I fear that if not handled correctly within the believing community, we are at risk of losing sight of what a holy relationship between the two sexes actually should be.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not ignorant to the genuine pain of women mistreated and abused by men in ways that would make your blood boil and break God’s masculine heart – that HAS to stop.

The deep hurt and anger within the Christian female community is real, and their voice needs to be heard in order to heal.

But Ephesians 5:22-33 is not about being ‘lesser than,’ or an excuse for deeply insecure husbands to control their wives, but a proven structure that protects marriage and has even saved many marriages on the brink of divorce.

 

Who are you, woman of God?

First off, before we hate on the word ‘submissive,’ what does it actually mean?

Dictionary.com defines the word submissive thus:

“Inclined or ready to submit or yield to the authority of another; unresistingly or humbly obedient”

I can understand where this word in a particular context can be absolutely repulsive.

But suppose we let go of the image of the domineering, heavy-fisted, abusive husband, or the preacher pointing in a condemning way at the ‘rebellious wives’ in the church. In that case, we might have a fighting chance.

In actuality, these verses are one of God’s greatest instructions for a loving and godly relationship between a married couple. When properly implemented, they are the sturdy foundation to a healthy, honoring, and long-lasting marriage.

Ephesians 5:22-24:

“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.”

Many stop there and read no further; I know I used to.

But assuming that all scripture is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16–17) and the apostle Paul was not a controlling misogynist pig – we are to conclude that this is God’s will, and God’s will is always for women and not against them.

First off, Paul isn’t talking about submitting to that average Joe Schmo you regret dating, but a husband of noble character who leads with the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), loves with a tender heart (1 Corinthians 13:4-8), and has surrendered his ways to God.

Furthermore, these verses do not imply that the husband is as infallible as God, but that you submit to your husband ‘as unto God.’

In essence, God is saying: Honor him for My sake because I chose him for the role of representing My leadership over your family unit.

Obviously, these scriptures should never serve as an excuse to control, abuse, or manipulate women. I am confident that God agrees with me.

 

Who are you, Yeshua, man of God?

I personally grew up with an exceptional father who never, not even once, made me feel less than because of my gender or lorded his leadership over my mother or my five siblings.

He was a wise, patient, gentle, strong and loving man who wasn’t afraid to show emotion, cry or ask for forgiveness.

Watching my parents work together as a team in the leadership roles God assigned to them within our family unit was a privilege. They lifted each other up, elevated each other in public, and honored each other in private.

Even on his deathbed, my dad carried my mother’s burdens on his frail shoulders and showed his four daughters a true example of what a godly man looks like so that they chose a husband who treats them with no less respect than he did.

If anything, Paul puts a heavier “responsibility” on the husbands in these verses, as he continues to say in Ephesians 5:25 and 28:

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” and, “in this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

Give himself up for her? Love her as Yeshua loved the Church and as he loves himself?

For anyone who knows the love of Yeshua and how he selflessly laid down his life and loved his creation to the bitter end (John 13:1) – that is no small ask.

God’s standards for men in honoring, respecting and caring for their wives are as high as his own love.

God, as a protective father, is saying in essence:

“Husband, you better dedicate your whole self to loving this woman the way I love her, even if it takes getting rid of all your self-hatred to treat her as she deserves.”

If this is the true role of a husband, why should believing women stop them from learning how to love as God does?

 

Our legacy as believing women

Dare I say, all the female heroes of our faith listed in the ‘peg the patriarchy’ post were extremely submissive to God and their husbands, even if, at times, their actions were unorthodox.

Back then, women did not hold the same social status as men, and for that, God will judge their motive: Whether it was out of the innocent desire to protect women in a world devoid of the protective social and governmental constructs of today, or misogynistic control.

I wish we lived in an ideal world wherein God could trust all men to honor the hearts of women, but it is not so.

If I may, on behalf of unrepenting men (who will not get away with anything on judgment day):

I am deeply, deeply sorry.

I am sorry he didn’t love himself or experience the love of the Father enough to love you and treat you like you deserved.

As a woman, my part in breaking the cycle of misogyny and toxic feminist ideologies is by being as shamelessly submissive to God as I can so that I love myself as He loves me, and so that I eventually choose a man who does the same.

Honoring, respecting and loving each other under our submission to God.

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