The Sweet Christian Bride

10 Reasons for the Christian Bride To Marry a Christian Man: Reason 7

by admin on July 3, 2012 in Spouse with 3 Comments

Reason 7: Joyful Submission

Submission is one of those loaded words that can make people squirm when it’s applied to them.  In fact, a man at my wedding told me that my vows were awesome except for “that whole submitting stuff.” 

Before you get too scared to read on, let me ask you, if you were in the Army, would you not want a hierarchy, a chain of command, that keeps the necessary order for survival?  And do you not cherish God’s organized and ordered character?  In everything from the biology of a cell to the Israelite tribes, God has an order that works for His glory. 

 Just as a soldier would follow the leading of his commander, so the commander would lead with his soldiers’ welfare in mind.  If he didn’t, it would hurt himself, his mission, and his individual soldiers.  Without his soldiers, the commander is lacking, just as without the commander, the soldiers are lacking.  They are equally as valuable to the mission, regardless of where they are in the chain of command. 

Let’s take a look at where the idea of submission begins.  Genesis 3:16 says, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”  This verse is part of Eve’s rebuke after her (and Adam’s) disobedience in the Garden of Eden.  All the egalitarians out there are screaming, “Yuck!” right about now.  But let’s look at it from a different perspective. 

Matthew Henry, a Bible commentator, says, “The entrance of sin has made that duty a punishment, which otherwise it would not have been. If man had not sinned, he would always have ruled with wisdom and love; and, if the woman had not sinned, she would always have obeyed with humility and meekness.”[1]  Henry continues, “She shall be subject, but it shall be to her own husband that loves her, not to a stranger, or an enemy: the sentence was not a curse, to bring her to ruin, but a chastisement, to bring her to repentance.”[2] 

So this idea of wives submitting to our husbands is a beautiful picture of order!  It doesn’t mean that wives are less valuable or even less powerful than husbands.  It simply gives an organized structure to the functionality of marriage.  And praise God that we get to submit to husbands who love us and have vowed to cherish us until death!

Are you still with me?  I hope so, because the bigger picture of submission comes from Ephesians in which Paul talks about living in submission to Christ who is the head of the body.  In his teaching, Paul writes, “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).  That is the context for the verses to follow that specifically instruct a wife to submit to her husband and a husband to give himself up for his wife.  It’s all under the umbrella of submitting to Christ.  It’s for Him and through Him that we are able to do this.  It goes back to the idea from the last post about giving 100%. 

Another name for giving 100% is submitting.  It can be done through Christ’s Spirit who lives in you, but cannot be done effectively without it.  When you submit out of obedience to Christ, there is joy in the submission because you are worshipping God by choosing obedience and by living within the order that God Himself created for marriage. 

A wife and husband are to mutually submit to one another because they are both giving 100% by Christ’s strength to the other.  Whenever there needs to be a system of order—say for example you are wondering what restaurant to go out to or you are debating whether to buy or lease a car—you both mutually submit by listening to each other and valuing each other’s insight.  If you are at a stalemate, however, the husband is the one to make the call (even if it’s not as good as the wife’s.  1 Peter 3 addresses this dynamic more thoroughly).

I know that the idea of submitting is not popular in today’s society, but I challenge you to pray that God would show you what system of order He has designed for your marriage.  Don’t take my word for it, and don’t settle for your current, personal understanding of it as the end-all-be-all.  If God’s design for your marriage is for both of you to submit fully, and in times of stalemates, for you specifically to submit to your husband, then ask Him to change your heart so that you can submit joyfully for Christ’s sake, not for your own.

[1] Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). Accessed through 27 October 2008.

[2] Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). Accessed through 27 October 2008.

By Lindsay

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