Recently, while teaching an online graduate studies course, “Family Counseling & Parenting Skills,” one of my female students wrote the following excellent post on the biblical role of the wife in marriage.
Submission on the part of a wife is a command by God throughout Scripture. In Genesis, Eve was created to be Adam’s helper. In 1 Corinthians 11 and Ephesians 5 Paul commands wives to be submissive to their own husband. In 1 Peter 3, Peter even commands saved wives to submit to unsaved husbands in order to win them to Christ. Believers must understand that submission is part of God’s design and commanded by Him making it essential to the lives of godly women.
Submission is significant because it is a reflection of Christ’s relationship with the church. A wife’s submission to her own husband’s authority and leadership is a testimony to a lost world. Not only is this significant as a testimony, but a wife must also recognize her submission as direct obedience to God and His command to be submissive. Just as the church is to follow the leadership of Christ, a wife is to follow the leadership of her husband. This displays God’s orderliness.
Submission is not natural or easy for Christian wives. There are many tests facing those that recognize the significance of submission and try and live according to it. Submission is something that is despised by our society, not just on the part of women. Our society rebels against any form of submission. This rebellion is a sign of mankind’s sinfulness and has penetrated into the hearts of believers.
Some of the tests facing godly women are to daily recognize that God’s teaching is more important than anything else. The way they are perceived or viewed by others is less important than their obedience to God. In society it is not considered normal to be a submissive wife, nor is it valued. Instead it is something that most of the world or at least the female population regularly defies and even mocks when it is noticed in others.
For women seeking to live in accordance with Scripture and God’s commands, they will need to be able to stand alone. There are many Christians and Christian teachings that do not value the significance of a wife’s submission. Despite the large opposition, there is a beautiful picture to be painted through the life of a wife who lives under the submission of her own husband. This picture is of Christ and the church that compares to nothing else; a picture that this world is searching to find.