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Thread: " ... Submit to your husband in everything."

  1. #1
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    Question " ... Submit to your husband in everything."

    " As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. " (Ephesians 5:24)

    This is quite interesting, and it is left wide open for interpretation. When it is said that the woman should "submit ... in everything" how far is that truly suppose to entail?

    -- Does that mean that every time a discussion arises that the woman should close communication and merely say "Name thy will, husband?" (I am assuming no to this.)

    -- Does it mean that after a couple has discussed matters that it should be expected that all final decissions are the husband's ultimate responsability?

    -- Does it mean that when an arguement breaks out that the husband is the automatic victor, fully equipt with a God-sanctioned veto button: "Submit!" ? (Yet again, I am fairly certain that is not the point and I will get to that.)

    -- Does it mean that by not sharing what is going on in life with a woman can escape said submittance through the omission of details? (Possibly, but this would require conscious disobediance to God, I suppose?)

    -- Does it perhaps mean that in every decission she makes, ideally she would bring it to her husband in discussion as we bring our hopes and fears to the Lord through prayer? ("Should I dye my hair?", "What should we have for dinner?", "Should I wear the red dress or the green dress?") My point in this one is How Far is the "in everything" to be carried in order to be living this desire of God's correctly?

    Many modern women look at this whole issue and just go "No way! Ancient garbage meant to subjugate ancient women who were viewed as little more (if anything) then property. That has no place in my life. " And yet (at least for me) I know that if something is wrong between me and someone I love I do not get stuff done as well. I asked a few other female friends about this and several of them agreed. Guys I asked, on the other hand, indicated that while something might trouble them that they tend to look for something to do as a way to deal with that. The (potentially -- I realize no two people are the same so this undoubtedly does not include every woman or exclude any man) natural depth of compassion and emotional connection that woman have for their loved ones, and the (sometimes bordering on destructive) need to care for others, even above themselves, makes this make sense. It is not that a woman is to "submit" because she is lesser, but rather because of the two sexes, she seems to be the one that God created with a natural capacity and capability to do this.

    Now don't worry, ladies... Men do not get off the hook with nothing either. Lets see...

    " 25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body. " (Ephesians 5:25 - 30)

    It would appear that men are to love and protect their wives. They are not to bully or lord over them (can anyone else recall Jesus doing this? I certainly can't.) Nor are they suppose to abused their God-entrusted role of leadership. They would seem to be well served by discussing things with their wives (Jesus spoke to many people. I realize that Jesus was also always right. Yet a man cannot always be right and I would assume the intended discussion between man and wife should be to reach a wise decission that can then be carried out in the fashion most desireable to God.) A person who loves someone is also going to consider both that person's needs, hopes and desires as well as their own. Using this logic it can be assumed that the Lord is not asking women to abandon all hopes, dreams and individuality.

    Lastly, an interesting consideration in these modern times is how this connection between man and woman, husband and wife, should be handled during the dating period. People are marrying later and later in life and they are growing accustomed to living life on their own terms. As couples enter (for example) engagement and move toward marriage, do you feel that they should begin to work at encorperating this biblical principle into their relationship so that it comes more naturally? I am certainly not suggesting a woman should -ever- submit to a man in any way that would endanger her relationship with God prior to marriage. (This clearly excuses the idea that she should submit in any manner that is acceptable outside of marriage.)

    Rather, if they are debating about what movie to see should the man make the final decission? If they are going to dinner should she inquire about what would be acceptable to order? (Or yet again should she grant him the ultimate decission on the restaurant?), when they are planning the wedding should she forego the traditional ideaologies of a bride and maid of honour and possibly mother of the bride making major decissions to instead consult, and grant ultimate say, to the groom on all decissions?

    "Everything" is a lot. It is a big broad sweep of a paintbrush in whatever hue you choose, leaving no spot of the canvas uncovered. If we are to follow God's Word on this matter, especially in our modern world with its ideas of "feminism" then it would seem to me that we must intend to follow it before marriage, in and of itself, ever becomes a likelyhood, let alone an issue. On the same token, it would then be the man's responsability to have a good enough connection with the woman to think for Both of them? It is not so much about him getting his own way, but rather about her willingly giving up final say so that he is able to speak for both as a unified front that, ideally, represents accurately each person's wishes as best as he can?


    So, what are your feelings on this matter? Is there an aspect of it that I am misunderstanding? Thank you for your time and consideration. I am not trying to weasel my way out of it. Rather, I want to make sure that my comprehension of it allows me to observe it fully and correctly when and if I ever get married. .
    Last edited by Katallina; May 19th 2009 at 07:08 PM. Reason: The print was tiny and too hard to read. Whoops!

  2. #2
    Followtheway Guest
    Picture the same submission that is given to the Lord, just about the same is to be given to the husband.

    If the husband asks for something to eat, get it.

    If he asks something else of you (within the Lords guidlines) do it.

    I know you might be thinking "well, why should I do all that" you in the end will be judged based upon the wife that you are, he will be judged upon his leadership. If you do these things and he takes advantage of you, thats something hes gonna have to be judged for.

    A wife is allowed to make discissions just like a man makes some dicsissions for Messiah, and sometimes you must bring them to our head to be discussed.

    does this help?

  3. #3
    Partaker of Christ Guest
    John 13:7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
    John 13:8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

    Jesus said that authority, was not to lord it over someone (as the Gentiles do), but to serve them.

    A man should love his wife, as Christ loved the Church.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Katallina View Post
    " As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. " (Ephesians 5:24)

    This is quite interesting, and it is left wide open for interpretation. When it is said that the woman should "submit ... in everything" how far is that truly suppose to entail?
    You've hit on one of the biggest cans of worms that I've been coming across as of late, lol!

    -- Does that mean that every time a discussion arises that the woman should close communication and merely say "Name thy will, husband?" (I am assuming no to this.)
    "No" would be a correct assumption....

    -- Does it mean that after a couple has discussed matters that it should be expected that all final decissions are the husband's ultimate responsability?
    Yes. As the spiritual head of the home, the husband will be accountable to God for how he actually led. The wife will be accountable for how she followed. Prayer and discussion are mutual but in the final decision, the proverbial ball is on the husband's side of the court. It doesn't mean all the decisions he makes will be right, but they are his responsibility.

    -- Does it mean that when an arguement breaks out that the husband is the automatic victor, fully equipt with a God-sanctioned veto button: "Submit!" ? (Yet again, I am fairly certain that is not the point and I will get to that.)
    No God-sanctioned veto button that I'm aware of....

    -- Does it mean that by not sharing what is going on in life with a woman can escape said submittance through the omission of details? (Possibly, but this would require conscious disobediance to God, I suppose?)
    Yes, I think this one would cause problems. Keeping secrets, if I'm reading the question right, could be disastrous to marital unity.

    -- Does it perhaps mean that in every decission she makes, ideally she would bring it to her husband in discussion as we bring our hopes and fears to the Lord through prayer? ("Should I dye my hair?", "What should we have for dinner?", "Should I wear the red dress or the green dress?") My point in this one is How Far is the "in everything" to be carried in order to be living this desire of God's correctly?
    We are to submit to our husbands as if we were submitting to God Himself, which in a way we are since we ought to obey His Word.

    Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

    I look at it this way: Do I ask God if I should dye my hair or which dress to wear or what to have for dinner? Or do I trust that He thinks I'm a big enough girl to make the so-called minor day-to-day decisions responsibly?

    Many modern women look at this whole issue and just go "No way! Ancient garbage meant to subjugate ancient women who were viewed as little more (if anything) then property. That has no place in my life. "
    You're right on here, and sadly many Christian women fall into this category as well as unbelievers.

    And yet (at least for me) I know that if something is wrong between me and someone I love I do not get stuff done as well. I asked a few other female friends about this and several of them agreed. Guys I asked, on the other hand, indicated that while something might trouble them that they tend to look for something to do as a way to deal with that. The (potentially -- I realize no two people are the same so this undoubtedly does not include every woman or exclude any man) natural depth of compassion and emotional connection that woman have for their loved ones, and the (sometimes bordering on destructive) need to care for others, even above themselves, makes this make sense. It is not that a woman is to "submit" because she is lesser, but rather because of the two sexes, she seems to be the one that God created with a natural capacity and capability to do this.
    Submission is about service, not status. Women are equal and complementary to men. "Submission" doesn't mean "inferior" but means women have different specific roles than men regarding God's division of labour within the family unit. So many people automatically equate "submission" with "less important" but that's not what God means at all.

    Now don't worry, ladies... Men do not get off the hook with nothing either. Lets see...

    " 25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body. " (Ephesians 5:25 - 30)

    It would appear that men are to love and protect their wives. They are not to bully or lord over them (can anyone else recall Jesus doing this? I certainly can't.) Nor are they suppose to abused their God-entrusted role of leadership. They would seem to be well served by discussing things with their wives (Jesus spoke to many people. I realize that Jesus was also always right. Yet a man cannot always be right and I would assume the intended discussion between man and wife should be to reach a wise decission that can then be carried out in the fashion most desireable to God.) A person who loves someone is also going to consider both that person's needs, hopes and desires as well as their own. Using this logic it can be assumed that the Lord is not asking women to abandon all hopes, dreams and individuality.
    I agree with what you've said here. These points are often the ones conveniently overlooked by people who take exception to the idea of a woman's submission to her husband!

    Lastly, an interesting consideration in these modern times is how this connection between man and woman, husband and wife, should be handled during the dating period. People are marrying later and later in life and they are growing accustomed to living life on their own terms. As couples enter (for example) engagement and move toward marriage, do you feel that they should begin to work at encorperating this biblical principle into their relationship so that it comes more naturally? I am certainly not suggesting a woman should -ever- submit to a man in any way that would endanger her relationship with God prior to marriage. (This clearly excuses the idea that she should submit in any manner that is acceptable outside of marriage.)

    Rather, if they are debating about what movie to see should the man make the final decission? If they are going to dinner should she inquire about what would be acceptable to order? (Or yet again should she grant him the ultimate decission on the restaurant?), when they are planning the wedding should she forego the traditional ideaologies of a bride and maid of honour and possibly mother of the bride making major decissions to instead consult, and grant ultimate say, to the groom on all decissions?
    This is an interesting consideration. I think if both parties are keeping their focus firmly on the Lord first and each other second, He will direct this aspect of their relationship and incorporating this Biblical principle into their relationship will naturally follow. A certain amount of give-and-take in decision-making at this point is more from good manners than the husband/wife roles since they're not that far yet. As you've pointed out, there are boundaries at the dating stage that aren't there after marriage.

    "Everything" is a lot. It is a big broad sweep of a paintbrush in whatever hue you choose, leaving no spot of the canvas uncovered. If we are to follow God's Word on this matter, especially in our modern world with its ideas of "feminism" then it would seem to me that we must intend to follow it before marriage, in and of itself, ever becomes a likelyhood, let alone an issue.
    Obey God and everything else will fall into place. Our relationship with God is to be our number one priority. Obedience to God's Word is His definition of success. (Joshua 1:8)

    On the same token, it would then be the man's responsability to have a good enough connection with the woman to think for Both of them? It is not so much about him getting his own way, but rather about her willingly giving up final say so that he is able to speak for both as a unified front that, ideally, represents accurately each person's wishes as best as he can?
    If God is building the relationship and the man is obedient to Him, he will do his best to love "his girl" as Christ loved the church - which means that without say he'll consider her best interests. What he won't do is intentionally lead her into, or ask her to sin.

    Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Philippians 2:16

  5. Well, I might as well jump in the deep end with you

    IMHO, this is one of the most abused pieces of scripture there is! If you take it completely and totally out of context, then I suppose the answer is "Yes, I am Husband, Hear Me Roar!". But look at the entire text. Paul wasn't trying to say "Ok men, we're the boss". In fact, Paul puts a LOT of requirements on the husband in this section.

    Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
    Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
    Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
    Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
    Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
    Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
    Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
    Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
    Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

    As men, we are to love our wives as Christ loved the church, AND GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR IT. Christ put us first. He put aside his own wants and needs, and put our well-being, happiness and salvation first! And that's how we are to behave toward our wives. It's not about power, it's actually about service. Jesus was the ideal example of servant. In truth this portion of scripture is much more about how we as men are supposed to behave, more than it is about the wives roll.

    And I would venture one step further (warning: this is likely to cause some disagreement); if the husband isn't holding up his end of the bargain (loving his wife as Christ loved the Church) then I think the wife not only has the right to question him, but the obligation!



  6. #6
    Partaker of Christ Guest

    Question

    I hear many men say, that it does not matter how bad the husband mistreats his wife (he is answerable to God), but she must love him and obey him.

    Question:

    If God did not love us, and if He did not demonstrate His love for us, by laying down His life for us, how many of us would love Him and willingly submit to Him?

  7. #7
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    Great Post Partaker.

    Men always forget this part of that section of scripture...

    Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

    That is a pretty tall order for us men. Christ sacrificed everything for us, and we should do like wise with our wives. WOW! I think this bit of scripture lays a much bigger burden on the men then it does the women.

    I have often found that IF I am doing my dead set best to live up to Eph 5:25, my wife has no problems submitting to my decisions. She knows that I have carefully and prayerfully considered every option.

    Now the problems come in when I decide to walk in the flesh and try to make a decision based on MY wants, opinions, etc. That's usually about the time she prepares to introduce her foot and my butt.
    For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? ~ Deuteronomy 5:26

    If you're not prepared to risk your very life for your "enemy" you have no right to speak to him of love. ~ Daughter

    Many say they are called... but I am pretty convinced that with many of them it was the wrong number. ~ Project Peter

  8. #8
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    were it says wives submit to your husband is part of a command and theres several verses to that command and now i know guys that take only the part of wives submit to there husband and abuse it and use it to view there wives as nothing more than property

    but the first verse in that command i think says it all

    submit yourself one to another in the fear of the lord

    in case you dont know thats saying the sumitting part isnt only on behalf of the wife but also the husband.

    but even though the husband is to submit to the wife the husband is still the head, which there is an order in that

    the husband is the head of the wife like a pastor is the head of the local church or like christ of the head of all believers.

    pastor are not to abuse there power and christ certainly doesnt abuse his power and in the same sense the husband is not to abuse his power


  9. #9
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    If a husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church - enough to give his life for her, then the wife knows the husband is making decisions based on that love for HER and not himself.

  10. #10
    I first started reading the Bible when my husband I were separated. This part stopped me dead in my tracks. I thought to myself, "so even if he is yelling / cursing / berating me I am to just take it?" I grew to realize (with help of my Pastor) that was not the case. My husband and I have since reconciled after a year apart and knowing what God expects of me and him has been a tremendous help. I have no issus submitting when I know that the decisions my husband is making are for the good of us as a family and a couple.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Partaker of Christ View Post
    I hear many men say, that it does not matter how bad the husband mistreats his wife (he is answerable to God), but she must love him and obey him.

    Question:

    If God did not love us, and if He did not demonstrate His love for us, by laying down His life for us, how many of us would love Him and willingly submit to Him?



    I love this reply!!!

    My very first response is that a husband is doing what he needs to do according to this scripture, he would never be saying "Ungah! Woman get me some food and it better be hot!!" because he would love you as Christ does.

    I feel that ultimately, the submission and the responsibility of the husband go hand in hand. If the woman can not trust the husband or is misused or hurt by him, she will have a hard time being submissive because she will find it hard to believe that he has her interest in mind or even cares about her wished. However, if a woman is unwilling to have a submissive role in the relationship, it's harder for the husband to love her as Christ loves us because he will not see the evidence of reciprocation.

    In the end, I would say that either party should continue being submissive to her husband or loving his wife as Christ loves the church even if the other isn't. I whole heartedly believe that these commands are the best marriage advice ever! Because when , as a wife, I am feeling that I do not want to cook dinner after working a 12 hour day- I still do it. And you know what? My husband would do anything for me. Because I listen to him, he listens to me! i honestly feels it's just about someone being the first one to display the good behavior so that you can both enjoy a happy marriage!
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
    Proverbs 3:5

    My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgements come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.
    Isaiah 26:9

  12. #12
    It means agape. Consider those women who have won their unbelieving husbands by explaining that God expects me to treat you as the head, so i have come to you dear husband with my spiritual questions also. Perhaps as you submit it will give this unbeliever a purpose to believe? For believers we are to submit to one another in love. Consider Jesus as the ultimate example. Did He submit to the Father? His head? Absolutely! But to what extent? Unto death, even the death of the cross. Now this obviously means that Christ is to be the head of the man, and if that man refuses the Lord's leading, and then your husband asks you to do something does not agree with the Lord, then you submit to the Lord. I treat my wife as my equal, not lesser, I make no decisions in and of myself, all our decisions are made together. Some times I have not agreed with her conclusions, but still we have gone with those decisions, and some times mine. I don't keep count and remind her of those bad decisions, but we are one in Christ, and love covers all sin, all failure. Love doesn't remind our loved ones of sin, but forgives. If we act and live in love, then your question becomes irrelevant. What Would Jesus Do? What Would Love Do? Agape Love.

  13. #13
    Wow, this thread has been very illustrative for me. I have always been uncomfortable with that passage, as a woman, because it always was presented out of context, as though the man had no obligations and the woman was just supposed to sit down and shut up and do whatever he said. When viewed in context, it's much more understandable -- and very empowering to the woman, actually, because if the man does not meet his side of the bargain, then she is not, as it would seem viewed out of context, obliged to accept his abuse without complaint -- she has a reference in Scripture itself to try to get her husband to see how he is abrogating his duty as a husband by mistreating her.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by inluvwjesus View Post
    It means agape. What Would Jesus Do? What Would Love Do? Agape Love.
    I think we sometimes take our relationships out of order. I know I do sometimes. I put my marriage before my relationship with God. Sometimes, it doesn't seem like God's around, so my marriage becomes my number one thing to work on, because it seems it always needs the most work. Well, I think of the Good Samaritan parable and how God expects use to lay aside our busy lives to help our neighbor with whatever they need. And that's just a neighbor, not someone that we are living with 24/7.

    Jesus told us to love the Lord God with all of our hearts, mind, soul and strength. And to love our neighbor as ourself. I'm not good at this, but for my marriage to get better, I think I need to start serving God first. With love for God, and faith that He is real, my other relationships will be even more important.
    And instead of pointing fingers at others when it is only me and God going over what I did in this life, I would rather now please Him with faith and obedience staying as close to Him as possible regardless of whether I'm married or not. And since I am married, and knowing that He wants me to serve my wife with love, only my previous non-Biblical baggage is the obstacle to overcome, no matter what the situation or circumstance is.
    We do not war against flesh and blood.
    There is no better YOU than the YOU that God wants YOU to be.

    1 Peter 1:3-5
    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Partaker of Christ View Post
    John 13:7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
    John 13:8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

    Jesus said that authority, was not to lord it over someone (as the Gentiles do), but to serve them.

    A man should love his wife, as Christ loved the Church.
    The biblical model is plainly one of servant leadership on the part of the husband. He is to be a bond-servant, a slave of the heart for his wife. Several years ago I began calling my wife "princess" as a way to remind me that were I married to the daughter of the king I would take seriously how I treated my wife. She is precious, not a possession, but a treasure.

    Any man who uses such passages as those cited in your original post to justify "lording over" his wife, mistreating her, or not encouraging her to reach her full potential and receive all that God has for her is not only a fool (which he is) but is very far from the biblical model for a husband.

    I am a real man, with all of the "man street credibility" one could ask for who loves his wife gently and strives to do so on an increasing basis. I am not convinced that we need to make the distinction between placing God first and then our marriage, although I understand why some do communicate it that way, I see our marriages as the first way to worship God. We are to be one flesh, one being, and our love of our family and spouse is an act of worship to God in obedience of His word.
    The Pastor's Study
    “The easiest way to keep a broken vessel full is to keep the faucet constantly running.” – DL Moody

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