We continue today with my final post in the series. (Again, if you are just reading this post, you may want to go back and read Part 1 and Part 2 of Imitating Christ Through Marriage). As we continue looking at the role of husbands and wives in marriage, we will now examine the submission and humility of a Godly wife (Ephesians 5:22-33). It’s a shame, but the words submission or humility have such a negative connotation. I suppose they do because it’s hard to submit to another imperfect person. But the Bible, in Ephesians 4:1-3, asks us to do just that. And for wives, that means submission to their husbands as to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22).
That’s not the message we are receiving though. The world preaches that women and men alike should take hold of the control, power, and independence that is rightfully theirs. We are constantly told to look out for ourselves, to seek our own happiness, to do whatever we feel like doing. In 1 John 2:15-16 we are warned of this very thing. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life- comes not from the Father but from the world.”
So wives really only have two responses in marriage. They can choose between pride and humility. They can choose to imitate the world or imitate Christ. Godly submission in marriage can be such a beautiful thing but it can be ruined when wives dig in their heels and allow pride to take over. A proud wife is more worried about being right or defensive or angry. A humble wife, a wife after God’s own heart, is more concerned with honoring God and her husband. And in doing so, she brings glory to both. Speaking from a man’s point of view, a humble, loving wife is the most attractive woman in the world.
I realize much of what we’ve discussed is hard. It goes against how the world around us tells us to behave. But wives, if you want to follow Jesus, you most definitely do not want to fit in with the world. Following are some examples of what Christ-like humility and submission look like:
- Always submit to God first. If submitting to your husband means disobeying God, don’t do it (Acts 5:29).
- God has carefully designed marriage. Going against his plan for submission is going directly against God. Follow him and his will.
- Remember, when submitting to your husband, you are submitting to an imperfect person. Husbands don’t always act or deserve to be the leader but it is a God-given position nonetheless. Husbands need your grace and mercy just as much as you need theirs.
- Know that before your marriage, Jesus submitted to the authority of God (John 6:38). He is your example when submitting to your husband.
While this institution of marriage may be difficult at times, it can be the most fruitful relationship we have on this earth. God has truly blessed us with the idea of a man and a woman created for each other. We can use our marriages to imitate Christ and model his love for the church to those in the world who desperately need to see what real love looks like. Finally, we can fulfill the true definition of discipleship by learning to love one another with a perfect, Godly love.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”