The Dreaded “S” word – Submission
Submission should be something that we are honored to do, but oftentimes, it is dreaded as something so horribly awful. I think that there has been some teaching out there that is unbiblical regarding submission. As I learned some Biblical things about submission, it has helped me look at it in a whole new way. I pray that the insights will help each one of you be able to embrace the role of submitting to your husband.
I like the Amplified version of Eph. 5:33 — …let the wife see that she respects and reverences (deeply respects, loves, and is in awe of) her husband. She should notice him, regard (consider, gaze upon, to hold in affection and respect) him, honor him, prefer him, venerate (look upon with deep respect) him, and esteem (to value highly) him, and that she defers (to yield with courtesy) to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.
As God has delivered me from some patterns of wrong thinking due to moral
failures that occurred before I was married, I have been able to enjoy my husband in new ways. We have been married almost fifteen years now, but oftentimes, I find myself flirting with him, just with my eyes. We will both get to giggling, and then Rachel will start saying, “What’s so funny?” Which, of course, only makes us laugh harder. We just tell her that it’s something between mommy and daddy. If you aren’t in the habit of flirting with your husband, I highly recommend it! You may be very pleasantly surprised at the results.
One year I bought some massage oil for him. Even after being married well over ten years, he blushed when he opened it. This was just another way of regarding him and esteeming him.
In the above verse in Eph. 5, it mentions preferring your husband. A way to show that I prefer him is that when he gets home in the evening, I try not to make any phone calls. If a phone call comes in for me, I keep it short, and just explain to the person that my husband is home so I need to go. I also try to stay off of the computer when he is home. This shows honor to him, as well as preferring him. I also don’t make plans to get together with my girlfriends when he is going to be home. Another way to show respect for him is that if you are watching TV, and he wants to talk, turn it off. Show him that you are more interested in what he has to say than what the “one-eyed monster” is saying.
If you feel that you are at a loss of how to apply this scripture in your marriage, ask God to reveal to you ways that you can apply it. I did that and God began to show me other ways, as well as what I had already put into practice. One thing is so simple, but yet it is still a way to respect and regard him. When I wash the bath towels, I always put his on top of the stack. Then when he needs it, he doesn’t have to dig through the stack. I try to keep socks and underwear for him in the bathroom so that when he goes to take a shower, it’s one less thing that he has to dig out from the bedroom. These are such simple, easy things, but as moms, don’t you find that it’s the simple things that your spouse does for you that you tend to appreciate the most? For instance, what if he makes the bed or says that he will do the dishes? Those things don’t take up a lot of time, but I know that I deeply appreciate having someone else do them for me once in a while.
A way in which you can defer to your husband is by letting him choose the TV show for the evening or even by letting him pick the restaurant when you are going out to eat. Even if you may not feel like doing it, when he says, “Let’s go to…,” answer enthusiastically by saying, “Sure! Sounds great!” This is just one more way where you defer to him. If he is suggesting that you go someplace, it means that he is desiring YOUR company!
Many men don’t take the time to nurture friendships with other men. They are too busy trying to make a living. I began to pray about this issue. It was only a matter of a few weeks before my husband was out having coffee and met another Christian man. They get together often to chat. I don’t begrudge him of this because I have seen the difference that this one friendship has made in his attitude.
While on this subject, let me highly recommend the book called “The Power of a Praying Wife.” It is an awesome book that will help you pray more effectively for your husband. That book is what lead me to start praying for a male friend for my husband. I have added that book to part of my devotional time. The prayers are loaded with scripture. I love putting scripture in my prayers because I have no doubt as to whether or not I am praying for God’s will. It helps me to stay more focused on my prayers for my husband as well. I have seen positive results from these prayers many times.
Another simple way I have found to honor my husband is by planning just about every night to use the massager on his back. He gets to hurting, and that really does help to make him feel better, not to mention that it just plain feels good! A side note here is that shortly after I started making this a habit, he was talking to a lady who asked him if I worked. He responded by telling her “Yes, she works hard. She has a hot meal fixed for me every night and she massages my back just about every night!” That made me feel more appreciated than if he had brought home a dozen roses.
In I Pet. 3:1 it says that wives should submit to their husbands. If you skip down to verse 5, it’s still talking about the submission issue, and it says that the holy women of old WHO HOPED IN GOD were submissive to their husbands, adapting themselves to their husbands. The bottom line here is that if we can’t submit to our husband, then we have a problem with our relationship with the Lord. Notice that the verse says the holy women of old hoped in GOD. They saw their submission to their husband as a submission to God. They trusted God to take care of them, even if their husbands made a bad choice. Now I’m not saying that we need to submit to them if they are asking us to sin. That is entirely different.
Let me give you an example. My husband wanted me to start the process of looking for a different house. I was not thrilled with the idea, but I obeyed him, and have started looking. I am putting my trust in the Lord that if we are to move, that God will make a way for it. If God doesn’t want us to move, then I am praying for Him to close any doors that my husband may want to go through that aren’t God’s plan for us.
I have found that it is really easy to look at someone else’s faults (including my husband’s), and want to pray for God to change them. I have learned that it is much wiser to pray for God to change ME! Often, God will let us go through things to teach us something. There may be something that you really want to change, but God may want to get you to be content in the circumstance BEFORE He decides to bring about a change in it. Hmm, seems to me that Paul mentioned learning how to be content in any circumstance.
Another way to show respect for him is to keep the house in good order. No husband wants to come home to disarray after working hard all day. I’m not saying to have the place spotless at all times. I’m just saying that it should be orderly, without toys and clutter being everywhere when he walks in the door. Your home should be a sanctuary for him, a place where he feels at peace and rest. It should be an inviting place for him. If you do this, not only are you following what God would have you to do, but you are also putting the enemy to flight. You are giving one less temptation to your husband by making the home inviting to him. You are making it a place where he wants to be.
© 2003, Stacy R Miller