I am what many would call a stereotypical first born. I tend to be stubborn, type A personality, independent to a fault, and want my own way in most situations. Not surprisingly this has caused no end of strife in my marriage when I do not check myself. As much as I would like to say that there is so much discord mainly because I married a first born too- the issue of submission goes back much further than my husband and I have been alive.
Why do we struggle against submission so much?
He said to the woman… Your desire will be for your husband, yet he will rule over you.
Unfortunately, there have been many times that I have tried to go ahead and tell my husband exactly what to do with no room for discussion. I was not concerned with whether I was honoring the Lord but with what I believed to be the right choice, and how dare my husband disagree. Without even thinking about it I am living out that desire to have my own way and not let my husband lead.
We will not be perfect in this life, and there will be times that we will choose our flesh over our love of God, but as we grow in Christ we will desire Him more, and thus choose Him more. If we desire an intimate relationship with God then we will choose to submit to His plan for our lives and not hold tightly to our own.
There are times I take the role of helpmeet to mean that I should make the final decisions on everything or should help my husband by trying to be his Holy Spirit in the flesh. At these times, even if my intentions weren’t marred by my own selfish desires, I am still trying to take on the headship of our home.
Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church…
God clearly tells us that submission to Him is the way to glorify Him. For a wife that will include submitting to her husband as the head of the home. Willingly saying, “let me serve you and respect you to lead our home” is a beautiful act of trust as we seek to honor the Lord above our own desires.
The thing is, I am not very good at submission on my own. If I see something as good and I see the potential for a ministry then why shouldn’t I run along with it? Well, often my husband sees the sides of it I do not; like the side that says I am already stretched thin and do not have that much more in me. Then there are times that I see something that I feel should change, like our school schedule, and my husband does not agree. Asking me to stick with a certain schedule is not unbiblical, the schedule is just not what I would have preferred, so despite not agreeing whole heartedly, I submit and trust that God sees my heart desiring to live more for Him and less for self.
Being a Christ follower, is not about getting our own way or telling other people what to do. It is rejecting the things of this world, including denying self, to glorify God above it all by loving God and loving others. Just as was promised at the Fall, women desire their husband’s position and selfishness abounds, and our home is just as scarred by it as any.
It is a good thing to submit to God…
At the end of it all we really only live for ourselves or for God. Our society (American) tells us submitting when we don’t want to is being a doormat or is something only those who believe they are worthless do, but God calls it beautiful. He calls women to submit to their husbands as an act of worship to Him, as a testament of trusting Him with every part of their lives, and as a beautiful demonstration of the Trinity.
Submission might never come easy in this life, but it is an act of willful worship to God over self, and that is something we can all be striving for. Every time we choose to honor God’s Word over our feelings we glorify Christ. Prayer and knowing what God’s Word says about submission are the only things that have helped me to grow in this area.
A few verses to hold onto when struggling to desire to honor God’s Word on submission:
1 Peter 3:1-6
It is a beautiful thing when we submit to God.
I know the struggle to submit willingly is not a unique problem, it is something everyone will come across at some point in this life. But, when we submit to God, and by submitting to our husbands we are submitting to God’s call on our lives as wives, then we are glorifying God and choosing Him over self.
Why struggle with submission? Because it glorifies God and that is a beautiful thing!
I'm Rebecca, a Christian, wife, and mother of three. I lived wrong for a long time, got pretty well slapped with the reality of how sanctifying marriage and motherhood are, and now I am hoping to help others to hold on to Jesus in all the hard parts of life.