Wives- What it Means to “Submit”

Sometimes I think about how I “submit” to my husband. This is a staggered occurrence that is done normally in response to him behaving in a way I find acceptable, and in those moments in between submission, I am just simply a wife. Loving, kind, challenging and sometimes argumentative wife. This system seemed to work well for me…until recently.

I…we recently underwent a major transition, one that’s quite common to the military community and I noticed a lack of teamwork between the two of us, my husband and I. He was concerned that I was constantly challenging him, always questioning what he told me instead of simply taking him at his word. I was concerned that he was beginning to treat me like one of the children; that he expected me to simply nod my head and say “Yes, Sir,” whenever he spoke, unable to ask questions or get explanations; unable to participate in the conversation with anything more than agreement. It angered me to say the least.

This may be strictly a situational opinion,  but there are times when it is exceedingly difficult to be a submissive wife,  and the thought of praying for your spouse seems futile.

The two go hand in hand, a husband loving his wife and wives submitting to their husbands. Submit, it’s such an ugly word, isn’t it? You look at it and you think, “Submit? Me? To…HIM?!” At the moment the idea of being submissive is annoying to me. However, the scripture is specific about who the submission is directed to.

Let’s take a look:



This scripture is almost instructing us to inspect the way we submit to the Lord. If our submission to our spouse is supposed to match that of the way we submit to our heavenly Father, then perhaps that relationship- the one between Father and daughter-is the one we need to evaluate.

When I think of how I submit to God, I think of a parental relationship that doesn’t quite match the one I had with my parents as a child. As a child, I obeyed out of fear and I rebelled out of resentment. With God, I obey because of what he’s done for me, and because it seems an (almost) appropriate response to his unconditional love for me. It stands to reason that how you view God in your life is directly related to how you will respond to his words, either in obedience or the opposite.

In my particular situation, perhaps my husband showing love would have meant him being willing to work with me instead of taking the entire load on his shoulders and expecting me to simply fall in line. As for me, I think submission would have been in the form of doing my best to help him in any way I can, as I already knew that my husband is the type to take on a huge burden even if he knows it’s far too much for him to carry.

A married couple and love, because love is a command...but what will they do when they've stopped liking each other- I don’t think submission to a husband is easy but I also don’t think it’s wrong. There are a few synonyms to the word submit that I found quite entertaining:

  • endure
  • tolerate
  • humor

Endure your husband’s behavior because (hopefully) you know he’s not doing anything out of selfish ambition. Any good husband genuinely has his family’s best interest at heart. Whether or not his choices are always right we don’t know, but you can at least testify to good intentions.

Tolerate the fact that God has put this in the bible because clearly we weren’t gonna do this all on our own. If it makes you feel any better, he also had to tell people not to murder.

Lastly, humor him. Don’t make him feel like his ideas or methods aren’t correct because they aren’t what you’re used to. Your way isn’t the only way and it’s not always the right way either.

It’ll be a lot easier for your husband to love you as Christ loved the church if he’s got a wife that is willing to compliment his efforts instead of thwarting them, and it’ll be a lot easier for you to submit when you take comfort in the love of a husband who loves you like Christ loves the church. In other words, it’s a two-way street.


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