The Power of Grace Ministries

November 18

God commands wives to submit to their own husband. However my question to the husband is; are you fulfilling your shoes as a godly husband by giving yourself for her as Christ did the church?

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

                The first and most important point I want to make is that every person, male or female, is to have their own relationship with God through Jesus and Him only. Nowhere in any part of the New Testament does the word say that a person must only come to Jesus through another person. A wife must have her own relationship with Jesus and it is not just through her husband. In fact if her husband is walking in sin and not with Christ Jesus, she has some very important decisions to make and they should not be made lightly. She cannot follow him in his sin and expect to keep her own relationship pure with Jesus.

                I want to start with the word submit found in Ephesians 5:21. Submit is a voluntary action and is no longer submission when forced. Second we are to submit to each other. This means husbands submit to wives as well as wives to husbands. Anywhere there are two or more people involved in a matter there must always be one final authority or deadlock can happen. The one with that authority has the greatest weight to make the right decision and God is not pleased with anyone leading another in the wrong direction. Read Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42, & Luke 17:2, husbands; do not cause your wives to stumble you will not be happy with the results when you come face to face with Jesus! What Paul is telling us in Ephesians 5:22 is that in the unity of marriage where the two have become one; God has placed the weight of the final authority on the husband. Notice also that God is telling the wife to submit, not for the husband to demand submission, which is altogether different. Many a marriage has been destroyed by a husband misunderstanding this verse and demanding his position of final dictatorship. Proverbs 17:28 tells us that even a fool is counted as wise when he keeps his mouth shut. Submission is always voluntary.

                Secondly submission and obedience are NOT synonymous.  Acts 4:19 makes it clear that we are to listen to God over man. A wife should never submit to her husband’s will at the point of disobeying the word of God. It is also the wife’s personal responsibility to study the word for herself and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to her so she will be able to discern the truth. Standing before the Lord in ignorance saying, I did what I did because I submitted to my husband and he was the one making the wrong decisions, will not cut it. We are to never disobey God in an effort to obey a person in authority. This is not what Romans 13:1-3 is referencing. Authority is from God, but being in right standing with God is preeminent. History shows us that rulers can and sometimes are evil. 

                Another point here is to recognize that a wife is called to submit to her own husband. The emphasis is “own” and does not imply that all women are to be submissive to all men in general. 1 Corinthians 14:34 is a reference back to the curse in Genesis 3:16 where the Lord made Eve subject to “her” husband, not to all men. The word also tells us there is neither male nor female, Galatians 3:28. This is proof that women are not inferior to men, and Ephesians 5:22 is telling men that their authority is only over their wife, providing she chooses to submit.

                The final point here is “as to the Lord”, where some people use this advocating that women are to submit everything to their husbands with the same level of completeness as we are called to do so to God. This works for God because He does not sin and never makes mistakes, men do both. As I mentioned earlier a wife must stand before Jesus on the Day of Judgment on her own, she must do the word over anything spoken by the husband if his guidance is anything sinful. In Colossians 3:18 Paul uses slightly different wording, “wives submit to your own husbands, as it is fitting in the Lord”. There is an unfit type of submission where the wife would do everything the husband says regardless of whether he is leading her into sin. This verse does not give the wife cart blanch to enter into a sin just because her husband is the leader and is going in that direction.