What Does Submitting to My Husband Mean?

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Doesn't the word submit feel like any icky word sometimes?  Especially the way today's culture perceives it.  I see so many women say "I will never submit to a man" as if it means they will not be controlled, or enslaved to another person.  To that, I agree.  It's not about controlling another person.  Submitting doesn't mean you lose your voice in the marriage.  It doesn't make you weak.  When someone doesn't understand the Bible, I totally can see how they may interpret this through the culture today and say "no thanks".

I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding.  It's not a top down power role.  

Ephesians 5 says that wives are to submit to their husbands, like the church submits to Christ.  We often leave out that husband's are called to love their wives like Christ loves the church, humbly (He laid aside authority and sacrificially laid His life down).  He was the leader of the disciples but it wasn't about "wash my feet" it was "let me wash your feet".  When a husband walks with that kind of love for his wife, he takes her into consideration when making decisions.  Wouldn't it be awesome if that was the way marriage was all the time?  I know...come on Tamera...my marriage is just not like that.  Friend, I totally understand that.  I walk with you in this.  My husband doesn't always sacrificially lead our home BUT I'm still on his team.  I am still going to be the best helpmate that I can be for 2 reasons.

First, because I am accountable for my actions as a wife to God.  We have to remember that we are accountable for us and they are accountable for them.

Second, being a biblical husband is a challenge especially when you are not really taught what it looks like.  This is where we get to uplift, and support them, and help them to lead by the way we love them and with wisdom we can share with them.  “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,”  1 Peter 3:1 (ESV)

It's like God knew our husbands would struggle and sent us to help them into that role.

There are times that my husband has made decisions that I didn't feel were the best.  He didn't override me because I talked with him about the decision.  I always ask if he prayed about it and what the worst case scenario is so we know how to work together if disaster strikes.  If I was to say, "that is a dumb decision", not only am I saying I "don't trust you" or "you're not smart enough", but I could be getting in the way of him learning to listen to God.  I don't know what Holy Spirit is communicating to my husband.  God could be building my husband's character and I don't want to get in the way of that.  

What do you do if your husband doesn't lead at all?

This is where I started.  I felt like he never lead the home and I was so unhappy.  At least, this is the story I told myself.  When I stopped and looked, he was leading.  Maybe not the way I thought was right but we have to find what our brain is not looking for.  My husband was not cheating on me, he was coming home at night, he worked so we could pay the bills...he provided.  Did you know many men identify leadership as being the provider?  This is what is taught by culture.  Jared and I would argue about him stepping up and leading the home and all along he thought he was.  And he was right...he was leading and I needed to acknowledge that.  I was sure to point out and thank him for his hard work.  I had to humble myself because my flesh reaction was not nice.  I mean, look at all I did in the house and no one gave me a cookie.  I had such a sour attitude back then.  It will still try to creep in every now and then.  

A little side note, I learned that my idea of leadership and his idea of leadership are different.  I was building up all this resentment toward him because I expected him to read my mind and know what I thought a leader looked like.  There was major miscommunication there.  Ask yourself, what are your expectations of him leading your home. What exactly does that look like to you?  Sometimes, we really don't have a clue what their leadership should look like so of course he will fail our expectations. With gentleness and respect, you could share this information with him.  It's probably best when it's not in the middle of an argument.  I learned that one the hard way.

Wives, we have the position to be an influence in our marriage.  That is a beautiful place to be.

***I'd like to add a little disclaimer to this post.  I, in NO WAY condone a wife being abused.  If submitting to your husband means you're not submitting to God or puts you in danger, please use wisdom.***  


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