A Husband Bears NO Responsibility For His Wife’s Submission

A Husband Bears NO Responsibility For His Wife’s Submission

It’s much easier to put the responsibility of a wife submitting to her husband on the husband’s shoulder. After all, most marriage books and pastors teach that if a husband is loving his wife as Christ loves the Church, then it will be easy for a wife to submit to her husband. Or if the husband meets all of his wife’s “needs” then she will willingly submit.

Here is how many preachers/teachers of the Word teach biblical submission: “When husbands are doing what God commands them to do in their marriage and they are doing it rightly and biblically, most wives love it and are happy to respond to it enthusiastically.” Therefore, the wife’s submission is incumbent upon the husband’s behavior. Our obedience to God is NEVER dependent upon someone else! It’s our responsibility to obey God regardless of the circumstances we are in and putting the burden on the husband simply makes it easier for women to shirk their obedience in this area. She then becomes the determiner of whether or not he is worthy of her submission. It is never the husband’s fault if the wife isn’t submitting to him. It’s her fault alone.

I have mentored women for many years. Many of these women are married to kind and gentle Mr. Steady’s but these women wore the pants and were very unhappy with their husbands. Most women’s natural inclination is to want to be in control and be discontent with their husbands. Once they learned true biblical submission, that it has absolutely zero to do with a husband’s behavior, then they learn to appreciate their husbands’ good qualities and begin to submit to them out of obedience to the Lord.

If it were true that wives should only submit to their husbands when their husbands love them as Christ is loving the Church, then what about 1 Peter 3:1? Wives who are married to husbands that are disobedient to the Word are to win their husbands how? by living in subjection to their husbands. So this blows that theory out of the water!

No, a husband can’t make his wife submit to him unless he is cruel and uses force which is wrong. He can tell her to submit to him as her leader but true submission must come from a decision by the wife to obey God even when it’s hard. Obedience to God isn’t easy in our wicked world. Living godly, set apart lives isn’t easy. Walking on the narrow path that leads to life isn’t easy. Living our lives to love and serve others, even our enemies, isn’t easy. No. And for ministers of the Word to water down biblical submission and tell women that their husbands should make it easy for them to submit goes against the clear teachings of the Word. They need to read and study 1 Peter 2.

“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again: when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:21-23).

A wife’s submission is not always easy. It’s giving up her rights for his. It’s giving up control and allowing her husband to be the leader. Yes, some husbands are a lot easier to submit to than others but this has no bearing on whether or not a wife should submit or not. If she wants to live a life of obedience to her Lord and Savior, she willingly and lovingly submits to her God-ordained authority, her husband, regardless of his behavior.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Ephesians 5:22-24

12 thoughts on “A Husband Bears NO Responsibility For His Wife’s Submission

  1. In radical feminism, where obedience and honor are anathema in place of the “Nasty Woman”, the militant, strident, anti-man anti-family woman! Fathers who guide daughter’s hearts and purity are labeled as sexist , husbands who want a devoted wife and mother are also now sexist! In this society, even stating simple truths and moral facts are now met with hostility and ire! Saying the nuclear family is best and children need a mom and dad, that a wife should honor her title of wife and her husband’s wishes, that motherhood is a woman’s greatest calling, that sex should be a milestone, not a handshake etc… etc… Sad isn’t it? But no wonder so many women want men to be weak, feminized servants!

  2. Oh boy, is this a toughie for me. Because of my upbringing, I was a control freak. I couldn’t control things when I was young, but I sure made up for it in my 20’s. It was my way or the highway. Depending on others and submitting to my husband will be a constant fight in my life. I can do it, but I often hear myself screaming in my head, “NOOOOOOOO!!! DO IT MYYYYYY WAY!” I’ve gotten better, but I still have a long ways to go. The crazy part is that I always feel better when I let go!!

    I keep a daily list of things I need to do and “obedience to God” and “Submission” are always right there on top.
    This would’ve been so much easier if I’d have been taught all this at a young age!!

  3. I agree, Debby. Those women who were modeled submission their entire childhoods by their mothers have it much easier than those who were not. Therefore, it’s imperative that young women do all they can to model it to their daughters so it will come more naturally to their daughters. Besides modeling it, however, they must teach it to their daughters.

  4. ” Our obedience to God is NEVER dependent upon someone else!”
    ^^^^^^^^^THIS !!^^^^^^^^^^
    Thank you Lori for continuing to speak the truth.

  5. Hi Lori,

    I am working on being a Godly woman and wife and I struggle in many areas. Submission is so important and one of my husbands requests of me is that I better learn to manage my anxiety/worry/rumination and my emotional control. You’ve mentioned the importance of these things for women. I agree with my husband that these are major areas of weakness for me and yet I struggle to do something about them. I see when other in my family do the things that I do (excessive worry) and I perceive it as selfish in them, but struggle to recognize it in myself in the moment. I also read this blog https://blogs.bible.org/engage/sue_edwards/why_we_ruminate_and_how_to_stop and I realized something’s I do feel self-righteous when I worry, because look how much I care!!! But I realize how wrong and selfish this perspective is. Any tips or precious blog posts that can help this wife submit to my husbsbd’s Requests??

  6. What are you dwelling on, Humbled Wife? Are you dwelling on the good and the lovely? Are you taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ? Are you daily being transformed by renewing your mind with truth? Do you believe that you can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you? Are you in the Word daily? God tells us He gives us a sound mind. Now, believe Him!

  7. Sure, its easier if a husband is loving and supportive. But not all are and he cannot control your emotions, actions and choices. It’s up to us, women.

    My husband just sent me a link about MGTOW. I had to stop it 5 minutes in as it was so sickening watching these burdens. One woman tried to throw herself out of a moving car and tried to place the blame on the man saying he pushed her.?? Thankfully he filmed it and it proved his innocence. But goodness! Women today have lost the plot.

  8. Interesting, as I’ve experienced quite the opposite. Perhaps I’m ignorant to “society”, but I don’t see our culture downplaying women submitting to their husbands/motherhood. I didn’t marry until 30 (didn’t meet my husband until I was 29) and during my 20s I was constantly questioned/berated on why I wasn’t married with babies, like something was wrong with me-God’s timing for marriage for me was later in life. I trusted HIM. In my 20s I volunteered in various countries and at church, and raised a few rescue pups and I worked-Godly men never crossed my path, even in church. That’s what I got for being picky ? I’m not surrounded by radical feminists so I guess I’m missing these anti-moral, anti-family ideals. It’s easier to submit when the Word of God is written on your heart. Like a reader above, I struggle with anxiety and also depression (it’s genetics) and I’ve given it over to Him and have gotten help and it’s changed my outlook on life. We are all a work in progress, striving to please Him in all we do.

  9. Brilliant articles, Lori!

    If all the women in America knew this information, we’d fix problems so fast!

    Thank you!

  10. Hi Lori,

    I know I’m a little late commenting on this, but your post is like a breath of fresh air. I’ve been thinking, and saying this for years. This lie that the responsibility of a wife submitting to her husband rest on the husband’s shoulders has permeated churches across our nation, via the pulpit, and Christian radio. I know the only way to dispel this lie is with truth, however this lie is being preached/taught from well known respected bible teachers.

    Also, I was married almost 32 years before my wife passed away. God willing, somewhere down the line I would like to marry again. Are there any single Christian women who think like this?

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