Since Jesus submitted himself to his Father and to the cross, submission can’t be a bad thing unless someone is lying or someone has abused their position of loving authority; but even then that does not make submission bad it just makes the experience of submission a bad one. But principally, submission is a good thing and is best for both husband and wife. A husband submits by lovingly taking the lead to lay down his life for his wife (Eph. 5:21, 25-31). And a wife submits by lovingly following and supporting her husband’s leadership to Christ (Eph. 5:21-24).
Therefore, for a wife, submission is not . . . Let Jennifer Smidt speak to this:
1. Simply or singularly a marriage issue
Submission is God’s design. It is a reflection of the interaction within the Trinity. Whether single or married, submission is a core heart issue revealing one’s dependence upon God. For a wife, it demonstrates her willingness to yield to her husband’s lead in obedience and belief of God’s covenant to her.
Women have been lured into believing that submission is somehow humiliating. It does not bestow second-class status. It was Christ’s glory to submit to his father’s plan of redemption for his children; it is a wife’s glory to submit to God’s plan of provision and protection for her life.
When submission is depicted as voiceless oppression, both men and women lose. God declared that men need help and to leave them without our prayerful input is to deny them help – the very thing God declared they need. Submission uses her voice to speak words of grace and life into her husband’s life.
A fearful woman will have a very hard time submitting to her husband. A fearful woman isn’t actively trusting God with her life which makes entrusting a man with your future nearly impossible. Submission to Christ frees a woman from fear as she rests in God’s character and provision for her delivered through her husband.
A joyless wife is an ungrateful wife. Submission says, as Jesus did, “Not my will but yours be done.” There is great joy found in doing the will of God. Even in the most difficult of circumstances, joy bubbles out of a heart that is thankful to God for who he is and what he gives.
When submissive women are portrayed as stunted or limited in their freedom, they are being lied about. Submission is a safe place of protection where we are able to express our gifts and creativity for the glory of God and benefit of our marriages.
It is not a dumb thing to do, nor does it make you dumb. There is no “I get to check my brain at the door because he is in charge” thinking as the world often portrays. Submission is the response of an intelligent woman who knows her Bible and believes that God’s design is best.
Submissive women are not mousy. They will not settle for doormat status. The posture of submission is strength willingly placed under the authority of another. Our husbands need our best. Our best is the power that comes from Christ alone as we depend on him to embody Christ-likeness to our men.
A submissive spirit does not kick in the moment you say, “I do”. It is a heart response that all women begin to cultivate as we submit to Christ first. Wives will have their hearts exposed in the area of submission to God. A wife who submits cheerfully and graciously to her husband will always have at her core a heart knelt in submission to Christ.
A truly submissive heart doesn’t need to be concerned with taking care of herself. The submitted heart does not ask, “What’s in it for me?” but rather, “How can I serve God and my husband with my life?”