I read an article on this topic Monday at a lovely blog called The Pastor's Wife Speaks. It was by a pastor's wife named Niki Turner. Here's the link if you'd like to read it too: Answering the Submission Question
Here's a little of what Mrs. Turner says, paraphrased, of course. I don't have to walk around with my eyes down and hands folded, scrambling to obey my husband's every whim. I can, and should, have an opinion. It is valid and valuable, and it can help my family make right decisions.
I agree completely with everything Mrs. Turner said. But I know from experience there is another, harder side to the issue of submission in marriage.
I started to comment on that blog, but it got a little long. So I decided to move my comment over here...and turned it into a Bible Study of sorts.
"Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."
"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as unto the Lord and not unto men"
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
I've been married ten years. I love my husband more than anything or anyone in the world. We have a happy life together. But I have struggled (and will again if I know me) with the biblical requirement of a wife's submission. I know what it is in me that causes this struggle, but I won't bore you with the details. I'll just put it this way:
I am by nature a hen, and I have married a man who simply won't be pecked.
The three verses above have been invaluable to me. Together they address the problem I encounter when submitting to my husband is hard to do. And sometimes it is hard.
When her husband is absolutely certain of one course of action and she is equally certain of another. When submitting to her husband means she must let go of a plan or dream she holds very dear...
What is a wife to do?
The short answer is Ephesians 5:22. Submit.
But what if that's not enough. What if it's still hard?
Well, try this one on for size. Proverbs 3:5. Trust in the Lord.
I have asked myself, "Do I trust in the Lord?" Occasionally, my honest answer has been, "No, right now, I don't trust in the Lord." That is an act of fear. I refuse to submit when I am afraid of losing something, or losing control of something.
Then I have to repent and ask God to help me trust in him. That's verse 6. Acknowledge him and he will show you the way.
He has done so every time. That shouldn't amaze me, but it does.
When I've trusted in him and acknowledged him, the initial command has always remained the same. Submit. Relinquish control of whatever I'm holding onto so tightly.
But...the direction changed. Colossians 3:23. Dedicate every action to God, not man.
If I take my husband out of the picture (figuratively, of course), I'm submitting to God, and God alone. I am giving him control of what I value so highly.
This is an act of faith.
I trust him, so I do what he commanded...
Do not kill.
Give to the poor.
Submit to your husband.
I guess all this can be summed up in one pretty quick sentence.
Trust God, and do everything for him, including submit.