Being born and brought up in a functional Christian home coupled with the fact that I was 25 years old with two degrees at the time I got married, I thought I was matured enough and ready for marriage and that my marriage would not have many if any major challenges – but boy was I mistaken. The truth is, you can never be completely prepared for your marriage. First of all, you don’t actually know what you’re getting into since you would have never lived with your husband prior to your marriage (in an ideal situation), neither would you have seen any marriage identical to what you and your husband will have because no two marriages are the same. Your marriage will not be exactly like your parents’ or anyone else’s.
Nonetheless, as Christians, the Word of God equips us for this journey (the longest journey of your life lol). Since marriage was designed and orchestrated by God, He is the only one who knows how to make a great marriage. Therefore, I believe that the most important thing we need for marriage is the WILLINGNESS to learn more about our role in marriage from God’s word and the COMMITMENT to continuously adapt ourselves in accordance with the word of God especially when we face challenges. So, in fact, your age does not determine your readiness for marriage, it is a willing spirit to learn more and accept your role in the marriage.
In a Christian marriage, both spouses are equal, yet we have been given different roles for the purpose of order in the family. Among the duties of a wife in the bible is that of submission. This has been a hot topic for decades. Most people consider submission as a negative word which puts women under the feet of their husbands, but true submission is empowering and fulfilling. Remember that, Christ completely submitted himself to the will of God and God exalted him and gave him the name above every other name, Philippians 2:5-9. Ladies, God loves us and trust Him that everything he asks you to do, including submitting to your husband, is for your good and His glory. I’m certain we are familiar with Ephesians 5:22 which states; Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord (KJV). The Amplified version puts it even more clearly, it states; Wives, be subject to your own husbands as a service to the Lord.
To submit means to intentionally and willingly subject yourself, to make yourself secondary, to be totally selfless towards your husband and to adapt to your husband. We must adapt ourselves to our husband’s decisions, his career, his preferences and the call of God on his life. Submission is also recognising and respecting the responsibility of your husband’s position and his accountability to God. Before I got married, I didn’t think that I would have a problem submitting to my husband, but I soon realized how difficult submission is because no one likes to make themselves secondary to anyone.
Honestly, sometimes our husbands don’t deserve our submission. Sometimes they are insensitive, harsh and unhelpful. Sometimes they don’t do what they are supposed to, and they can be very mean. But God in his infinite wisdom knew this and he adds in Ephesians 5:22 that we should submit to our husbands as a service to God. Therefore, we don’t submit because of our husbands; we submit even when they don’t deserve it because of Christ who is our Lord.
This was a personal struggle for me in the beginning of our marriage. I would often only submit to my husband when I felt what he was doing was right or when I agreed with him. But that’s not what God says. We submit regardless. Just as our husbands cannot demand submission from us before they love us, we cannot force our husband to be the head and love us like Christ does before we submit. You can only pray for him and ask for the attendant grace to remain in submission. These days I try to submit as much as I can. I try not to argue with him when I don’t agree, instead, I pray for my husband and ask God to show him what’s best for us and to help him to be a good head. This is definitely not easy, but it is worth it.
Wives, this doesn’t mean that we cannot discuss with our husbands or express our opinions on matters. In fact we must discuss issues and give godly counsel to our husbands. Even God says in Isaiah 1:18 that “Come now, let us reason together (KJV)”and in NLT “Come now, let us settle this matter”, Other versions say “Come, let’s discuss this”.
Dear single ladies, because you ought to submit to your husband in everything, it is very important to choose a man who accepts the headship of Christ over his life. Although people can change later in marriage, to the best of your capability, be careful to choose a man who leads the family by submitting himself to Christ.
It may seem like the role of wives is a daunting one. But, the wife’s role is a walk in the park compared to the husband’s roles. A husband is supposed to be to his wife what Christ is to the church. Look…this is not easy! Christ is a saviour to the church. He provides for the church, he covers and protects the church and he even gave his life for the church. A man must love his wife in this same way giving himself up for her according to Ephesians 5:25. So next time you think you have a difficult role, remember how your husband must walk in the shoes of Christ! Submission from the wife is definitely possible. It will take a lot of practice and work and trusting God to get there but it is possible. It may even take the rest of our lives to perfect submission but if it’s God’s will, it’s worth it.
Are husbands supposed to submit to their wives too? Absolutely! A husband must consider himself secondary to his wife. In Ephesians 5:21, We are encouraged to submit to one another in the fear of God. A husband ought to submit himself to giving his wife divine and unconditional love (Ephesians 5:25) and to understanding and honouring his wife 1 Pet 3:7. Husbands are also encouraged in Ecclesiastes 9:9 to live joyfully with their wives. Be happy and make your wives happy too. In fact, this command of submission from a husband to his wife repudiates the idea accepted by most societies and culture that men are supposed to dominate over their wives.
Finally, dear wives your marriage can be so enjoyable. No matter how harsh and unreasonable your husband is, you can win your husband over by being a better wife. In other words, if your husband is being harsh to you, leave him to God and take advantage of that to become a better woman rather than being angry and depressed. May God give us the grace to be committed to our roles in marriage.
Author: Sarah Coomson-Botchey