The Question of Submission in Marriage-Part I

Love and Marriage

Marriage and Submission

Submit.  The overall perception of this term as it applies in marriage tends to produce a negative reaction in too many of us.  In these more liberal times, even Christians try to negotiate their way out of having submission be a feature in their marriages.  Of what are we afraid?  What is it that we fear about submission?

Many observe that a predominant struggle in Christian marriage is one of power–who has it versus who wants it.  We’re not sure that’s totally accurate.  However, before we go there, let’s take a look at what role submission is designed to play in our marriages.

In Ephesians 5, Apostle Paul teaches submission and exemplifies it in reference to wives and their husbands, children and parents and slaves to masters.  In all three cases, there is unmistakably a position of authority (husband, parent and master) and a subordinating position (wife, child and slave).  The principle of submission, as with all Biblical principles, is intended to provide direction to strengthen relationships and to promote peace.

Unfortunately, the all-too-frequent human reactions to authority are suspicion and rebellion.  Paul prescribes submission as a means to overcome these carnal inclinations.  However, this demand comes with qualifiers.  Those with the authority must exercise it with reverence of Christ.  More specifically, husbands must receive their wives submission as they practice loving them as Christ loves the Church.  What we know of Christ’s love for the Church should put a husband’s role in a whole new light.

Do many wives find it hard to submit to their husbands because they want to share the power?  Maybe some have this in mind.  Maybe many wives have not seen the level and nature of love that Paul teaches husbands should practice.  Note that the language of most versions of this scripture does not counsel a husband to ‘have love’ for his wife but rather ‘to love’ his wife.  The situation that promotes harmony within the marriage is reliant upon her respectful submission and his consistent demonstration of devotion.

In Part II, we’ll look at respect and love play themselves out to produce a specific kind of trust in our marriages that brings out the best in both spouses.

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About ThePureBed
Welcome and thanks for giving us a once over! Our blog celebrates and honors sexual intimacy in the context of marriage.

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