The Christian wife’s biblical submission is a sensitive and important subject that deserves careful study. It is one of the main reasons why Chapter 3 Ministries exists. I have seen the blessing of living according to God’s will in marriage, and it is a delight for me to encourage other women to see it too.
Though there are blessings, that does not mean that submission is always easy. It can be quite difficult. It is important that we look at both the blessings of submission and the challenges and obstacles that can come up. I do not believe that it does anyone any good to ignore or gloss over the difficulties.
One of the great obstacles to adopting the biblical role of submission can come from both inside and outside of our marriages. It is the belief that submission is an old-fashioned idea. This can prevent a wife from ever exploring if this is God’s will for her. It can also cause a husband to see submission as contrary to the modern roles of women and therefore feel uncomfortable with his wife pursuing it even if he knows it is written about in the Scriptures. From outside of a marriage, friends and family can give plenty of pressure along this line of argument to hinder a sincere desire to follow God’s design for marriage. It is easy to see why this challenge exists. Our culture has largely dismissed submission as a thing of the past. For many, the progress that women have made has rendered submission obsolete.
I believe that this conclusion stems from the belief that what happens in our culture dictates what is good or bad and what should be held onto or rejected. For many people, this is a way of life. What is “in” and what is current are their guides for living. They are their standards of measure. And while this is not an entirely awful way to measure some things, there are things which should not be measured this way. For the Christian, there are many things. For us, culture should not trump God’s word. Whether something is considered old-fashioned or bad by our culture should not play into the choices we make about following God’s word.
When I hear the charge that submission is old-fashioned, I feel it can also represent a self-authoritative way of looking at the world and time. It is self-determined that a particular time and culture is the right way to judge what is good and should be maintained. As a Christian, I believe that something this important, really all things, should be judged by God’s word. I see no freedom in Scripture to judge submission by ourselves or our culture, nor do I see an expiration date for it within God’s word. I do not see submission as old-fashioned because I see it as God-fashioned.
This is the thing I hold on to when faced with opinions that challenge my role as a Christian wife. When I live doesn’t matter. What matters is if I am living according to God’s will. Is my behavior in my marriage fashioned after His design?
I encourage Christian wives to explore or embrace more the God-fashioned role of submission in marriage. Try not to be hampered by naysayers. God-fashioned living, while sometimes difficult in its own ways, brings a satisfaction that extends beyond anything our culture or our time has to offer. Rightly valued, walking in God’s will provides a peace that nothing can touch. It also brings glory to Him and blessings that might surprise you.