A lot of people get hung up on what the Bible calls for in a wife. Especially when stated for her to “submit” to the “authority” of her own husband.
Many get hung up on these words and have pointed their hasty and defensive fingers at Christians stating such words as though they had concocted them up themselves and even make declarations that women are equal to men in every sense and that women are not inferior nor second class citizens. What they don’t know is that this is not even close to what the Word of God is saying; nor many of the Christians who have such passion in Biblical womanhood.
First, submit and being submissive are defined as the following:
Gk. Hupotasso (hoop-ot-as’-so) – to subject, put in subjection: From hupo and tasso; to subordinate; reflexively, to obey — be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto.
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828 ) says this about submitting:
“To yield, resign or surrender to the power, will or authority of another; with the reciprocal pronoun.”
Next, to clarify, the Word of God calls everyone to submit to the governing authorities (Romans 13:1-7), to one another (Ephesians 5:21), to Christ (Ephesians 5:24), and to our parents and to the Father (Hebrews 12:9; James 4:7). Even the master’s and rulers must submit (1 Peter 2:13-14) to those placed in authority above them no matter how high their position is! It is a calling for all.
This is the same type of submission we are to have with our husbands (Ephesians 5:22-33, Colossians 3:18-25, 1 Peter 3:1-7 etc.).
For those of us who see the value in God’s created order outside the home as well as inside, we desire to learn more about what God is asking of us, more than any worldly rights or establishments. In 1 Peter 3:5-6 we see how the women of the past presented themselves holy: by being submissive to their husbands and obeying them.
Obey is defined as followed:
Gk. Hupakouo (hoop-ak-oo’-o) – obey, hearken: From hupo and akouo; to hear under (as a subordinate), i.e. To listen attentively; by implication, to heed or conform to a command or authority — hearken, be obedient to, obey.
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828 ) says this about the word obey:
“To give ear to; to execute the commands of; to yield submission to; to comply with the orders of.”
Both obedience and submission is a choice of action; a yielding to. We are called by God (not man), to do both. It is because of this we should submit to the Will of God and do so. We should not disobey this calling because the world tells women we have the “right” and “freedom” to do as we want. God does not call us to live the lives we want or even to be who we want to be. He calls us for His righteousness. Which only results in something greater of ourselves than we had considered with what we wanted.
What about the wife of a man who is not submitting or obeying God? The Word says this:
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 1 Peter 3:1-2
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 1 Corinthians 7:14
If you married to a disobedient husband you are still to do your part. It is still your responsibility to obey and submit to God, even when your husband does not.
Those of us who have been raised with Christ are His chosen; His dearly loved and he commands us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12). We are representing Christ with all that we do and are to bear the fruit that being in abiding worship results in:
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23a).
We, as Christian wives are called to have a sacrificial love for our husbands; the rarest of its kind with a willingness to sacrifice all and choosing never to see it as a sacrifice – this is the type of love God has for us. We are called to experience joy in our marriage; a cheerful and glad delight! We are called to experience peace; a rest and prosperity that only the love of Christ can give. We are called to have patience; to persevere through any painful trials without murmurs and discontent. We are to be kind and good and faithful; to express in our character usefulness, assurance, and loyalty. We are to remember that Christ came to serve and as such humble ourselves in gentleness. We are called to have self-control; the conscience decision to give ourselves to another, our husbands.
See this opportunity as a blessing. We get to live in a way that Christ did – love in a way that God does – and experience all that He is going to do! Praise God!