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Why Does God Ask The Wife To Submit To Her Husband?
by Greg Baker
3/11/2010 / Marriage
It's all about balance in the family. There are typically three elements in a traditional familythe husband, the wife, and the children. When these three elements are not in balance with each other the family becomes dysfunctional.
Children can be highly destructive to a marriage. A child does not respond to or think about his parent's marriage. He is out for himself and himself only. He never initiates a single action that is in the best interest of his parent's marriageat least not at a young age.
But it is typically the father that has the most influence over the children. Most kids want to be like dad. Dad can get a child's attention faster than mom can. And most children know that they can more easily get something out of mom than they can dad. This isn't true in every casewe all know exceptions, but it is much more true than not in a general sense.
This goes back to the fall of man in Genesis. God specified in chapter 3 that the woman's desire will be given to her husband. This desire is her children. Most women have a much stronger empathetic and sympathetic attachment to their children than the father does. This is not unusual. A mother carries a child for nine months and nurtures that child in a way that a father never can quite understand. The emotional ties are significantly stronger for a mother. Yet God made it so that, almost instinctively, a child is much more apt to want to be like dad rather than mom.
It is here, for the sake of the children, that God actually requests a wife to submit to her husband.
Woman was created for man. Not because man wanted a play thing, but because man was incomplete and alone (Genesis 2:18). In most cases, a man needs a woman much more than a woman needs a man. This need that a man has gives the woman in his life tremendous power over him. If a man loves his wife at all, he rarely knows how to deal effectively with her anger, frustration, tears, and strong emotions. He has a much easier time saying 'no' to the children than he does to his wife. She has the power to absolutely make his life miserable.
We know that God wants the husband to be the head of the home. It will be him that God holds accountable for the familynot the wife. Being the head of the home is not so much a privilege as it is a heavy responsibility. Yet if you ask the average person who runs most households, they will say the wife does. It is easy to see the exertion of power that a woman has over a man.
Yet even saying that the wife is in charge of the typical household isn't true. It is the children who run most homes in our society. Follow the logic here. The wife has used her power over her husband to drive him away. There may be many reasons for thisinsecurity being the most common. The husband retreats into a shell as a result or tries to stay away from home. He possesses no real means of dealing with his wife's emotions and frustration. This then removes the strongest influence over the children. The children, who usually have more power over mom than dad, will pull mom's emotional strings and often run wild. So it is the children who run most homes in our society.
This is the very reason God requests a wife to submit to her husband. God understands the tremendous power that a wife has over her husband. If she does not yield that power and strength to him, the husband loses his desire and ability to influence the children. Almost every single reference in the Bible about rearing children gives that responsibility to dad. If mom doesn't yield, dad often loses his ability and desire to influence the children properly.
This is also why, in the same passage of Ephesians 5, God requires the husband to so love his wife. A loved woman will feel secure. A secure woman shouldn't have any difficulty submitting to her husband. But an insecure woman will try to control the relationship in order to gain the security she seeks. This forceful approach usually drives a husband away emotionally because he just isn't equipped to deal with the overwhelming pressure his wife brings to bear on him. If he would just love her like he should, however, she will feel secure and have no need to try to dominate and control the marriage.
This is why God requires a wife to submit. It has nothing whatsoever to do with being a slave, a second class citizen, or even being oppressed. It is about yielding her power over her husband so that he can exert the strongest influence over the children. She ought to use her power to build, uplift, and strengthen her husband, not use it to try to dominate and control.
But Mr. Husband, if you don't love your wife like you should, she will feel insecure. An insecure woman will try to control and dominate the marriage. This is an instinctive reaction on her part. So love her.
Ephesians 5:22-29 - Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
This balance brings harmony in a family and in a marriage.
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