Submission in a Biblical Marriage

For the wife:

  • Submission doesn’t mean that a wife is to accept abuse or to be a doormat; it means that God has wired her as the helper, the influencer, the one placed in a strategic position to “cover her husband’s back.” The Bible tells wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord (see Ephesians 5:22). The deeper a wife’s relationship is with the Lord, the more she will want to exemplify submission to her spouse.
  • When the Bible calls for submission, it is simply meant as a key element to make a marriage work smoothly. Someone has to be in charge, to be the final decision maker, and God has ordained that to be the husband. Submission does not imply inferiority, because God created all people in His image and values men and women equally. In 1 Peter 3:7, the apostle Paul describes the safe and secure environment husbands are to provide for their wives: “You husbands must give honor to your wives…She is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life.”
  • When a wife submits to her husband, she accepts her God-given role, she honors her husband, and she helps her marriage run more smoothly.

For the husband:

  • You are responsible to lead your home by serving your wife, just as Christ serves the church. Jesus doesn’t force the church into submission. He doesn’t threaten or bully or dominate. No, he continuously loves and serves to the point of giving up his life. He is your example of headship in your marriage.
  • Your wife has a role too: To respect and submit to you. But a man must set the pace. It is your attitude, behavior and belief about headship that determines how your wife relates to you. Be active in your God-given role of service to your family. When you see a need, meet it. When your wife is hurting, be quick to open your heart to her. Offer a word of comfort or encouragement, or just listen.
  • When you serve your wife, you free her to submit to you because she knows she can trust you. Be the type of man to whom she need not be afraid to submit, because she can trust that you are allowing God to work in you.


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