Submission in marriage. I talked to my husband about this concept several months ago and, although I knew how he practiced it in his life and in our marriage, I don’t think he’d ever said it out loud. I asked him to write this post about what it looks like for a man to live out submission in marriage and why women aren’t the only party who have to practice this form of agape love.
From my hubby:
Men in Submission to God
Usually, when us men use the word submit or any variation of the word, we are usually using it in a way to describe a woman’s role in a marriage. You know, “the Bible says wives need to submit to their husbands.” It’s usually used in an effort to force our will onto our wives when we don’t have any other way of getting her to go along. It usually doesn’t work either.
There are a plethora of verses in the Bible that indicate men also have to submit but these verses are not applied to the marriage covenant.
- 1 Peter 5:5 – “In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
- Hebrews 13:17 NET – “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls and will give an account for their work. Let them do this with joy and not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for you.”
- Ephesians 5:21 NET – “…and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ”
These verses and others state clearly that men need to submit to God. What does a man submitting to God have to do with submission in marriage? Just because the Bible does not state explicitly that a husband must submit to his wife does not relinquish him from the responsibility of modeling proper submission for his wife.
Men in Submission to Their Wives
If the husband is to lead the wife, he must lead her in everything. Tension and strife in the marriage? It is the husband’s responsibility to lead his wife in reconciliation. If there is an area where the husband feels like his wife is lacking, it is his responsibility to model the correct or desired behavior. If house is dirty, model cleanliness behavior for her. Want more home cooked food? Cook more for her. Want more sex? Model intimacy. If your wife is struggling or resisting submission, submit to God and love your wife into submission.
Ephesians 5:28 NET does provide some direction to get you going. “In the same way husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Set the example. Be the change that you want to see…in your marriage.
When you’re looking for your lifelong partner, it’s very important that he’s willing to submit to you and your marriage. The man is designed to be the head of the household and to be a servant first. If his idea of submission is for his wife to feed him and leave him alone when he returns home, you might want to have a really important conversation with him.
What do you think about men being submissive? Let me know in the comments below!
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Katherine is the author of Wounds to Wisdom, The Marriage Advocate, and is the voice behind Yoked, an online ministry dedicated to helping women prepare themselves to be a wife. Married to her best friend, she is living out her purpose by encouraging others to enter into covenant marriages with their eyes wide open.