Marriage Friday – The Biblical Concept of Submission Part I


Marriage Friday – The Biblical Concept of Submission Part I


Well, if you are reading this, you are doing better than most.  Most people would have gotten stuck on that word ‘submission’ and never opened the email.  So…congrats!  I hope this understanding of the Biblical Concept of Submission will make your marriage better.  That was God’s intention.


It all started in Eden

To fully grasp this concept, we need to go back to the Garden of Eden.  In the Garden, Eve was made from the rib of Adam.  The implication is that Adam and Eve are equal. Neither is more important than the other.  Men are not valued more highly by God nor should society value men more than women.  Adam was made first, but Eve is the mother all the human race.

Submission was not anything mentioned until after the Fall.  When the serpent tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, Adam was right there.  He was not off on a business trip or in the living room in the La-Z-boy chair eating Blue Bell.  He was right there by her.  Though they were equal, God had put everything under the responsibility of Adam.  Eve was the helper and Adam the protector.  But everything went to pot when they ate the forbidden fruit.  Suddenly, we see division between them.  Adam blames Eve.  He throws her under the bus and so along with the forbidden fruit came selfishness.  Every man and woman have inherited the sinful nature and selfishness is at the core.


Submission is all about maintaining peace

The Bible says that we fight and quarrel because we want something and we aren’t getting it (James 4:1-2).  We want our spouse to be something for us, to do something for us and when they don’t give us what we want, we get angry.  They do the same to us.  This creates conflict, the relationship can grow cold with enough conflict.  And this is where submission comes into play.

God is calling wives to be submissive to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22) as He calls husbands to love their wives with the same love as Christ has for the church.  The purpose of submission is to maintain peace.  When there is conflict and compromise cannot be found, one or the other must submit or it’s going to be World War Z in your house.  

Submission is not just for marriage.  Children are to submit to their parents.  Employees to their boss.  Citizens to their government.  We are to submit to our authorities (Romans 13:1-7).  What’s more is that we are called to submit without any concern about who is right.  Wives are not called to submit to the husbands as long as their husbands know what they are doing.  Nope, wives are called to submit even when their husbands are making a really bad decision.  It is important to note that submission does not mean the wife sits there and shuts up.  The woman was designed by God to be an advisor to their husband and they must give their opinion and husbands that don’t listen to their wives are ignoring a great gift from God.  Of course, ladies, to listen to you doesn’t mean he has to agree.  But they must listen.  I’ll address this more in weeks to come.


Submission releases power to move hearts

When the wife submits, it releases power.  Men were designed to want respect (Ephesians 5:33).  God’s intent is that the man would be drawn to his wife who gives him respect making it easier for him to always make decisions by putting her needs first.  Of course, when he does this, it draws her into him more and she is more willing to give him respect.

I know what you are asking, “But what about the husband making horrible decisions???”  Well, here is the key to everything.  The Holy Spirit is God manifested in us and among us with power to overcome the work of the devil.  The Holy Spirit works in us, but also between us.  But the bond that keeps us connected to the Holy Spirit is peace.  If there is no peace, in that moment we lose all of the good things God brings to us by the Spirit.  We lose wisdom.  We lose self-control.  We lose love.  We lose kindness, goodness.  It’s like opening the door and asking God to leave so that we can have a knock-down, drag-out fight.  

But when we have peace, we stay connected to the Holy Spirit.  We listen better.  We love better.  We don’t let those horrible things fly out of our mouth.  And if the husband makes a horrible decision, as long as there is peace, God will help us overcome stupid decisions.  


There is so much to this concept and I’ll deal with it more next week.


Leave me a comment.  What was your idea of submission?


Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!




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Comments (2)

  1. Laura Donalson

    To me submission is to stop and be quiet even if you want to still argue because your point is being missed. That’s a struggle for me. My Mom used to say I would argue with a fence post and she was right. It’s so easy to say too much.

    1. User Avatar

      That is so true Laura. We want to be heard and we want to be understood. I would say that submission doesn’t mean not getting your point or opinions out there to your husband. However, when our desire to be heard crosses over to a desire for the other person to acknowledge we are right, we have stopped submitting. I only say this because submission was taught for so long that women were simply supposed to sit quietly and go along with whatever their husband wanted without giving input. That is not Biblical submission.

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