Submission: A Biblical Perspective

This is probably going to be a long one and a tough one. My goal is to accurately portray lovely, biblical submission and to show you that it can be beautiful. Now, before we get started I would just like to say, this is for Christian women. If you are not a Christian this just simply won’t work; without God’s enabling ability it is impossible to fully submit and trust.

The definition of submission is, “the act of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.” In today’s society submission is seen almost like a bad word and something that only weak women would do. But honestly, that’s all wrong. As Christian women, we are called to live by the Bible. We are given commands and if we love God we will obey them for example in John 14:15 Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

Biblical submission is quite different from the world. Submission is not slavery, it is not abusive or menial. It is about order. The first thing we have to remember is that submission stretches only so far. You, as a woman, are called only to submit to authorities and your husband. Women are not a lower race we are simply programmed differently than men. While we are called to submit to our authorities we are not called to sin. That’s where we draw the line. If your husband is asking you to do something that is obviously sinful you have the right to respectfully refuse. We are called first to submit to God and then to our husbands.

Many of you might be thinking at this point that this sounds terrible, and it can be if your husband is not fulfilling his God-given role as your husband. As your husband, he is called to love you. In Ephesians 5:28 it says, “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” I am not here to teach men though, I am only here to help and admonish women. As Christian women in today’s world, it can seem extremely discouraging and difficult to subscribe to these things, but we have to think, “am I going to listen to the world’s wisdom or am I going to obey my sovereign God?” Proverbs 3:5-6 gives some encouragement, ” Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him (God), and He will make your paths straight.”

Biblical submission can be a beautiful thing if both the husband and wife are fulfilling their specific commands. Within this submission, there is a caring for one another and a humility that can’t really be seen anywhere else. If functioning perfectly the husband leads his wife down the right path and encourages her to grow spiritually. All the while the wife is encouraging and coming alongside her husband as he leads. There is no pride or ‘my way is better than your way’ there is simply a peace and a communion between the husband and wife. Unfortunately, because of sin, this isn’t as easy as it sounds… Because of Eve’s sin “…your (the woman’s) desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Biblical submission is no longer our automatic response. Many times my first response is defensiveness and anger when Karl disagrees with me. Sin made submission ugly and vile, and as Christian women, we should seek to redeem submission and be lights in this dark world.

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Submission to our husbands takes an extreme amount of humility and selflessness. I know for me this hasn’t come easily and as my relationship with Karl continues on I strive to destroy my selfish attitude.

I wanted to share one more thing that I have been convicted about for the past couple of months… When we don’t trust in our husband’s leadership abilities we are choosing to not trust in our Lord. God commands us as women to submit to our husbands, but also tells us that “…in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him…” So when we choose to disobey our God by not submitting to our husbands we are essentially saying that we don’t believe Romans 8:28. If we are commanded to submit to our husbands and choose not to we are saying that we don’t trust God. When we don’t trust and submit to our husbands we are choosing not to submit to the one who created us. How terrifying is that? When I realized this I was hit in the heart. How many times have I unknowingly rebelled against my God because of my pride? Choosing to submit to our husbands shows God’s redeeming work in our life. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit (excessive pride). Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”  1

Our submission to our husbands is one of the greatest proclamations of God’s saving grace. I challenge all of us to look at our lives and ask ourselves, “Are we fully trusting in our God?’

Redeemed By the King

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photo credits: Jamie Titus

  1. Philippians 2:3

Thoughts?