As a new wife, I have long processed this concept of submission as outlined in the book of Ephesians. After all, it’s one of few guidelines the Bible specifically offers for wives. But what does it look like? I’ve wondered. How and why do I submit to my husband in all things? It’s not an easy topic among women. But here are some of my conclusions. Please comment below if you have additional feedback!
So growing up, my father always had the final say. One could look at that as having a lot of power. Or as having a lot of responsibility. I mean, he was in charge of the whole family. His financial calls had significant impact on his wife and children. His decisions had ramifications. And his guidelines, regardless of how loose, left us all wanting. Talk about a huge load.
I know I wouldn’t want that load.
As Honey Dude and I mesh our lives and forge into new territory, I see the value of having one, end-all decision-maker. And with that, this idea of submission comes into play. Because ultimately, I trust my husband. I trust his decisions will reflect his love for me. I don’t have to worry that he will take it to extremes and keep me under lock and key. He has a huge responsibility of loving me, and I believe he takes that role very seriously.
At this point, we have confronted many decisions. Some of the bigger ones include: Where to live, how to spend, what to do when our car dies. In all of those scenarios, we shared insight and feedback, discussions and conclusions. Together.
But the point is, at the end of it all, I needed my husband’s decision before going forward. Just as he needed my opinion. Because his job is to love his wife. Loving his wife includes hearing her out and putting on compassion to understand what would be the best case scenario for her and for the family. In other words: To put himself last.
Honey Dude does this often. He puts himself second. You know what my instant response is? To do the same. To submit.
And so right now, at this moment in our happy little young marriage, I see the beautiful intention that God had in this equation. Loving = Dying to self = Submitting = Loving. It is one giant love cycle. Because every time we die to self and serve the other, the result is going to be good. And oftentimes reciprocal!
So as my husband loves me by giving up his wants and needs for my wants and needs, I humbly submit to him and allow him to lead. Because he is counting me first, after all! And if he doesn’t, he’ll know. When he sees the repercussions, he will learn that it wasn’t worth it. I guess I’m willing to have a few of those in there. I know I have already weathered the effects of poor choices on my end. I’ve learned that it is always better to include my husband in my decisions. For two heads are better than one, and isn’t that the whole point of it all?
Finally, we cannot separate the concrete from the spiritual. In this passage, there is a ton of symbolism between Christ and the church. To take it apart would lose significance. But to view what Christ did for the church (in love, suffered and died so that we may live) and how the church ought to respond (with honor and gratitude, obedient to His loving will for us), we see the bigger picture.
It’s not always easy to follow God’s lead and go where he says to go. But is it for our best? Yes. Always. If husbands are doing their part and loving their wives “as their own bodies…nourishing and cherishing it” then is it possible that their say in our lives will be good? I trust it is. Do you?