The Submission Debate

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” 
Ephesians 5:22

There’s no quicker way to disrupt a festive gathering of Christian women than to bring up the topic of submission. Before you know it, friends start facing off to launch passionate discourses on all sides of the issue. Either that or they laugh contemptuously. Yet God’s direction on the subject is clear: “The head of every man is Christ, and the head of every woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3).

Each of us submits to a higher authority. Consider the boss at work or the IRS agent at tax time. They are our equals as people, yet we submit to them because they have authority over us when they assume certain roles. A wife submits to her husband in the same manner. You both are equally valued, equally important partners—yet your roles are different. Furthermore, submission cannot be understood or appreciated apart from the other half of the prescription found in Ephesians 5:25  which requires a husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church, to the point of giving up his life for her. There is no room for inconsiderateness, oppression, or domination here!

As a wife, you are asked to submit to the leadership of your husband. As a husband, you are told to sacrificially love and cherish your wife. It is the divine plan for marriage and family.

Just between us . . .

• How do we define a wife’s duty to submit to her husband?
• (wife) How well do you think I follow God’s direction in this area? How can we help each other with submission as defined by God?

(wife) Father, I admit, submission doesn’t always come easily to me. But I accept Your wonderful plan for our marriage. Today I look for Your abundant blessing as I wholeheartedly support my husband as the head of our marriage. Amen.

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Couples. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.