By Scott Morefield, Contributing Writer
Greetings ABM readers! It’s me again, that glutton for punishment who, back in February, stuck his neck out so far that he could have been mistaken for a giraffe. What did I do, you ask? Well, I wrote an article entitled ‘Why should my wife obey me?’ I was pretty ssscared, to be sure, but, fortunately for me and for my long-suffering wife who depends on me to help feed and clothe our kids (among a ‘few’ other things), it didn’t get chopped off. In fact, judging by the overwhelmingly positive comments, most ABM readers, thankfully, appear to be well on my side of the issue. So, at least for now, my kiddos will have their Daddy to play catch with and read them bedtime stories each night.
(At any rate, if you haven’t read the article yet, please consider doing so before reading, and especially commenting on, this one. It’ll make much more sense! :))Now, I would like to elaborate on this issue once again because of a great comment that was made in response to the article. Crystal B wrote, “I would like to see the writer take this and delve deeper spiritually for readers (especially women who may be struggling with this and whom are with husbands who have since become passive) and go in deeper about what his wife’s submission does for him spiritually and how he thinks a wife’s conscious choice to let/encourage her man be in the driver’s seat (no matter the issue) facilitates growth in each of them.”
This is such a great question, because Biblical marital submission certainly isn’t about the husband always getting his way, the wife having to acquiesce to his every whim, Henry VIII style (anyone who thinks I’d get away with that anyway really doesn’t know my wonderful, loving, patient wife!). Rather, it’s about a healthy, vibrant, partnership wherein two entirely independent and unique souls form a team that reflects Christ’s relationship with the church to everyone they come in contact with including, and especially, the children the marriage produces.
Biblical marriage is meant to be a picture of Christ and the church, a loving framework within which both parties are able to grow closer to each other and the Lord. When my wife practices Biblical submission, when our marriage is operating as it should, with us both loving and submitting to each other while honoring our unique roles, as a husband it affects me on a much deeper level than whether or not I get dinner that night (although, let’s be clear – she IS a great cook!).
Four Ways Biblical Submission Affects the Husband
1) It makes me humble
Unless you’re an egomaniac know-it-all tyrant (hopefully, you’re not! :)), you know that leadership and humility go hand in hand. God calls us to lead our homes, but we can’t lead unless we are willing to serve. Isn’t that what, at its root, the concept of chivalry is all about?
“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” Matthew 20:25-27
“…Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” I Peter 5:5
2) It makes me thankful
As anyone who doesn’t know this already is bound to find out one way or another, good women who want to do things the Biblical way don’t grow on trees. Like diamonds in the deepest mine, they are a rare treasure to be valued above anything this world has to offer. Each day of my marriage, I am more thankful than words can describe for the wife God has given me.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:10-12
3) It makes me make better decisions
When a man truly recognizes the enormous weight of responsibility he bears for his family, when he recognizes that they are depending on him for leadership and direction, any sane Christian husband and/or father can’t help but fall on his knees (literally or figuratively) before God and beg for guidance and direction, for WISDOM. There is no way, absolutely NO WAY, that I could do this right without God’s help, and neither can anyone else.
“For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
This weight of responsibility makes my steps guarded, careful, and intentional. Because I know my wife practices Biblical submission and is depending on me to make the right decisions for our family, I become MORE dependent on God, and more desirous of my wife’s counsel and approval. Rare is the case where I would ever consider ‘going it alone’ without both my wife and I feeling God’s peace.
“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14
4) It draws us closer to each other, and to God
Doing things God’s way is bound to result in His blessing on our marriage, and Biblical submission is no different. The state of marriage today, including the sky-high divorce rate, is a telling indictment of the ‘world’s way’ of doing things. How long until we as a society once again realize that God’s way is not only the right way, but the BEST way as well?