Should a Christian Wife Always Submit?
by Angie Lewis 11/08/2010 / Marriage
I write a lot about marital submission because I believe in it. I believe that a wife should allow her husband to be the head over her. But submission is always voluntary. If a husband has to make his wife submit than how is that submission? It's not. But this does not give license for a Christian woman to do whatever she pleasesshe is still accountable to God, even if her husband is not behaving in a godly manner.
If a husband is not leading his home by God's design, or if he is abusing his wife in any way, then I don't believe that she should surrender to this kind of skewed lead-ship, and if she does, all it will do is cause resentment within her. If she can, she needs to talk with her husband and gently let him know that she will not submit to abusive behaviorit's not God's will. To give in to a husband who is mentally, physically or sexually abusing her can only means she is doing it out of fear.
Women need to read and study their bibles and know what God says about how a husband is supposed to love his wife. If she does this then she will know in her heart if submission is the right thing for her to do. It never ceases to amaze me the misconceptions that abound within the churchesits scary and its sad and it makes me frustrated.
Sometimes knowing if you should submit to your husbands is drawing on a very fine line because people aren't perfect and once in awhile your husband may be demanding or come across as controlling but if the foundation of what your husband is asking you to do is based upon Christ-built love than a wife needs to submit, even if he is having a not so good day. In some instances knowing whether or not you should submit needs your careful discernment. Pray about it and God will guide you in the right direction.
Did any of you watch Dateline, "The Preacher's Wife" Friday night on television? It was a perfect example of skewed headship in the home. It is this kind of teaching that makes women fearful to submit!! The wife, out of fear, submitted to this abusive preacher because she thought she was supposed to, she did not want to "get in trouble" by her husband, she told Dateline. "Get in trouble"! If a woman is afraid she might "get in trouble" by her husband then something is not right. The relationship between a wife and husband is not that of parent and child but of two adults working together in harmony and peace.
This particular preacher was not a man of God but more of a monster. On the outside he looked like a respectable guyhe was a good talker, but on the inside he did terrible things with his wife. A respectable man of God would not abuse his wife and make her do things that go against the nature of God. Many of the churches are polluting the Word of God by not explaining, "how a husband is to love his wife" and how a wife is to love her husband" according to scripture. I know this because I have had women tell me they still "must," submit even if their husbands are mistreating them.
A husband who puts God first in his own life will not make it a usual thing to mistreat his wife because he will know and understand how to love her according to God's design. There are people in the Christian churches everywhere, who do not follow Christ's example and make Christ the head over them and so how could they love their spouses right?
In the case of this abusive preacher and his wife, even though he portrayed himself to be a man of God to His congregation, behind the scenes he was very abusive towards his wife. She put up with years of torment and emotional and physical abuse by him, and one day, out of anger, she just couldn't take it anymore and she shot him. She was certainly not justified in killing her husbandshe should have just left the man, but instead she took matters into her own hands. Having an angry heart is like playing Russian Roulette, you never know when you might explode.
The point is, some wives have been taught in their churches to believe they have to submit to their husbands even if he is harming her physically, or emotionally and or sexually. But this is incorrect teaching. If your husband asked you to jump off a bridge, would you do it? If a husband is abusive towards his wife it means he is not putting God first in his own life and a wife does not have to submit to this kind of ungodly behavior.
Look for the fruits. If it's based on Christ-love then a Christian wife needs to regard her husbands headship with respect, but if it is based on selfish desires and angry abuses of the heart then a woman does not have to undermine her own faith in Jesus Christ to submit to depravity and violence.
Submission is voluntary. Submission for a Christian wife means giving in to her God-fearing husband who only has her interests, well-being and safety in mind. He loves, protects and cares for her in the ways of God. Christ has given us the perfect example of how a husband is to love his wife through His sacrificial love for His church. Christ suffered and died for His church. This sacrificial love is a husband's example to follow on how to love his wife.
The relationship between Christ and the church is the same example of the relationship between a husband and his wife. As Christians we are to submit to Jesus Christ because He is the head of the church. In the same way wives are to submit to their husbands as being the head over them. It's a truly simple concept and yet many people are making it complicated and skewing its true meaning. Let's get back to what the bible says!