Every now and then, Dr. Smartypants makes an appearance on the blog. I asked him if he would share his thoughts on biblical submission from a man’s point of view, and being the awesome husband that he is, he agreed! Here he is 🙂
The lovely wife came to me and asked me to write a blog post discussing what biblical submission means to a guy. Since this topic is one of the most emotionally charged verses in the bible for women to discuss, I have to admit that it is a little intimidating to place myself in the middle of it. So, looking for some guidance from my wife in order to relieve some of the pressure, I asked, “Sweetheart, is there anything in particular I should talk about?” That way, I have some markers I can use to guide myself in this potential storm of a discussion. Her response however was, “Nope, you can say whatever you want about it.”
Great. Okay, that plan did not work. So, Plan B… I will talk about those verses from a guy’s perspective, put on a blind fold and await my execution….. Actually, once you see what biblical submission means for a godly man, I doubt anyone will be chasing me with torches and pitchforks.
Everyone reading Stephanie’s series on submission so far knows Ephesians 5:22-24
“22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”
I went King James Version on this quote because it is nice and blunt. SUBMIT‼ Bow down before me and worship me as if I am some god MUWAHAHAHA‼‼. Oh wait. There is more to this section in the bible, so I guess we need to keep on reading.
Wow… we guys get the next NINE verses telling us how we should handle this submission and what it means for the husband and wife relationship. That makes me think I am going to lose the whole “Bible Tells Me I Get to be a Tyrannical Despot so There!” title I was hoping to pull on Stephanie (Kidding! Kidding!). We will use BTMIGTBATDST! for short from here on out. Well, maybe I still have a chance for BTMIGTBATDST! status (again kidding!), so let’s read these verses and see what they mean.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.33 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.
Yep, no more BTMIGTBATDST! for me, and I will tell you why. EVERY SINGLE VERSE in that chunk of text forbids me from abusing my authority given to me by my wife’s submission. I am to love my wife just as Christ loved me and gave himself up for me. Wow… no pressure there. I am only supposed to try and emulate the love and leadership of Jesus Christ when it comes to the household.
Did Jesus lead the church with an iron fist and beat down all that oppose him leaving a swath of torn hearts and crushed spirits? No, He did not. Jesus led the church with love and responsibility. He listened to his followers and sacrificed himself in order to allow them to recognize their full potential as people of God. Likewise, Stephanie should not fear me, and she definitely does not.
While she may submit to my idea when it comes to major decisions, her feelings and desires weigh foremost in my mind when making these decisions. But, by letting me make these decisions to benefit her and Eli, Stephanie allows me to fulfill my role as a man and thus affirm her trust and faith in me. In response, I feel like a better husband and provider, and am more apt to make the sacrifices for her in the future. We guys have fragile egos, and we need to feel like we are important to our wives. If our wives make every decision without us, we become useless and will begin to harbor resentment as a result of our lack of leadership in the marriage.
Instead, my goal as a man of God is to be like Christ to my wife. I will not want her to see me as Christ, however. There is only one Jesus and nothing I can do will fill the void in her heart that only He can fill. However, I can give myself up to her every day and earn her submission. Stephanie is not foolish enough to follow me if she feels I do not have everyone’s best interests in mind. Therefore, if I am to be the head on the body of the household, I have to earn it. In order to earn it, I need to make decisions that are in the best interest of everyone involved. In order to make the best decisions for everyone involved, I need to make sure I have the input of everyone.
In marriage, no one is closer to me (outside of Jesus) than my wife. She understands emotions and relationships in ways I never will. I, on the other hand, see problems and solutions in ways that she never will. Individually, we each are capable humans and can go on surviving in this world without input. However, if we combine our God given talents, something magical happens. I get input from my wife on how decisions may affect the family on a relational and emotional level, and with these inputs, I can use my problem solving abilities to come up with a solution that is to the benefit of everyone involved. In this process, Stephanie “submits” to me and allows me to make the decision, but in no way does she feel like she is not involved in the process. No one knows what is going on in the house as well as she does, and we both know it. With her expertise, I am more able to make the proper decisions and sacrifices to love her and my family as Christ loved the church. Without each other, neither of us would reach the potential destined for us by God. With her, I am growing in my relationship with God, and as a result, my potential as a man of God.
This post is part of a series. Here’s what you missed!