A Wifeís Submission To Her Husband
Copyright 2007 Heaven Ministries ~ Angie Lewis


Some Christian wives tell me they have a difficult time submitting to their husband because he is behaving inappropriately, either through controlling behavior or demanding submission, or other ungodly activities.  If this is the case, I must admit that it would be difficult to submit to this kind of authority. After all, many of these women go on to tell me they thought they married a man of God, not a Hitler.

Fortunately, God knew that this would happen from time to time, and so He left us with appropriate instructions on how to handle this kind of marital difficulty. First of all before we get into what appropriate action to take, wives should identify the consistency of this kind of behavior, and then try and figure out what she can do to rectify the situation from happening. 

Does your husband behave controlling only some of the time, all of the time, or only once in awhile? The reason she needs to identify the consistency of his behavior is simple, really. If a man consistently demands that his wife submit to him, than he has his own spiritual issues that need attended to before he can actually think that his wife should submit to his tyrant behavior.  Issues within ourselves are what keep us from loving one another in the proper ways.

If it happens only once in awhile, then she needs to look at herself, and find out what she may be doing to upset the godly nature of her husband and stop doing what it is she is doing. Or he may be going through an emotionally stressful time in his life, and only needs to feel reassured about something. These kinds of issues in marriage need talked out in proper communication. If a husband only gets controlling and demanding once in awhile, then I would tend to believe there is probably good reason for his spiritual authority and protection at that time. 

One problem I see is that many Christian women hang around with other single and unbelieving women at work, and they tend to adapt to each otherís philosophy and beliefs, even trying to conform to worldly standards and remain a Christian. For instance, a Christian woman may hear how much fun it is to go out dancing in bars from her unbelieving friends, and believes she is missing out on some fun. When she goes home she has a difficult time submitting to her husband when he says he doesnít want her to go out dancing in bars with friends. Or her friends tell her how they boss their husband around and would never ever submit to their husband in a million years! Hello! Do not be unevenly yoked with unbelievers!

A husband may see his role as head of the family a bit differently than his wife. Most Christian husbandís who take their position seriously may protect their wives from outside influences with great authority, while she may take his behavior as demanding or controlling. Great discernment and godly wisdom is needed here, not forgetting to pray about it together, so you may both understand what is the proper way to lead and the proper way to submit. If either spouse fail to commit to the purpose set out for them by God, there will be troubles such as described above.

On the other hand, if a husband is often taking advantage of his leadership position than I tend to believe he is an unbeliever using the scripture for his own gain. And if that were the case God has specific instructions for that. 

And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified by his believing wifeÖ  (1 Corinthians 7:13-14 NIV)

Many times in such circumstances a Christian wife finds her strength through the power of Christ in her life and she can remain married and sometimes her husband may even become a believer. This is what God intends for marriage, but it may not happen in all marriages.

In a healthy marriage both husband and wife submit to each other but the husband is the main spiritual leader. A woman who is sure of herself and is made to feel good about who she is will not have a problem submitting to her husbandís loving influence.

Submit to one another out of reverence to Christ. (Ephesians 5:21 NIV)

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. (Ephesians 5:22-24 NIV)

Jesus Christ submitted His will to the Father, and Christianís are to honor Christís example. So then this is how a wife is to submit to her husband. If she does not submit to her husband, then she is not honoring Christ or His example He left for us to follow. 

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21 NIV)