On Submissiveness

Wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectable behavior.
~1 Peter 3:1-2

Dear Molly,

The most repetitive instruction addressed to wives in Scripture is the awesome challenge of submissiveness. Why is submitting to our husband’s authority so important in the eyes of the Lord? I think God lovingly commands this humble position because He knows that having and maintaining a submissive spirit is the woman’s key to her husband’s heart.

The Biblical picture of the submissive role is portrayed when we, as a church, are called the bride of Christ. When we as believers completely trust our lives to Him, and lay down our control, Christ then is able to love and to lead. We cannot receive His love or His leadership without submitting to His Spirit. This picture is meant to speak into your marriage. As you submit to your husband’s authority, he is able to love you and to lead you more freely. Do not look at this position as an awful curse when God meant it to be a bountiful blessing in your life. Allow your husband to fulfill his role in your marriage; by submitting, let him love you as Christ loves the church.

I want to also encourage you to not base your calling of submissiveness on whether or not Ryan is fulfilling his calling of love and leadership. That’s called conditional love; your love for him is called to bear all things. I challenge you to continually obey and pray. Obey the Lord – continue to submit in spite of the lack of love or the lack of leadership on your husband’s part. Do not take the reins in your marriage; it will only contribute to passivity. But also, you must PRAY! Pray continually to the Lord to convict and teach your husband to do his part. Remember, as you submit, you are giving your husband honor and respect – two qualities which compel your husband’s heart to love and to cherish you. You, then, will become his prized possession that he desires to protect and to honor. You will find he wants to honor your requests, your ideas, and your wisdom. Thus, husband and wife are honoring each other, and your marriage becomes a beautiful picture, all for His glory.

Love, Chris

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her …
~Ephesians 5:22-25

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