A young lady and I were talking not too long ago and she suddenly asked “why does the bible ask wives to submit to their husbands? Why does it say husbands are the head over their wives? Isn’t marriage supposed to be team work? Why is one person asked to submit to the other?”
As this young lady ranted through her questions, I knew they were deep seated. These questions must have bothered her for a while. She obviously had an issue with that word “submit”. She went on and on but the three questions I mentioned above were her major concerns. I tried to answer her question the best way I could. I decided we look up that passage in the Bible together. Ephesians 5:22-25
22.Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.
I was surprised she still didn’t get the gist after the reading, she still said so “why should the wife submit” does it mean she is a lesser being? Just before you judge this lady, I realized this is how a lot of us are generally. We tend to focus on the perceived* hard things in life, those things that look impossible, those things that wear us out just from the thought of them. We tend to be one sided in life even to ourselves. But that passage is very clear and balanced. Marriage is indeed team work. One person doing the submitting and the other person doing the loving. I told her the issue she was having was her focus on the word “submit” which has always been the problem in marriages.
Actually, to me the command given to husbands to “LOVE” their wives “as Christ loves the church” is even a more DIFFICULT task. The problem is that most people choose to focus on the “submit” part because generally human beings tend to be rebellious. Nobody necessarily wants to submit their will to another person so that part looks harder. Husband is screaming, you must submit to me. Wife is shouting, we are equal and so the other part of the command is totally forgotten. If we know what it means to love a person as Christ loves the church, we will all prefer to submit instead. If you are a Christian man reading this, God will ask you how you loved your wife just as He loved the church, He will not only ask the wives how they submitted. Be guided. 🙂
That a lot of men do not love their wives as Christ loves the church does not water down the fact that this commandment was in fact given to them with a higher expectation. Loving unconditionally, which is the example Christ set for his followers, is a big deal. However, it does not make less important the command given to women too to submit. Everyone has a part to play in a successful marriage per Ephesians 5. If a man loves you to the point of dying for you, puts you before everyone else in his life, gives you so much control over all that belongs to him including his millions of dollars to do as you wish. My dear, we won’t be over flogging submission here. Lol! So yes, Marriage is teamwork, one person is loving unconditionally and the other person is submitting. 100/100
Most importantly, I need to emphasize that the bible does not say your husband must love you before you submit to him, neither does it say she must submit before you love her. We only make it easier for the other party when we do our part. Once you are married to a person, that passage of the Bible is binding on you as a Christian. I’m sure it means that you should do what you are commanded regardless of the other person’s action. It’s tough, agreed but only a mad woman refuses to submit under evident display of unconditional love from her man and vice versa. If we all do our part, the problem we see in marriages today will be minimal.
After the conversation, the young lady smiled, I’m sure the next guy that tells her “Wives submit to your husband” will hear it. Her eyes will go rolling “Husbands love your wives AS CHRIST LOVES THE CHURCH”. That is a bigger commandment. 🙂
Marriage is teamwork. Remember to do your part and do it well.