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Should wives submit to their husbands?

by Nellie Shani  
4/10/2010 / Family

When the apostle Paul asked wives to submit to husband and husbands to love their wives, he had already asked them to submit to one another. Paul was speaking to Christians so the assumption was that the wives should submit to their husbands who loved them so much that they were willing to die for them. How hard is that? We will willingly submit to someone who loves us to that extent. Outside the Christian bonds I wonder how that works. Men are not necessarily smarter than women or make better decisions than women. However, Paul could without fear tell the women to submit because there was no chance of the men not having their best interests at heart because the men were busy loving them as Christ loved the church. God ordained that husbands be the heads of the home - period. Today many husbands have abdicated that role so that the wives have been forced into a role that was never designed to be theirs.

It is interesting that when it came to the children, Paul asked them to obey their parents "in the Lord." The assumption again was that they could safely obey parents who are submitting to God. However they were not bound to obey parents who were telling them to do what was not godly. Apparently honoring their parents did not mean obeying them if they were not godly. They could still honor their parents as stipulated in the Ten Commandments without obeying ungodly instructions. In the same way, wives do not have to submit to a carnal nature in their husband. A wife does not have to submit to or obey an ungodly instruction from their husband. However no husband who is obeying the Lord will require their wives to do something ungodly. It is therefore imperative for a Christian woman to marry someone who obeys Christ. They will then be able to submit to and obey their husbands as their husbands obey and submit to Christ.

No woman with an abusive husband is expected by God to submit to or obey him. I Peter 3:7 speaks to husbands, "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heir with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers." God asks husbands to be considerate and respectful of their wives otherwise He will not hear their prayers. No woman is required to submit to a man whose prayers have been hindered.

Nellie Odhuno Shani is a Counselor, Conference speaker and writer. Her first books are available on, Barnes and Nobles and on her author's websites.

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