I have shared on this blog quite a handful of times on the issue of submission in marriage, in fact, I saw a video on Whatsapp shared by my very good friend in which a lady illustrated what submission should be for a married woman. She said as a form of illustration, “If you want to take a trip abroad and by virtue of your financial status you can afford the trip but your husband forbids you to take the trip and you obey, that is submission. But if on the other hand, you want to take a trip abroad and you cannot afford the trip but need your husband’s financial backing and he declines and you have no choice but to abandon the trip due to lack of funds and your husband’s refusal, then that is not submission. You are just submitting to fact that you don’t have money.” If in truth you have money then you will not submit. At this point, we need to search ourselves if truly we are submitting as the Lord says we should or not. With everything you think I know, I am still learning as much as you reading this write up.
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.
This is the same way the instruction for wives to submit to their husbands is in the book of Colossians 3:18 and 1 Peter 3:1-6. And then when we look at the dictionary meaning of the word submit, it says, “To give over or yield to the power or authority of another.” So what God is invariably telling us is to yield ourselves as wives to the authority of our husbands. This is an instruction not from the husbands, but from God.
Before I go further, I want to beg the husbands not to take advantage of this instruction to their wives by God. It’s an instruction that accrues more responsibility to the husbands more than they think they know. If God wants your wife to submit to you as unto Christ then you should understand that God expects that you are like Christ in her life. You will need to shoulder the responsibilities that Christ is shouldering over the church in the life and matters concerning your wife. It is not a small responsibility at all.
And this brings me to the reason why I decided to trust God for this write-up. One of the feedbacks I get the most from wives when they are asked to submit to their husbands or when they read any of my blog posts on submission is this; how can one submit to a husband who doesn’t care for them, he doesn’t provide for the needs of the home, and the wellbeing of the family he is supposed to lead is of no concern to him at all? How does one submit in such a situation to such a husband? I have heard this question over and over again and someone just asked me that same question about two days ago. Someone who follows my blog and has read my writings on submission, and so I decided to visit the issue again.
One thing that is interesting about the instruction of God on submission is that it does not come with any clause or exceptions. So to say that God did not give us the category of husbands to submit to and not to submit to. So no matter the characteristics of the husband you are married to, the Lord still says that as his wife you are to submit to him.
The next thing that will come into the mind of hurting wives or a wife who falls within the category of those not treated well in marriage is that God sees all and He knows how irresponsible their husbands are, why will God still demand that they submit to such men? To answer this, I will first of all say that God is not wicked and He is very mindful of what you are facing. If God says you should submit, its because God needs the resource of your submission to right the wrongs of your marriage and cause a change in the life of your husband. 1 Peter 3:1-2 tells us that God wants us to submit to our husbands so that when we are married to unbelieving husbands, they can be won over to God through our behavior when they see the purity and reverence of our lives.
A wife is a suitable helper to her husband (Genesis 2:18-25) and you are not just helping him as a financial support, a homemaker, a house cleaner, a cook, a childbearing and rearing figure, but you are also helping to mold is character and this the Bible says you do, not by words but when he sees the purity and reverence of your life. If you want a change in your spouse, then you need to be the change that spurs him/her to change. Let the work of God in your life bring forth the light that drives out every darkness in your spouse’s life. Words won’t give you the results that deeds will and if God says you can change the character of your husband through the purity and reverence of your own life, then God cannot be wrong.
If you want to know if this approach works, then I will tell you that I am a living proof of that. Nothing is as effective to solve life’s issues as much as the truth of the word of God. I have shared my story on this blog several times. If everything else fails, God and His word never fail. And if you ask me how easy it was to submit when it was so very hard to submit, I will confirm to you that it was tough. Submission can be tough when you find yourself married to a man who is not performing his duties as a husband. But if you dare to submit, you will reap the benefit and a little secret to it is that God is by your side and always ready to pour His grace on your struggles and help you through. As you make effort in this and pray for strength from God, the Lord will help you through it to victory.