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What Submit Does Not Mean

Strong*s Concordance definition of *submit*: To subordinate, to obey, to be under obedience, to be subject to, to be in subjection, to submit self unto.

Webster: To put forward for consideration, to surrender, to yield oneself unto another.

Ephesians 5:22: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

That scripture is quite unpopular among unsaved wives and popular among unsaved husbands. For people who know the Lord the verse is a blessing. There are some things that they have a chance to understand that unbelievers do not.

It does not say: Husbands, force your wives into submission.
It does not say: Wives, your husbands are Gods. (Idolatry is forbidden.)
It does not say: Wives, your husbands know everything that God knows.
It does not say: Wives, be silent before your husbands.
It does not say: Wives, close your eyes and minds.
It does not say: Wives, do not give your opinions to your husbands.
It does not say: Wives, do not give your husbands information that they do not have.
It does not say: Wives, do not tell your husbands what you have seen that they have not.
It does not say: Wives, do not tell your husbands what you understand that they do not.
It does not say: Wives, do not tell your husbands what you want or need.
It does not say: Wives, do not tell your husbands when their opinions disagree with God*s.
It does not say: Wives, submit yourselves to evil.
It does not say: Wives, do not tell your husbands when you believe they are wrong.
It does not say: Wives, do not tell your husbands about their mistakes.
It does not say: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands above the Lord.
It does not say: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands against the Lord.
It does not say: Wives, manipulate your husbands.
It does not say: Wives, have the last word.
It does not say: Wives, be contentious with your husbands.
It does not say: Wives, make up your minds without hearing your husband*s point of view.
It does not say: Husbands, don*t pay attention to your wives.

1 Peter 3:7: Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them (wives) according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

A husband should not make decisions without getting all the facts he can from his wife, combining them with what he knows and THEN doing what is right and wise. He should not have a problem admitting it when she knows something better than he does. He should be wise enough to put her in charge of things that she has a better understanding of or talent for. When they don*t agree after a reasonable and respectful sharing of information, they obviously need to seek the Lord*s wisdom.

There are many other scriptures and biblical principles that should be applied to marriages. A wife should be a husband*s best friend and vice versa.

Genesis 2:24: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Ecclesiastes 4:11: Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?

1 Corinthians 7:15: But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

An important command in the verse can be expressed by skipping the middle part.

Ephesians 5:22: Wives, submit yourselves . . . unto the Lord.

One result of a wife being submitted unto the Lord will be that she will also be submitted unto her husband. A wife who does not submit unto her husband does not fully submit unto the Lord.

The verse does not exempt husbands from submitting unto the Lord and unto their wives. Wives will be blessed when they submit to husbands who are submitted to the Lord. Husbands will be blessed when they submit to wives who are submitted to the Lord.

I believe it is helpful to note that the instruction for wives to submit to their husbands is in the context of other instructions for family relationships. Those instructions are surrounded by some passages that give the context.

Ephesians 5:1-2: Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Ephesians 6:6-8: Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

The central teaching of the passage is what children of God, followers of God and servants of Christ ought to do to please God rather than other men or self. It covers almost every human relationship. The jewel of the passage is found in Ephesians 6:3: That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. These blessings are promised to those who obey God*s instructions.

Husbands and wives should certainly not be unreasonable with God or with one another. Husbands and wives whose relationships are not guided by Biblical principles will most likely have problems in their other relationships as well.

Ephesians 5:23: For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

If a husband and wife are part of the church, then Christ is the head of their marriage too.

Care to discuss What Submit Does Not Mean with Ron?

He'd also like to hear your prayer requests