Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Women Submit, Men Check-out

I know that the title of my post is exaggerated. I'm very aware that not all women submit and not all men check-out. The husband/wife dynamic is an interesting one to say the least. Throw into the mix the standards by which God expects us to uphold within that relationship according to the Scriptures and you have yourself a mess. The Scriptures in Ephesians 5 lays out the standard by which husbands and wives are to relate to one another. The popular passage from this chapter is tells wives to submit to their husbands. Every man, Christian and non-Christian, has likely quoted that passage to his wife at some point in their relationship, only to have her chirp back with something clever in return, leaving him grasping for a reply.

The Bible does tell women to submit to their husband's leadership in the home. The wife is supposed to respect her husband and fall under his leadership. The problem is: most guys do not lead in such a way that merits their wives to submit to them. Most guys checkout of their role as husbands and leaders of the home. The Bible gives men an even more difficult role than wives. The Bible says for men to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Christ gave his life for the church, and this is the example given for how husbands should love and honor their wives. 1 Peter 3:7 even tells us that the prayers of the man who doesn't honor his wife will be hindered. In other words, being the man God has called you to be to your wife and children is a HUGE responsibility.

Back to the Garden

I want to wrap up this post with a reminder of the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Who ate from the forbidden tree? Eve. However, Adam, who was checked-out, was there beside her. Eve is having a conversation concerning their obedience with the serpent and Adam is sitting by passively. Eve eats of the forbidden fruit, and gives some to Adam too. Then they recognize their sin, hide from God, and await what they know will be a dreadful encounter. What happens next? God comes and they are hiding. God addresses the issue. Who does God question about the incident? Eve? No. "What have you done?," is asked of Adam, the husband. God went to the leader of the family and made him given an account. Eve was the culprit, and God was fully aware of this, but He went to the man, the husband, and held him responsible.

Men, are you checked-out at home? Step up. Quit playing it safe from the sidelines and be the man your wife wants and needs you to be. Wives, submit to your husbands, even when they fail in their leadership. Don't chastise him or belittle him. Let him lead, be supportive, encourage him to lead as God desires. This is the picture of the marriage God designed to exist. We need to relearn what healthy relationships look like and quit defining the parameters for ourselves.


  1. I think when a man IS SHOWING *with action* that he loves his wife as Christ loves the Church, it opens her heart to trusting him. It is easier to submit, even when she sees the freight train coming, when she knows he's got God #1 and the best interest of his family #2. And if a husband and a wife truly have a partnership, and the husband loves his wife as instructed, he will listen to her thoughts and opinions and take them into consideration when making God-led decisions for his family. As a divorced, strong willed woman looking up to my future *Christian* husband, I can't even begin to describe the difference in my security level and my ability to "let go," even when I don't agree. I know God will work in him in ways my obstinate insistence would only counteract. For women like me and Tiffany, I assure you this is a DAILY renewed decision to submit!!! ;)

  2. Amber, you are spot on with your assessment of what happens. When a man leads the way God intends and not as some dude who wants to take advantage of a "submissive" wife, thats when a woman is freed to fully trust in her husband to lead the family well and submit to that leadership.

    Unfortunately that is not the norm. Most guys are not willing to take that challenge. Bunch of Adams!

  3. One of the paradoxes in the Scriptures that involved the husband and the wife.. there is not a requirement on one or the other to only submit or love if the other meets the Scriptural mandates of their gender. I wonder if it is the act of grace and mercy toward ones mate that is the real character of this passage and others of similar thought. Even if my wife does not submit in the Biblical fashion should I only wait to love her until she submits? Or should I love her inspite of her actions toward me. Perhaps it will be my actions that will cause a reaction in her to move toward submission to God and then inturn move toward the idea of lovingly submitting to her husband?

    The world has a lot to say, but the Bible seems to have the market corner here....Love and Submission...just as Christ did.

  4. My question is (and I could be totally off topic) if this is how you view marriage (which I totally agree with!) how do you do "dating?" I know it's the same concept, but it's a totally different aspect. You are not "one" yet and haven't made all the commitments that marriage entails. I ask this because I don't think the younger generation (including me) knows how to take all these concepts and apply them in the dating process. We could all say, just don't date until you're 25 and ready to get married, but at the same time we have to be realistic and address the issue.

  5. Hannah, when it comes to dating, my thoughts are this: you should be looking for someone who holds the same faith as you, and who sees the marriage relationship in the same way Scripture lays it out. So even though you won't technically be submitting to a man in a dating relationship, you should be looking for someone who you would be honored to submit to in marriage because he is a man who is going to love you as Christ loved the church and honor you as his wife.

    Hope that helps.