Why I love Submitting to My Husband

Hello! If you stumbled upon my page from Facebook or another site, welcome! You can get to know more about me and what you’ll find on The Resplendent, here. And, if you like this post, feel free to check out the follow-up called how to submit to your husband or this honest letter to my husband in our first few years of marriage. Are you a mama? You just might like this letter to new mamas or this post about how heavy motherhood can feel. And before you go, don’t forget to find me on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. I’d love to connect with you, and I hope you’ll stick around. Or don’t. I’m not the boss of you.Mari + AndrewEphesians 5:22 says, “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands.”

And dare I mention the next verse? The one that says “For the husband is the head of the wife.”

scoff. scoff. eye roll. head shake.

Either you’re doing it, or you’ve gotten that response. Right?

I know I have. A million times.

This is one of those verses that non-believers cling to when it comes to easy ways to shoot down the Christian faith. Because how dare Christians… no, no… how dare GOD tell women they need to submit, to let men control them.

Here’s the problem. THAT IS NOT WHAT THE BIBLE IS SAYING.  And all it takes is 5 seconds of reading a little further to see that.

Because, I have heard time and time again how women, and even men for that matter, cannot believe people would willingly agree to this. They can’t believe that women would willingly stand before their friends and family, and vow to submit themselves to the mercy of their husbands. And nothing has frustrated me more than friends who cling to this verse as an excuse to deny that nagging in their hearts. That nagging voice that’s telling them that they already know there’s more to the story, but as long as they don’t search for it, they can pretend it doesn’t exist.

So, let me barge on in for one second and clarify for you. Let me tell you why this is not degrading to women, why it is not offensive, why it is not God’s way of exhiling women to a life of servitude to their husbands, and why I love submitting to my husband.

Mari + AndrewBecause of the part that says… drumroll please… “Husbands, love your wives, AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH.” (Ephesians 5:25)

Notice it doesn’t say, take advantage of them, belittle them, and gosh darn it, make sure they always keep the house clean. No. Instead, it instructs husbands to treat their wives as Christ treated his people.

And do you know what Christ didn’t do? He didn’t demand that his people make him sandwiches, he didn’t talk over them or with condescension and spite, he wasn’t physically or emotionally abusive, and he didn’t expect them to clean up after him and deliver him a beer and the remote when he walked through the door after work. Oh no. Instead, he washed their feet. Their dirty, swollen, stinky feet. He brought food to the hungry. He healed the sick. And most importantly, he DIED for his people. Even when he didn’t deserve it, he willingly gave up his life. For me. For you. For the church.

And in Ephesians, right after the verse to wives, it tells husbands to show their wives that same selfless love that Christ showed.

Mari + AndrewSo yes, I love submitting to my husband. And I don’t know about you, but I am glad to be a partner, a helper, and a companion to someone who loves me like that. Someone who puts me before himself. Someone who cherishes me, values my opinion, and loves me for me. Someone who would never purposely do anything to hurt me, but everything to help me. Someone who seeks God first.

And when you think about it like that, submitting doesn’t sound so much like submitting after all. To me, it sounds like a blessing to be able to love, respect, support, trust, and encourage someone who is committed to looking out for my best interests, for my family’s best interests, and ultimately, giving everything for me.


**As a follow-up to this post, many have been asking what submitting to your husband actually looks like in the day to day. You can find my response in this post on How to Submit to Your Husband**

 

 

 

 

 

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44 Comments

  1. alyssa

    Wow. I honestly feel speechless. I’ve always had a rough time with that verse because I’m a very strong feminist and to me, submitting to men is at the bottom of my list of things to do. I’ve always seen it as a “I’m so not going to let me hubby have control over me and expect me to drop everything to serve him” but this post…just, wow. You explained this in the best way and I couldn’t agree with it or love it more. Thank you so much! I will be saving this for later too. :)

  2. Alex

    As a believer, the issue I have with this verse is the way it is used. Nonbelievers know “submit to your husbands,” and like you said, don’t know the next part because Christians and non-Christians consistently use the first bit to put women down. The same way that passages about slavery were used during the civil war, and the same way passages about marriage are used today to fight against gay-marriage. So many people forget the true message of the bible is: love your enemy, forgive, don’t judge, and focus on YOUR relationship with your God.

  3. I am a recent convert to the Catholic fait. Before, I despised the idea of “submitting to my husband”. But I think that is because I was first married to a man that didn’t respect me or our marriage. Once I found my loving husband and discovered what it was like to be in a truly equal and deep love relationship I found that submitting to my husband was something I wanted to do! Thank you for putting it so beautifully.

    1. Marielle

      So, true! It only works well when both you and your spouse are demonstrating the love and respect the other desires. It tends to be a harmonious circle of love and respect, or a vicious cycle of depriving each other of these things.

  4. I tried commenting when I first read it this morning, but the website was giving me issues ( I was on my mobile device so I’m sure that’s why). I love what you wrote here and completely agree. thank you so much for sharing so much more eloquently then I could!

  5. Tara

    As a strong(stubborn) woman myself, I struggled with this as well, but then was given the book Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. AMAZING!! CHANGED our marriage! Men want to be respected and women want to feel loved, you can’t create a beautiful circle without these two major components!! Read it read it!! Your welcome!! ;)

  6. Wow! This is so well said!! This is definitely one of those verses that has feminists everywhere jumping up on their soapboxes. It used to be my least favorite verse in the Bible.. until God changed my heart and led me to my husband.

    Great job with this post, girl!

  7. Josephine

    So what does submitting to your husband actually mean? You defined what it isn’t, but you didn’t say what it was. I’m not asking to be rude, I’m very interested!

    1. Marielle

      Josephine, in my marriage, to submit to my husband is to ask his opinion, show appreciation, let the small things pass, show affection, avoid criticizing, tell him how wonderful he is, stroke his ego (build him up), and to trust his decisions, even if they’re not the same ones I would always make. And when I do, he is so much more inclined to love me the way I desire to be loved, and the way that Christ loved.

  8. I read this when you posted it on you IG. I believe the thing that people forget is that even though God took a rib from Adam to make Eve, it does not make man more superior than woman. It makes them connected. And if you look at the ribs, you have to be standing side by side to have them connected.

    I believe this is God’s true intention – that man and woman walk side by side helping each other. Men have strengths that women don’t and women have strength’s that men don’t. Together they become whole. Which is why you submit – not control – and why you love like Christ did his church.

    Much gets lost when people don’t think further than the words – selective words – that they hear yet don’t read about. And when it comes to the word submit, people automatically think horrible things where it isn’t even close to that.

    Thank you for sharing Marielle! I enjoyed reading this again!

  9. I am at a loss for words. First off, I would love to share this on my Facebook page because this is just so beautiful. I firmly believe in all that you have stated above, and as a Christian, I believe in those beautiful verses just like you. Thank you for sharing. :)

  10. Beautifully written! People who judge verses from the bible usually have not studied them or read further to attempt to understand it within context. I’m not super religious but whenever I would study scripture I learned so much and His word meant so much more.

  11. Ruth Solberg

    So what are you saying submitting to your husband IS? You’ve said how men should treat their wives. You say you love submitting to your husband because of the way he is supposed to treat you. So what are you doing when you Submit? You don’t explain what that means in your opinion.

    1. Denise R

      You should read the earlier comments, she actually explained it there ;)

      “Josephine, in my marriage, to submit to my husband is to ask his opinion, show appreciation, let the small things pass, show affection, avoid criticizing, tell him how wonderful he is, stroke his ego (build him up), and to trust his decisions, even if they’re not the same ones I would always make. And when I do, he is so much more inclined to love me the way I desire to be loved, and the way that Christ loved.”

  12. Amy

    Great article, and I want to add what follows in Eph. ..Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. I don’t even think it is only laying down his actual life for us, but also his daily life like you said. A husband who daily lays down his life for his wife, is only going to treat her with respect and will be blessed for it. The laws of God in our moral and ethical lives are as concrete as the laws of physics, gravity etc., which God created, and if we follow his order, our lives will be blessed as sure as water runs down hill. Submission too in a Godly marriage can only bring blessings.

  13. Robyn

    I don’t how to reply to a comment so my comment in in regards to the exchange I posted below.

    It sounds like conditional love to me. As long as you make him ‘feel like a man’ and do what he wants, he’ll show you the love you deserve?? In my marriage sometimes we bicker, we disagree and we are honest with each other. I tell him when he’s being a pill (PG version, sometimes harsher words are used) and vise versa. Most importantly, we laugh and we love and never doubt our love for one another.

    ————————————

    You should read the earlier comments, she actually explained it there ;)

    “Josephine, in my marriage, to submit to my husband is to ask his opinion, show appreciation, let the small things pass, show affection, avoid criticizing, tell him how wonderful he is, stroke his ego (build him up), and to trust his decisions, even if they’re not the same ones I would always make. And when I do, he is so much more inclined to love me the way I desire to be loved, and the way that Christ loved”

  14. Sonya

    Bless you. I remember those days when I loved being submissive to my husband. It was before he cheated, we divorced and ended up getting remarried. But it takes both husband and wife being obedient to the Word of God in order for the wife to submit with joy. Please pray for me and my husband.

  15. Steve

    This is a great post! I would add, based on a few of the comments, that this passage is true even if your husband isn’t consistently loving you as Christ loved the church. Same goes for the husband- he is to love his wife as Christ loves the church whether she’s submitting to him and respecting him or not. The point is not to look at your spouse and say “you should be doing _________ better/more”- the point is we should seek to lovingly fulfill our duty/privilege to our spouse regardless of what they do. Just think of how moved and encouraged you are when your spouse does that for you and seek to encourage them in the same way.

  16. Duncan

    Buuuulllshittttt. This verse always has and always will be misogynistic garbage. The Bible was translated and distorted so many times to fit whoever was doing the translation’s bidding. Did you know that King James was a sadistic pedophile bent on control of his subjects? Now you do. And yet you’ll still sit there and let some crap written between to folds of leather dictate your life. How about this instead: just stop being an asshole. Start treating people with respect and kindness because it’s the right thing to do, and I swear this world will be a better place. At least one with a few less egotistical narcissists running around. Just something to consider.

  17. Here is the dictionary.com definition of submit. Only the first definition applies.
    v. verb

    1. To yield or surrender (oneself) to the will or authority of another.
    2. To subject to a condition or process. submit a tissue sample to testing.
    3. To present (something) to the consideration or judgment of another.

    While I am sure the husband’s authority is not absolute (see the Old Testament language allowing people to beat their slaves as long as the beating isn’t fatal), the word “submit” clearly indicates something other than an equal relationship.

    The solution is simple. If the intent of Bible is for the marital relationship to be one of equals, amend it so it clearly states such.

  18. Susan Walls

    Yes, and even God’s women who have married into a relationship with a non-believer who may not live out the verse about loving their wife as Christ loves the church are to submit. It is in that submission that Christ can demonstrate his love through you to your spouse. As Christians we must respect and submit to our husbands in obedience to Christ. Christ is the head of the church and the husband is the head of the home.

  19. Karla

    I struggle with that verse not because I don’t want to be the kind of wife that God directs me to be but because I don’t feel as though my husband of 23 years holds up his end of it. I tend to use that as an out but even as I’m typing this I can hear my own voice as I tell my children that they can’t follow what others do and use what others do to them as an excuse to not do what God has called them to do. They will have to stand before the Lord to answer for their own choices as I will mine. Having to eat your own words is a tough pill to swallow.

  20. Ryan

    Since I found Jesus after two failed marriages, I felt I should read what God said about marriage in the bible. What you said here is what I came up with. I try to live and love my current wife as Christ loved His church. Jesus was the biggest servant of them all. When God created Eve in the garden she was here to help Adam not be his slave. All the responsibility truly rested on Adams shoulders. That is why the first sin was Adams not Eves even though. Eve originally ate the fruit. So I try to serve my wife and love her and she submits to me. She is far from a door mat. We have a marriage most people would love to have because we do it as God tells us to.

  21. Marissa

    There are significant gaps your article does not address. You imply that the husband-wife relationship is like that between Christ and the Church, yet that relationship is clearly an unequal one. Christ is ultimately ‘better’ than all of us–he made the greatest sacrifice, he is God’s son, he is more virtuous and he is in the right in most all he does. Are we to believe that a husband is the ‘superior of the two’ in a marriage? A woman should be on equal standing with her husband, and one of the most important parts of a relationship is honesty and mutual respect. ‘Stroking [your] husband’s ego’ and ‘avoiding criticizing him’ (as mentioned in previous comments) are not what a relationship is for–rather, it is for the mutual criticism, the drive to better yourself for your significant other. A husband is no more or less than a wife, and neither should ‘submit’ in any sense of the word to the other.

  22. I agree with this….but what about when your husband DOESN’T love you as Christ loves the church. He’s still demeaning, condescending, etc. Makes it hard to show that respect and submit.

  23. Seriously trying to allow God to redeem the word “submit” in my life. I am a stubborn, independent, strong-willed lady who loves her man; I can get down with mutual submission, but when it just says “wives submit, men love your wives like Christ loved the church,” I still get aggravated. I realize it’s all about respect/love. I want to, and do respect my guy, but I have trouble with reconciling with submission. The other day, though, God’s little voice popped in my heart saying, “my ways are higher than yours.” And I was like so true, so true. I hope I’ll learn to love to submit one day!

  24. Patricia

    If it’s so…why the Bible doesn’t say husbands sumbit to your wives…you see…wives submit, but husbands love…seriously? Why didn’t it say: wives love your husbands??? I respect if you want to think that, but it’s a justification from our perspective of time and culture. Also, we have to bear in mind the type of society at the time the Bible was written; wives were literally sumbitted to their husbands. I’m a Christian and I firmly believe in God, but the hand of a man purposely chose the word “submit” making the relationship between wive and husband unequal. He could have used two “submit” or two “love” or two “respect” but he didn’t. Let’s not justify his choice…Anyway, I don’t think anyone of us here think believes we are inferior or superior to men. We are equal, and we should all respect and love each other in the same way.

  25. Wendy

    Why do the husbands and wives get different instructions? How about the men submit and the women treat their husbands like a church. I’ll stick with men and women are equal instead. Seems a lot easier.

  26. Kelsey

    Totally agree with Wendy. I think both husband and wife have equal value and their opinions and decisions are equally important. Both should love each other, take care of each other, and support one another. Women are just as smart and strong as men and in my marriage and work place I demand equal say and respect.

  27. andrea

    My husband and I submit to each other. We have a equal marriage meaning he doesn’t make all the decisions for the family. We make them together. But I make the final decision for our children. We have been married for 20 years and am going on strong. You can have a strong loving marriage without making the man the head of the family. There should be no head of family. There should only be partners.

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