Becoming a Submissive Wife

On this blog, I rarely write about being a wife. Do you want to know why? Sometimes I believe I really stink at it. While I love my husband dearly, I’ve been known to roll my eyes a time or two. To speak out of turn. He handles all of our grocery shopping and does his own laundry.

My nature really isn’t what you would call “submissive,” and I once balked at the Biblical mandate for wives to submit to their husbands. I’ve since accepted this idea (with much reluctance), but I still do not act quite like I should.

Last week I was listening to a homemaking conference online, and one of the speakers said something to the effect of, “Our husbands weren’t created to be our helpers, but we were to be theirs.” Oh, did this make me bristle! Right now we are in the midst of adjusting to a new baby, and my husband helps me. A lot. Was there something wrong with this?

While ultimately, I believe that there is nothing wrong with a family working together in the home, my bristling episode opened my eyes to the fact that I need to reevaluate this whole submission thing. While overall I believe I respect my husband, I know my feathers shouldn’t have been ruffled by the speaker’s comment. It was true! And my reaction took me right back to the book of Genesis after Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit.

To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

Genesis 3:16 NASB

The NLT version says it this way: “And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”

Ladies, our desire to control our homes…to control our husbands, is an innate part of us directly resulting from the fall of man. We naturally want to control our husbands.

But that doesn’t make it okay. This natural inclination is sinful, and we must fight against it.

I believe recognizing that this sinful urge we naturally have to control our husbands is a direct result of man’s fall is the first step to overcome it. Christ came to this earth to give us life, and give it abundantly. He came to free us from the bonds of sin.

So as a wife, what does this look like?

It looks like helping our husbands with a joyful heart even when we don’t feel like it. It looks like laying our lives at the foot of the cross.

Marriage is often compared to the relationship between Christ and the church. Our husbands are to be like Christ, loving us with an everlasting love and laying down their lives for us. We are to be like the church…the hands and feet of Christ. We are to help our husbands along this road called life…to essentially be their hands and feet. When we do so, it is a beautiful testimony to the rest of the world.

So often, women are more than willing to help others around them. We help our children, our ministry leaders, our bosses in the workplace. But we balk when it comes to helping our husbands, due to the sinful desire we have to control them.

While we might not ever fully overcome this struggle on this side of heaven, may we strive to fulfill the role God has given to us with joy. May we embrace Biblical womanhood as daughters of the King!

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.

Ephesians 5:22-23

*If you are in an abusive relationship, please seek help.  This article is not speaking to abusive scenarios.

8 thoughts on “Becoming a Submissive Wife

  1. Nicki says:

    I enjoyed reading your perspective on submission. I’ve never thought of it in terms of helping or serving my husband. I always thought of submitting as following his lead. I’m happy to follow if he is loving and respecting me as Christ loved the church. But I’ll admit that I’m not always quick to help him. For example, after washing/folding/putting away the kids clothes, I usually just leave his pile in laundry to do himself. Your post has given me something to think about. Thanks.

  2. michelle hills says:

    We have a new baby as well and just last night I was getting irked because I felt that I was doing way more than my share of tending to our 2 little children and that my husband wasn’t helping me as much as I thought he should. He does help with so many things, and after reading this I think I will pray and try to let go of the stupid resentment. I should try to joyfully take my turn with things and be happier to help him as God intended.

  3. Patty Greenbacker says:

    What a great post! I appreciate how raw and honest you are about the challenge of submission. It is definitely possible, but, yes, sometimes difficult. When you shared what you heard that we are suppose to be their helpers not them helping us that spoke to me as well.

    Thanks for sharing and God bless,

  4. Karen Saari says:

    Ouch! Just last night I told my husband that if I was going to do ‘this’, then he would need to help me a lot more. He totally agreed to do it, knowing I would need the help, but I don’t like it that that was my first thought. My first thought should have been more along the lines of, Thank you Lord, for the opportunity to serve You.

    And even though I’ve read those verses many times, and even said, we are to be his helper – most times my thoughts run to wondering why he doesn’t help me more! That’s crazy! I’m so glad you shared that.

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