Few subjects in the Bible cause as many indignant outcries as the subject of marriage. It is a sacred institution designed by God for more than just the procreation of mankind. There is, however a Scripture that causes some groaning and gnashing of teeth.
“Wives submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.” – Ephesians 5:22. Yikes! What’s that supposed to mean?? Even my Christian girlfriends catch their breath on that one! I personally have come to view it in a very positive light.
First of all, this scripture is not meant to demean women or place them in a subservient position with their husbands. Ephesians 5:31-33 says, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
I try to be open to the things I read in the Bible, and I’m joyful when I find myself putting them into practice in my life – in this case, my marriage. I love and respect my husband deeply and it is no problem for me to recognize him as the head of our household. However, I am no less valuable as his partner.
I think of that scripture, “Wives submit to your husbands, as to the Lord,” as a tie breaker when it comes to making decisions. My husband and I talk everything over with one another, each having equal say in our opinions. Thankfully, we almost always agree but if we don’t happen to, I leave the final decision to my husband.
I can’t explain why that works so well for us, except for the fact that it’s a Biblical principle! It’s much easier to give up any “controlling” attitude, if you genuinely respect one another. Here are some Godly principles to help guide you in your life with one another:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Sadly, these principles don’t necessarily apply if you are in an abusive relationship. That often calls for separation and lots of prayer, as well as loving support from the church, family and friends. Nobody to support you? God loves you and He’s a wonderful listener! He also gives out great advice if you can quiet yourself from within and listen. He’s even been known to protect His children supernaturally!
Women! Hold onto this scripture! Proverbs 31:10-12, 30 – “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life…Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”
I can’t say from experience that marriage as a union between a man and a woman, is easily navigated territory. We are all unique, and the pieces don’t always fit together as neatly as a puzzle. Our needs and our personalities can be complex and merging two people together with respect and intimacy can seem impossible. Fortunately, Mark 10:27 tells us, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15.
God bless you all!