What Does It Mean to Submit to Your Husband? (Biblically)

by Jen on February 23, 2011

what does it mean to submit to your husband biblicallyThere are some words that carry controversy… and in some cases, fear. For many of us, me included, “submit” is — or was — one of them.

While it can be used as an everyday, harmless verb (“I’ll submit the paperwork.”), it can also be used as a command (“Submit to your husband!”).

So what do these words from God mean?

When I first heard that a biblical marriage required submission, I can’t say I understood it. Part of it was not wanting to understand, but another was not having the capacity to understand.

This post contains a link that will help any man, woman or couple understand what it means for a wife to submit to her husband biblically. (And how husbands can best encourage their wives.)

After almost two years of weekly sermons, online sermons, Bible studies, prayer and going by faith, I can say this message was what helped piece it together for me.

But first, a few words of caution.

Submitting to Your Husband Does Not Come Naturally

The world tells us the way to survive (and thrive) is to cultivate total independence and self-reliance (“I’m the only one I can trust,” “I’m the smartest person I know,” “What if it doesn’t work out?”). This makes submission seem like a concept that goes against everything we’ve learned.

Unless, of course, we are learning from God.

Submitting to your husband does not mean a wife can’t have independent thoughts, feelings or desires. Or that she must follow her husband’s command if he’s sinning.

It doesn’t mean she’s less intelligent than her husband or that she shouldn’t seek to influence him in family decisions.

A husband and a wife are equal with complementary roles, and just as wives are called to submit to their husbands as head of the family, husbands are called to love their wives the way Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25). Remember: Jesus died for the church!

So why doesn’t it come naturally to submit? Because 1) women have stirring desires (temptations) to rule over their husbands and 2) fear tells us that when we submit, we die.

Bible Verse on Submitting to Your Husband

Here’s the bible verse from 1 Peter 3:1-6 from the New Living Translation:

In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.

Now for the Link…

It’s time to put misconceptions, exaggerations and most of all … FEAR aside.

So without further adieu, I present to you the link on what submitting to your husband means, biblically:

What It Means to Submit to Your Husband

P.S. This isn’t just for the ladies — Pastor Mark covers three types of marriages (and why two of the three usually fail!), ways a husband can handle disagreements with his wife and more. God’s message is well-delivered here.

Related Post: 34 Ways to Pray for Your Marriage When Stressed, Sleep Deprived, Frustrated & Fed Up

And dear readers, I’m learning what it means to submit to my husband — please pray for me For the more experienced married women and men among us, please share your wisdom with the rest of us!!

Previous post:

Next post: