No Apologizing

Christian Apologetic, and Social Commentary in a world gone mad

Wives….SUBMIT to your husbands!

So if you have been keeping track of the comments under my “That’s it…I QUIT!” post, you would have noticed that a commenter has some questions regarding the submission of the woman to the man in the Bible.  The contention of the commenter (among many others) is that the Bible teaches subjugation of the woman to the man, and requires her to be submissive, in an unequal setting.  Rather than trying to re-create the wheel I am going to lean on a sermon given by John Piper specifically addressing Ephesians 5.  This is a very good sermon that gets right to the heart of gender equality or the balance of relationships (as I like to call it).   Below are some snippets of the sermon.

“So marriage is like a metaphor or an image or a picture or parable that stands for something more than a man and a woman becoming one flesh. It stands for the relationship between Christ and the church. That’s the deepest meaning of marriage. It’s meant to be a living drama of how Christ and the church relate to each other.”


“Notice how verses 28–30 describe the parallel between Christ and the church being one body and the husband and wife being one flesh. “Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it.” In other words, the one-flesh union between man and wife means that in a sense they are now one body so that the care a husband has for his wife he has for himself. They are one. What he does to her he does to himself. Then he compares this to Christ’s care for the church. Picking up near the end of verse 29, he says the husband nourishes and cherishes his own flesh, ” . . . as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.” In other words, just as the husband is one flesh with his wife, so the church is one body with Christ. When the husband cherishes and nourishes his wife, he cherishes and nourishes himself; and when Christ cherishes and nourishes the church, he cherishes and nourishes himself.”

“Think about this for a moment in relation to what we have seen so far in this series. I tried to show from Genesis 1–3 that the when sin entered the world, it ruined the harmony of marriage NOT because it brought headship and submission into existence, but because it twisted man’s humble, loving headship into hostile domination in some men and lazy indifference in others. And it twisted woman’s intelligent, willing submission into manipulative obsequiousness in some women and brazen insubordination in others. Sin didn’t create headship and submission; it ruined them and distorted them and made them ugly and destructive.”

“Therefore, headship is not a right to command and control. It’s a responsibility to love like Christ: to lay down your life for your wife in servant leadership. And submission is not slavish or coerced or cowering. That’s not the way Christ wants the church to respond to his leadership: he wants it to be free and willing and glad and refining and strengthening.”

“In other words what this passage of Scripture does is two things: it guards against the abuses of headship by telling husbands to love like Jesus; and it guards against the debasing of submission by telling wives to respond the way the church does to Christ.”

“Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.

Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.”

“Submission does not mean putting the husband in the place of Christ. Verse 21 says you submit out of reverence for Christ. Submission does not mean that the husband’s word is absolute. Only Christ’s word is absolute. No wife should follow a husband into sin. You can’t do that in reverence to Christ. Submission does not mean surrendering thought. It does not mean no input on decisions or no influence on her husband. It does not come from ignorance or incompetence. It comes from what is fitting and appropriate (Colossians 3:18) in God’s created order.”

“The call in verse 25 for husbands to “love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her” revolutionizes the way he leads. This is where we ended last week in Luke 22:26 where Jesus says, “Let the leader become as one who serves.” In other words, husbands, don’t stop leading, but turn all your leading into serving. The responsibility of leadership is given not to puff yourself up, but to build your family up.”

This really is an awesome sermon, and has proven to be helpful to me as I continue to grow in Christ, and learn to be a true servant leader for my wife.

8 responses to “Wives….SUBMIT to your husbands!

  1. David Ellis August 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    I direct you to the story of a woman who lived by the doctrine of wifely submission (and I personally know more than a few other Christian women who’ve suffered in similar ways because they firmly believed submitting to the husband’s authority was their duty to God):

    I also suggest reading other posts on that blog. It’s important stuff.

    • kcbob August 13, 2010 at 8:48 pm

      i read through the link that you posted.

      If you had read my post on how men are to lead you would have noticed by the 5th paragraph the obvious and glaring issue. The wife, submits to the husbands spiritual authority. This should have been a red flag. The only spiritual authority one should submit to should be God.

      6th paragraph…God wants what he commands in the Bible.

      7th paragraph…These things are not a sin. But the husbands actions are not consistant with Ephesians 5. Those type of actions are not reflective of the servant leadership that Christ provided to the church. When the word camp is used…I wonder if it is some type of cult.

      Bottom line ( as I scanned the remaining post) is that marriage is in fact a two way street. The man involved with that particular marriage did not serve the wife as instructed in Ephesians 5. As indicated in this post…that type of leadership is not biblical at all. i would suggest you reread this post and then compare it to what I have posted. Tell me anywhere in this post that matches the actions outlined by the husband in the other post.

      These things frustrate me. I am a husband utterly devoted to my wife. I provide Christ like leadership to my wife by being her servant. Giving in to her needs, and her desires. Ultimately many of the decisions will fall on my shoulders, but a good leader knows when to play to their strengths, and my wife has plenty. A good Christ like leader will know when to let their wife shine. All decisions are are based in Word.

      What I read there…shame on the husband for claiming leadership in Christ, and then leading in a manner that is tyrannical, and not loving. Again, look at the post. There is no comparison between the quiverfull (non-christian domination) and Ephesians 5 (Christ like leadership). None at all.

  2. David Ellis August 14, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Bottom line ( as I scanned the remaining post) is that marriage is in fact a two way street. The man involved with that particular marriage did not serve the wife as instructed in Ephesians 5. As indicated in this post…that type of leadership is not biblical at all. i would suggest you reread this post and then compare it to what I have posted. Tell me anywhere in this post that matches the actions outlined by the husband in the other post.

    The problem is that the Bible makes no provision for altering the wifely submission command when the man is not behaving in the manner he should as a Christian husband. Your Bible does not even allow for her to divorce such a man so long as he has not committed adultery. That’s a recipe for a lifetime of nightmarish living conditions for all too many Christian woman (again, something I’ve personally observed among Christians I’m close to—it’s all too frighteningly common).

    • kcbob August 14, 2010 at 7:53 am

      Divorce is damaging to a family. God knew that when he made the statement “I hate divorce” (Malachi 2:16). While divorce may not be the immediate answer there are several things that a wife (or possibly even a husband) can do if in that situation. First and foremost, biblical counseling through a Bible based Church.

  3. David Ellis August 14, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Living with an abuser is more damaging than divorce. By far. Certainly one should do what one can to see if the abusive behavior can be changed and the relationship, husband to wife and parent to child, improved (preferably by seeing someone with real training in counseling)—so long as doing so does not endanger the wife or children.

    Abusive men often simply will not change. At some point one must say:

    “Enough is enough. I won’t put myself or my children through this any more.”

    And the Bible provides no provision for this. It’s morality is, despite being admirable in some places, still quite clearly imperfect. Unfortunately, your religion blinds you and others like you to the obvious.

    And wives and children suffer unnecessarily as a result.

    • kbthejesusfreak August 19, 2010 at 12:17 pm

      Interesting thoughts. Actually, the Bible makes some tiny room for divorce (very tiny, but room nonetheless)… what it doesn’t make room for is remarriage after divorce. God hates divorce, but He also loves people (Especially women and children)… Another viable option that would protect the woman and the children is legal seperation. Just a thought.

      • Ronnie November 1, 2010 at 11:34 pm

        I stumbled upon and read a couple of your blogs and I like what I’ve read. I wanna add a comment on the topic of marriage, based on the Word. I agree with you on this and I LOVE the fact that you base everything on the Word. Sometimes we can read something and it just doesn’t make sense to us, until we can better understand the heart of God. I myself have been divorced and have remarried and when I was going through my divorce, that of coarse was one of the hardest times of my life. When going through my divorce I had all sorts of things running through my head about the topic. First of all I want to point out that my wife was unfaithful and cheated on me with at least one man (that she admitted to). I believe there were more. I was willing to forgive her, and I did when she gave the ‘fake’ appology because she’d been caught, but, none the less, I forgave her in all honesty. Still, she left me for this other man and we got divorced. The bible does give permission for divorce for adultery, but no other reason. (Keeping in mind that God is forgiving of all sins.) I used to say things in relation to my ‘bad’ marriage like, “This isn’t a ‘marriage!’ She’s not a ‘wife!'” Those statements were based on my feelings. More and more and MORE I’m trying to train my mind every day to not lean on my feelings, but on the Word of God. If I, being a minister of the gospel, give a woman advice that she should divorce her husband when he hasn’t been unfaithful, I’m giving her advice that goes against the teachings of the bible, whether it feels right to me or not, ya know? Here’s a very, very power passage of scripture that can be applied to a ‘bad’ marriage.

        Psalms 15:1 asks the question, “Lord, who shall abide in Your tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Your holy hill?”
        Psalms 15:2-5 gives examples of who shall abide and who shall stand. I want to mention just one of them, in verse 4: “He that swears to his own hurt, and doesn’t change.”

        This means that I can abide in God’s tabernacle and live in His holy Hill, walking in His grace and favor by … keeping my vows and promises, even when they’re not to my profit. i.e., loving my wife unconditionally.

        My pastor was telling us that a woman and her husband were having marriage troubles and her husband was getting credit in her name, ruining her credit score and stuff. This particular pastor told the lady, “You’d better divorce him before he ruins your credit!” Where did he get his advice? From the Word??? No. Her marriage vows were “to death do us part,” “for better, for worse,” “for richer, for poorer,” “in sickness and in health,” forsaking all others and cleaving only to him,” etc., etc.
        My divorce went through and I’ve since remarried and we just celebrated our 1 year anniversary. Looking back I see things that I wish I would have handled much better, after the teachings of the Word. God had joined she and I together, and divorce brought death, a tearing of seperation, to the marriage and now Neva and I are ‘joined together.’ I’m sure the divorce would have still happened. The Word gives us the freedom and the right to divorce for adultery only, but still doesn’t encourage it, only allows it. I dealt with a lot of anger and was very bitter for a while. I attribute the plethora of that to the fact that I wasn’t being rooted and grounded in God’s Word but was letting my feelings and emotions get the best of me. Instead of continuing to show her my love even when she flat out rejected it, I was saying, “Psh, ‘ain’t puttin’ up with this! I’m filing for divorce!” See, what I was blinded to at that time was, I wasn’t divorcing her because of adultery. I had already forgiven her for that. …In all honesty, I should have stayed single and prayed for her to come back. This time last year I would have NEVER agreed to that. Once again, I am VERY happily married and it would be adultery for me to take my first wife back, BUT, that’s not the point I’m trying to make. The Godly thing to have done would be to… take it as a loss. Better to be faithful to God’s Word and stay single. Now, the bible does say that if the unbelieving husband/wife leave that the wife/husband isn’t bound in those cases. My ex now professes atheism, after preaching and leading worship with me for years. Whether she’s ‘saved’ or was never ‘saved’ or was ‘saved’ and now isn’t ‘saved,’ I can’t tell. She certainly isn’t a believer. Anyway, it’s kinda late and I’m rambling a little. I hope this verse in Psalms 15:4 helps shine some light on how we should biblically handle marriage/divorce, and not to take away from anything you said, only agree with it and give more supporting scripture. I do want to make this clear, too, that a wife should NEVER live in a house with a man who abuses her, mentally or physically, BUT in reguards to Psalms 15:4, she should honor her vow even to her own hurt. If divorce happens, it happens. God forgives. She should definately leave him, move in with a friend, file an order of protection, whatever she needs to do, but remain unmarried and and know that God is her provider, not man. God will honor her faithfulness to His Word in obedience.

        Some friends of ours came up about a month ago and they’ve been having marriage troubles. The husband was telling me that God had given him a ‘peace’ about the situation (divorce). I told him (in love and respect, of coarse) that acording to God’s Word, he should fight with all that he has to keep the marriage together. That God would never give Him a ‘peace’ to file for divorce from his wife, especially in those circumstances. They’d both cheated in times past, they’d both made their mistakes, and they’d both moved on. The just needed good, solid counselling in God’s Word, in humility, giving pride in the situation the boot! This generation has such a perverted perception of love. Love isn’t finding someone that makes you happy, satisifies you, completes you, takes care of you, etc. It’s finding someone that you want to make happy, that you want to satisify, that you want to complete, that you want to take care of, etc. Sure, it’s a 2-way street, but 1 Cor 13 says that love ‘seeks not her own.’ Love isn’t selfish. I was telling my friend to love his wife with all that he had. I told him to appologize for EVERY mistake that he’d every made in their 15 years of marriage. I told him that whether she forgives him or not, or whether she appologizes for her mistakes or not, for him to continue to stand his ground and love her like Christ loves him. That’s the advice from the Word. Advice NOT found in the Word is, “You might as well divorce her, she doesn’t love you anyway! She’s not treating you like a wife should treat you! She’s not this…. She’s not that…. Here’s what I think…. Here’s MY opinion….” We should always give what the Word says. That takes us soaking in God’s Word on a daily basis and becoming familiar with it! Ok, I’ll quit typing now! Once again, I really enjoyed your blog! You can check out mine if you want! God bless!


  4. kcbob December 3, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Ronnie this is very good insight into divorce. I couldn’t agree with you more. The key to all of this…is God’s Word. It is so simple to say, but so hard to live our lives by it. Typically, if it is easy…it probably isn’t being done right. One thing you said that struck home with me, about the husband that said he was given peace about divorce…it reminds me of my sister in law praying about moving in with a guy with whom she was not married. The key to prayer is praying within God’s Word. Praying for God to give you peace with Sin or anything contrary to His Word is by default wrong. Saying that you have been given peace through that prayer is simply Satan telling you what you want to hear.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: