First up is Ephesians 5:22-25
22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Then there's Colossians 3:18,1918Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Then the verse we had yesterday, 1 Peter 3:1-21Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
And then here's verse 7 for the men,
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Now, usually when there's a command in the Bible once, we pay attention to it. But, here we specifically see the words "Wives, submit to your husbands" three times. It's obviously important! I read these verses and I agree wholeheartedly, and I am filled with joy because I am trying my best to follow God's direction here, and I have to think that he is pleased with my attempts so far. See, the important thing to understand here is that we're not talking about being a slave. We're not saying that a wife should take orders from her husband and do everything he says, regardless of whether it is right or wrong. These verses are all about the head of the household spiritually. And in an ideal, God-filled marriage, this is much easier than a marriage of mixed faith.
There is more here than submission. Webster's dictionary defines submission as humble or compliant. In our marriage, and with our family, I recognize that my husband IS the head of our household, and that he does know what is best for all of us. And that comes from my trust that he has his own walk with God. That he talks to God daily and during times of decision, that God will show him the right path to take. It is the husband who sets the example. Do you pray before meals? Do you follow him to church every Sunday? For a while my husband was wondering whether or not he was meant to be a Pastor. And if God actually told him that was his path, I would have to lower my resistance and accept that that is the role our family is to take.
You also see in the verses above, that there aren't just commands to the wives. After the wives have their instructions, you see all three times for men to love and respect their wives. Ephesians tells the husbands to love their wives so much, that they should be prepared to give their lives for them! So often I hear the first part of these verses quoted but no mention of the second half. The second half is important. These two acts belong together and are what make a partnership. The wife will submit to her husband's authority and the husband will love his wife unconditionally. If these two acts are both in place in a marriage, they work together. If we look at the verse in 1 Peter, we also see instruction for the wife of a Godless man. That by utilizing the act of submission and humbling themselves before their husbands, those acts will be a witness and may very well lead a man to the Lord. I have no doubt that this verse is extremely enouraging to many women who are praying for their husbands to know Jesus.
There is another aspect to submitting to my husband's authority. And that is peace for me. True enough! I know that my husband is a man of faith and that he seeks God's direction in anything. This means that I don't have to to worry or stress or become upset by a potential change. It means that I put my trust in my husband and know that he will make the best decision for our family as a whole. That's not always easy to do, but each time it seems to get easier, and in return, I get to be a much calmer person and a much better example for our children. And on the occasion that I do disagree with my husband, I can always turn to the Lord. I can ask him for understanding or for his help to change my husbands mind, knowing fully that whatever my husband ultimately decides is direction from God, and I trust in that.
Now having said all this, does this mean that I just sit back and let Andy make all the decisions in our home? Heck no. We have a wonderful partnership, and we discuss just about everything together. Quite often he will relay something to me, asking for help to fix a situation or for my advice about something. Most often we do make decisions together, and I always at least let him know my opinion when he has a decision to make. Marriage is a partnership, and by submitting to my husband, he loves me even more, and it makes for a wonderful partnership as we go through life together. I thank God every day for giving me such a wonderful man to be my husband and the father of my children.