Is wives submission still relevant in today’s society?
Marriage is an institution that was initiated by God back in the Garden of Eden. God didn’t just create marriage but He also gave us the manual (the Bible) on how to operate marriage. Many of the problems that we have in marriages are as a result of not following the Biblical instructions. Last week we saw how the Bible instructs men (husbands) to love their wives unconditionally. This week we look at Ephesians 5:22 where the Bible says “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
As much as we have said (last week) that all what a woman needs is love, we can safely say that all that a man needs is respect. Men are born with some little egos; they would like to be acknowledged as somebody, at least in their own homes. They might be nobody’s in the street, or at work, but when they get home they would like to be respected.
Submission is defined as is yielding to another’s desires without resistance. Those of us who have driving licences would be familiar with the concept of yielding, for the rules of the road says that when you approach the traffic cycle you must yield to cars that are already in the cycle. In the same way the Bible is saying to wives that when you get to the traffic cycle of life (situations that requires leadership direction/decision), yield to your husband. Now, this makes sense in view of the fact that the Bible says in verse 23 that the husband is the head of the wife. You can’t imagine the body that is not in submission of the head.
Submission is not just an act but an attitude of the heart; it is a frame of mind. Submission does not mean the woman should never disagree with her husband, what it means is that even in her disagreement she must still be respectful. The wife should disagree with her husband in a way that does not reduce the husband from being the head to become a child or piece of furniture.
It is unfortunate that the post-modern society views submission as a form of abuse. The fact is submission, unlike surrender where you yield by force or because you don’t have a choice, submission is done willingly. It is also important to remember that this not an instruction from men, but it is an instruction from God, when women follow it they are obeying God, and when they disobey it they are also disobeying what God has said. Therefore if there are any consequences they have to be with regard to the disobedience of God. It is also important to remember that every instruction from God is never done so arbitrarily, whatever God instructs us to do it is always for our own good; there is a blessing in obeying the words of God.
Now the verse does not just say women must submit but it says they must do so as unto the Lord. This assumes that these women know the Lord and they know what it means to submit to the Lord. So, they must do the same to their husband. It also means that if the woman does not have a relationship with the Lord it will be very difficult for her to submit to her husband. Now this instruction must be read along with verse 25 that says husband must love their wives as Christ has loved the church. When a husband loves his wife he is creating a perfect environment for submission. It is easy to submit to the government of love. However, the lack of love should not be an excuse for not submitting, because the instruction to women is independent of the instruction to men. If men don’t love their wives they are breaking God’s instruction and they will be accountable to Him.
Many women have often said they don’t know what submission means in practical terms. The question is what is it that women can do differently to make their husband feel respected. It is important to note that women have the power to make or break their husbands. The wife is like the mirror to her own husband. How she relates to him, and how she treats him is reflected in his own self image. Many women have emasculated their husbands and thereafter they wonder why their husbands aren’t man enough. When a husband is respected by his own wife it boosts his self esteem. He feels confident of himself even among other men.
Here are some few points that wives should consider:
- Avoid competing or trying to control your husband.
- Avoid nagging your husband.
- Avoid criticising and comparing your husband with others.
- Ask his opinion.
- Speak kindly and lovingly of your husband in front of family, kids, and friends.
- Listen to him and don’t just dismiss him.
- Have high expectations of him.