In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. And let not your adornment be merely external - braiding of the hair and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands. 1 Peter 3:1-5
I am by nature a take charge person. I usually think I know best and things will be better if they are done my way. As you can imagine, with that type of personality, submitting to my husband does not come naturally. My entire life I have heard comments like, "girl - you aren't going to let him tell you what to do are you?" and "I don't have to ask my husband". "I make my own decisions", and "my husband knows better than to tell me what to do". For many of my married years I answered those comments with a big hearty, "Yeah, that's right!". But then God began to teach me about submission. You know how sometimes teaching our young children to obey may require a spanking? Well let's just say I got A LOT of spankings before I finally learned to obey God in this area.
The good news is, now that I have learned what submission looks like I have come to realize that it is a huge blessing. It's not something to dread or hate. It's a wonderful thing. Submission is for our protection as wives and it is the way God designed the marriage relationship to work. I am so excited to share with you what I have learned, just please keep in mind I am a work in progress!
We can see in scripture that submission is a heart attitude. Our husbands cannot force us to be submissive. It is a gift we choose to give them. You are familiar with the expression, it is better to give than to receive. This certainly applies to submission. We are blessed tremendously when we give the gift of submission to our husbands. Since I began submitting to my husband I have seen a change in him. He is more of a leader because I am submissive. I have always wanted my husband to be a strong leader of our home but I didn't always realize how my lack of submission was taking away his desire to lead. Remember the spankings I spoke of earlier? Some of them worked like this: I would think I knew best what to do with the children. I would want to involve them in something or take them somewhere or whatever. I would plan to do things my way but I would have a tug at my heart that I knew had something to do with being submissive to my husband. I would quiet that tug by asking my husband what he thought about what I was planning to do. On numerous occasions he would tell me why he thought the children should not do what I had planned but I would go on doing what I wanted to anyway. I had been submissive, right? After all, I had asked him what he thought. It's just that I knew better. WRONG. In almost every circumstance things would backfire, terribly, and all I would be able to think about is why didn't I listen to my husband!
Submission is to be a picture of Christ and the church. Does the bride of Christ order him around and tell him what to do? Does she "wear the pants"? Is He not the head of the church? After messing up, a lot, and making many mistakes I now ask my husband for his opinion and follow his direction. I put him first. I do not second guess his decisions or tell him why he is wrong. He is more of a leader and our marriage is happier and healthier than it has ever been. The children know Daddy is in charge and that "God is the boss of Dad and Dad is the boss of Mom". I find security in allowing my husband to make the decisions for our family. Sure, I struggle at times, but not like I used to. I now pray that God would make me a submissive wife. Even when I'm sure my way is best I allow my husband's word to be final. I am releasing control and I like it better than I thought I would!
Submission can bring health and harmony to your marriage. Your husband will feel more loved when you begin to submit. My husband did, after the shock wore off. He didn't marry a submissive wife but after all these years he has one now. Try putting your husband first, asking him what he thinks you should do. If he tells you not to do something, obey. (I can hear the groaning, but don't hate me because I am telling you the truth!) Allow your husband to lead the home. Let the children know Dad is in charge. If he asks you to do something, do it! Tell him that you want to be a submissive wife because you love him and watch the changes that take place in him. You won't believe it!
1 Corinthians 7:3-4, 14:34b
Colossians 1:15-19, 2:9-10
1 Peter 3:22