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Strength in Submission



Read Ephesians 5 several times to remind yourself of Paul’s overall message.  Then focus in on verses 22-33.


Use Strong’s Concordance to define the following:

  • Submit



Our marriage is meant to be a living example of Christ’s relationship and deep love for us—His bride.  It is a symbol of covenant, love, and unity.  

One of the biggest debates about marriage is over the topic of submission.  Mention this word in almost any setting and you will spark a fierce debate.  

But did you know just in this portion of Ephesians alone, God mentions submission only twice (respect is mentioned once) and He directs husbands to love their wives four times?  That’s twice as much that the scripture addresses the husband’s conduct than it does the wife’s. 

Yet, we often put the focus solely on submission.  Listen, submission is not being subservient. According to Eph. 5:24 we are submit to our husbands in the same way the church submits to Christ.  

So, how does the church submit to Christ?  We have trust in His ability to lead us where He knows there is peace, safety, goodness, and blessing and we willingly follow Him out of obedience and love. 

We, too, must trust the leading of our spouse and willingly follow Him out of obedience and love.  This doesn’t mean we become a doormat, but rather we serve our marriage from a heart of deep love. 

No one would think of calling Jesus subservient when He took off His robe, put on a rag, and washed the feet of His disciples (John 13:1-20).  He was humbly showing “a servant is not greater than his master” (v. 16) by displaying His passionate love for His friends. 

Admittedly, it is hard to submit to the leading of our spouse if they are unwilling to lead out of love. Remember, the scripture addresses their responsibility to love as Christ loved the church.  This is a sacrificial love.  Giving of himself for his wife and his family.

In it’s simplest form, a good marriage relies on a wife willing to love so deeply she willingly submits and serves a husband that sacrificially loves his wife and pours out his affection through gently leading her to the goodness and blessings of God. 

Ah, peace and harmony in the home.  Right?  Until the enemy edges his way in and brings up feelings of pride, control, manipulation, distrust, and selfishness.   

We must remember, those are his lies and not God’s truth.  Maybe we need to keep Ephesians 5 bookmarked in our Bible and read it several times a week until it seeps its way into our heart and transforms our way of thinking. 

We must stop trying to change each other, or control the situation(s).  We must hit our knees in prayer and trust God to handle any areas of our marriage that need to be fixed.  Trust Him—He can more than handle it!

Don’t be surprised though when God begins to change you!  Yes, He will also deal with our spouse, but He also wants to grow us in relationship.  He won’t change your spouse and leave you unchanged.

What are your thoughts on Biblical submission?

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What are your thoughts on Biblical submission?

I never noticed before that “love” is mentioned to the husbands so much! Honestly, I find Biblical submission a relief. I’ve never wanted to be the supervisor or manager. I like to defer to someone else (“let me let you talk to my manager” 😀 ) I also think wives have a “hotline” so to speak when they clash with their husbands. They can go before the throne of God and pray. God has the power to change minds (both wife and husband) and allow situations to unfold that can prompt the right choices to be made.

Stephanie K. Adams

Oh how I wish I had had this same attitude when I was first married. It was hard for me to learn what Biblical submission meant and how to walk it out in my own relationship. I have my own opinions and want to be sure they are heard. I had a woman teaching me the opposite. When I finally realized my husband valued my opinion and took my advice seriously it made me realize we usually make decisions together. But, in those rare cases where my emotions (or flesh) is trying to call the shots, I am more than thankful I have a level-headed partner that can weed through all the emotions and see the situation for how it really is and help bring decision and peace to the situation.


I read in a book (I think it was titled “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” or something similar) that we should act as if the person we are talking to is just a wealth of knowledge – instead of focusing on what we want to say. Easier said than done!!!

Stephanie K. Adams

That is something I will have to try to remember when having conversations – especially with my spouse. And, yes, it does sound much easier to talk about than to follow through with!


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