Consider something that you’re really passionate about, that you love, and that you’re willing to give your very best at. Perhaps it’s the work you do or a sport you play. For example sake, let’s say you LOVE soccer. You play on a team and it’s game day.
What would you do when the coach calls on you, saying he needs you to get out on the field and give your best? Pout and say, “You can’t tell me what to do! I’ll go when I feel like it!” Of course not, that would be selfish and silly. Your team needs you!
If you really loved your team (and respected your coach) you would submit what you have, you would give your coach and your teammates your very best, yeah? You would yield your desire to sit and relax when you get tired for the sake of the team, right? If you know that he has your best interest in mind, you’d listen to your coach as he draws up the next play, trusting his leadership, in order to press on into victory, wouldn’t you?
He’s not showing you a play to dominate you or make you lose–he’s also submitting what he has (his knowledge and expertise) to the team and to help you WIN!
This is the kind of submission that God speaks of when it comes to marriage. Like the coach, He has our best interest in mind. When we submit to each other, we submit to Him. It’s not about being dominated or bossed around, it’s about doing your part and working as a team.
The other half of the verse that tells women to submit to their husbands, also tells men to, “LOVE their wives.” Before we get all bent out of shape over the submission part, we also have to look at the type of leadership God calls men to so that we understand what this is saying in the right context. Leadership in the kingdom looks like service and sacrifice, not dominance. It’s also men–not just women– that are also challenged to submit and sacrifice.
So, understand that the Biblical model holds both parties accountable and calls both men and women to lay down their pride, to yield to our own desires to do whatever feels good or easy, and to humbly give our very best for the sake of victory/a successful relationship and to glorify God. Isn’t that the only way to win–to be a team player and trust the Coach?
Whether or not you realize it, you have probably already submitted to your man in some ways if your relationship is at all healthy. Have you ever compromised or given up doing what you wanted to do so that you could love him well and do what he wants to do? That’s submitting. That’s submitting your own selfishness to be sacrificial and love well. And I’m sure he’s laid down his pride at times to honor and love you, too. See how this is necessary for it to work?
This is not about getting walked all over nor is it about whether or not you have a successful career or admirable accomplishments of your own. This is about something deeper–about giving your best. Anytime you give your best, you’re sacrificing your selfishness and submitting what you have–and that’s not something to be afraid of nor does it rid you of your strength.
It simply strengthens the team. <3
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her…holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” [Ephesians 5:21-33]