The Bible’s call to the wife to submit to her husband is one of the most misunderstood and confused areas of the Christian family. For that reason, earlier this year, we drew your attention to the new booklet, HELP! I Want to Model Submission in Marriage, written by Glenda Hotton, biblical counselor and professor at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, California. That previous post, A Wife’s Submission Is Not, continues to be one of our most popular links. Therefore, I thought readers would gain much from Glenda’s further comments about biblical submission. This time, what submission is…
An Attitude of the Heart before It Is an Action. It is a belief that it is God’s best for the marriage. It is actively expressing faith in God’s Word and his motives in giving us this command.
A Command to be Obeyed by the Will. Some wives think of only the Old Testament’s instructions as commands. But in the New Testament, Jesus said much about obeying his commands out of love for Him: If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. (John 14:15; see also John 14:21; 1 John 2:3–4).
If a woman is not convinced that the principle of submission is God’s command, she will be swayed by the unscriptural advice the world has to offer. The world’s advice changes almost daily, as soon as a new article or book is written. Submission is God’s command, and God is the one a woman obeys when she submits to her husband. God is responsible for the outcome. That adds a whole new dimension. It promotes a proper attitude, and transforms obedience into submission. The wife, when obeying her husband, will say first to herself, “Yes, Lord,” then “Yes, Dear.” [One wife testifies]:
Submission is willingly, cheerfully, and respectfully coming under the umbrella of my husband’s protective authority. Not demanding my own way, but discussing situations with my husband and allowing him to make the final decision. There can’t be any begrudging or I-told-you-so attitude for it to be true submission, but a quiet, gentle, encouraging spirit. Recognizing that God has placed him as the head/leader of the home, and purposefully trying not to usurp his power, but to be a helpmate or helper suitable for what my husband needs. Doing him good and not evil all the days of our lives.
Mrs. Hotton then concludes this section with the following assurance: “When a woman submits in this manner it gives her freedom to become all that she desires and dreams of, because first she is submitting to the Lord.”
Glenda’s mini-book is a helpful resource not only great for personal study, but for women’s Bible studies and small groups.