Before feminists declare “off with her head”! I want you to know I didn’t always have this humble opinion of submission. In fact, I was very much against it. But as I grew closer to God, He changed my heart to be more like Him. I realize discussing a topic like submission to women in today’s culture may have rattled some cages, but I deeply desire for women to know the truth- and realizing that submission is actually designed for our benefit rather than our burden. Just to re-cap, submission is a heart attitude. Even when it is difficult to submit to our husbands, always remember that we do our work as unto the Lord, not man (and that even includes your husband). As we surrender our will and act in love and grace, we are ultimately serving and obeying Christ. Although submission is something that comes through God’s strength, there are practical ways we can model submission and show honor to our husbands.
- R-E-S-P-E-C-T. God designed women with a desire to be loved by their husbands. Husbands, likewise, have a desire too- it’s called respect. Listen up when I tell you ALL MEN WANT TO BE RESPECTED- it’s just how God wired them. Although this is a broad topic, there are a few important areas of respect I want to cover. First, speak well to your husband. This includes your body language, facial expression, tone of voice and consistent communication. Secondly, speak well of your husband. This means don’t vent to everyone when he makes a mistake or when he makes you mad. Have the respect to honor him, even if his behavior or actions haven’t been honorable.
- Avoid Disagreement/ Confrontation in Front of the Children. Submission often gets mistaken for silence- you have no say whatsoever- you’re just a doormat. Thankfully, this is not true. We are called to be our husband’s helpers, and sometimes (ok, a lot) this role requires us to offer suggestions or opinions of parenting, decision-making and matters of your relationship. But it is important to keep these conversations away from little ears and eyes. Children always seem alert when adults are speaking. Be mindful of your tone and speech. Your children will pick up on any disrespectful attitude- this teaches them that they too can question authority and attempt to show disrespect towards a decision they are displeased with, which can negatively alter our goal as parents to instill obedience.
- Shower Him with Love. Just because God designed women to desire love doesn’t mean our husbands could care less about affection. Men love to know they are needed, important and appreciated. When your husband walks in the door after a long day, how do you greet him? Are you excited to see him? Do you quickly say hello and give him your immediate “honey-do” list? Even though our children require so much of our time and attention, make sure you make every effort to let your husband know you love him! How does this relate to submission, you ask? Because when men feel that the children are always the highest priority to you, he will feel as though he comes second. But your most cherished relationship under your roof is the one between you and your husband- and he desires to be the apple of your eye.
- Ask His Opinion First. This is another area of respect. Notice a theme? It is also an area of good communication. Be sure to discuss matters with your husband before making a decision. If you’re invited to an event, talk it over with your husband before you commit to make sure he didn’t already have something planned. Before you buy something, talk with your husband first. Of course, I’m not referring to obvious purchases like groceries, gas for your car, household items, etc. But let’s say you decide you want to splurge on a beautiful outfit that just so happens to be on sale, but your husband didn’t have that in the monthly budget, you may end up starting World War 3 (not really, but he still may not be thrilled about it). This again, undermines his position as the leader of the home- in this case- the financial leader.
- Don’t Be Manipulative. Maybe you’re saying “whatever do you mean? I’m never manipulative”! Almost believed you! We all know men have certain weaknesses and sometimes it’s tempting to use those as leverage to get him to change his mind or shape the decision in your favor. But sometimes what we want may not be the best thing and our husband’s role as the head of the home is not to lord over us by saying “yes” or “no,” but if he has made his decision about something, we need to be respectful of that decision without attempting to alter the results. And remember that acting in a manipulative way is not acting in love.
- Don’t Nag. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. We have all done it! But nagging is unbiblical under two foundations: it causes dissention and displays discontentment. The Bible describes nagging to the equivalent of a leaky faucet- one that constantly drips until the point of madness. When we submit ourselves to our husbands, we must do so without causing argument or complaint. Again, this is not to say we don’t have a voice in our marriage, but we should be striving to remain temperate. We may not always be content with the circumstances, but instead of nagging to our husband, try a more effective approach by praying for him instead. Remember that your husband needs his own share of grace, but it is not our job to remind him of that. Consider praying for your husband the next time you find disagreement. And keep in mind, sometimes it’s not our husband’s heart or mind that needs changed, it’s ours.
Our Savior, Jesus, submitted to the will of God when He died on the cross for our sins. He asked God to remove the cup of suffering, but yet remained faithful to His purpose. Would you consider our King a doormat? Submission is not weakness! It is the condition of our hearts who desires to honor our husbands, and ultimately,our Lord!
There is strength in submission and beauty in walking in obedience with God.
The Humble Homemaker