A very headstrong, independent woman might find submitting to her husband to be a bit sexist or offensive. When Paul shares in Ephesians chapter 5:22, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord,” I don’t believe it was intended to be either of these things. He continues on in verse 23 and 24, “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”
When we learn about the correlation God has instituted between marriage and our relationship with Him, this scripture tends to make more sense. God never suggests that women are less valuable to Him, but our role as a wife is outlined in the Bible for the benefit, not only of our marriage, but the understanding of our relationship with Christ.
There appears to have been a day before my time when women’s roles were more defined. I’m not suggesting that people were happier then, but I do know that marriage was less disposable than it is today. I see the backlash of the feminist movement, and what it has done to women. Many women feel undervalued when staying home raising their children and caring for their husband and home. I’ve got to say, some of this blame falls on today’s husbands for contributing to this feeling.
When I was first married to my husband, I did primarily make the decisions. I always wanted my husband’s input, but it was I who seemed to be running everything in our lives. This may have partially been a result of our personality types; he naturally being more passive and I being more of the take-charge type. I was depressed, exhausted, angry… I believe I felt this way because this wasn’t the role I was made for. My husband felt worthless at times like all he was contributing was a paycheck.
I started spending time with some ladies I met though church and work who were godly examples of wives. Little by little I backed off my husband. I started allowing my husband to make the final decisions after giving my input. I didn’t criticize him when he made mistakes and I made a great effort not to nag him. I remembered to thank him for all he’d done for us and reminded him of the way he contributes. An interesting thing started happening! He and I were less depressed. I felt taken care of and he felt like a provider. Our respect for each other has grown and we are so much happier.
Submitting to your husband doesn’t mean becoming his slave. It means recognizing his role and putting him first. After all, I believe this is the example Christ has set forth for us; to submit to Him and recognizing who He is.