*This is the final part in a series over submission in marriages. To read the first two, click on the links in the article below.
I love working with my husband on projects. Whether it’s fixing fence for our chickens, painting a room, or building a deck, times like these are my favorite. We have a rhythm. Years of working alongside each other has brought a comfort to our marriage. My husband takes the lead, and I watch him, knowing when he needs me to hold this, give him that, or apply pressure here. We dream of things to be accomplished, discuss how to make them happen, then set the plans into motion with him in the lead, and I his helper. That is if I let it happen.
When I first got married, I understood that whole submissive wife thing, but I didn’t know it was going to be so difficult. I didn’t understand the sacrifice it was going to take. Sometimes, I didn’t like his decisions. Sometimes, I tried to manipulate his decisions. Sometimes, I pouted over the choices he made. We bent and broke each other selfishly as we learned what it was like to become one as a couple.
I fought with my husband for several years over who was going to have the submission hold over whom. In my mind, I would submit to my husband’s will as long as it was in line with my way of thinking. Ladies, I cannot even begin to describe how vital it is to your marriages to truly let your man lead. Some of you may feel like you have a man-child on your hands, but sister, he is very capable. When we continue to take leadership away from our husbands, we are crippling their manhood. He was created to lead you. He was created to protect and honor you. He was created to live sacrificially for you. The Creator placed this job in your husband’s hands, and oh how often we strip it away. When we understand the design God has for our role in marriage and trust that he will bless us for trusting in his plan, a sweet, sweet rhythm begins to form.
Submitting to your husband is evidence that you have a heart that completely trusts in God and his plan (Ephesians 5:22-33). In the beginning, God created you to be your husband’s helpmeet (Genesis 2:18); he is your most important ministry. Your role is to help God shape this man into the sacrificial leader he was meant to be for your family. He cannot be that if you do not trust God, through your submission, to shape your husband through your obedience. Ephesians 5:25 states,
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Do you understand the depths of this passage? Do you understand the insane amount of sacrifice your husband is to have for you? He is to love you as Christ loves the church. He is asked to live a life of humility in service to you, and all we can sometimes think about is how “unfair” it is for him to get to make all the calls. These calls are tough, sister. Very tough. But he makes them and needs to know that you fully trust in his intentions and capabilities. Trusting in your husband’s will for your family is also trusting in God’s will for your family, because he is striving to follow God.
Some of you may be asking, “What about the husband who’s interests do not line up with the will of God?”. I know this is tough. So tough. But look to Jesus, and continue to trust God’s plan for you in your marriage. 1 Corinthians 7:14 states,
“For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife.”
Your sacrificial submission is imitating the Savior who sacrificed himself for your husband. Actions often speak louder than condescending words in these cases. When you offer him praise when he makes good decisions, and allow him to feel the overwhelming burden of regret when he doesn’t without an “I told you so”, through your sacrifice, Christ’s love will be made evident. Christ’s warm glow will shine on the darkness in his life through you. Strive with him, bearing the unfair load he may place upon you, simply out of love because you love and trust Jesus. This is a radical way of thinking, and radical actions cannot go unseen. Draw from the Lord’s strength, and pray fervently for God to make your man the sacrificial leader he was called to be.
Sisters, we have immense freedom in Christ. We have freedom from the world, from sin, and from bondage. We have the freedom to allow our men to take the lead. Submission isn’t a burden, it is a statement of confidence in the men we married, and in the God whom we all submit to. The submissive wife treats her man like a man, and in turn that man draws his strength from your confidence and accountability.
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