In Part one we looked at the design of marital submission and how submitting to one another is essential to a marriage that not only lasts, but also shows respect to the father and glorifies Him in all we do. Here in Part two I want to unpack what it looks like to “mutually submit” to each other in our marriages. Keep in mind, before we move forward, that it is not our place to point out what our spouse should be doing to submit in our marriages. I feel the biggest mistake we can make as wives is to try and change our husbands in the name of scripture. As wives we need to focus on ourselves, pray and let the Great I Am work in our husbands hearts. Nagging gets us no where, prayer gets us God everywhere. Believe me when I say, we need the Father Yahuah in every aspect of our marriage.
What does mutual submission look like? Ephesians 5:22-30 explains:
22 Wives, be subject [a]to your own husbands, as [a service] to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as Christ is head of the church, Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives should be subject to their husbands in everything [respecting both their position as protector and their responsibility to God as head of the house].
25 Husbands, love your wives [seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love], just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify the church, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word [of God], 27 so that [in turn] He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy [set apart for God] and blameless. 28 Even so husbands should and are morally obligated to love their own wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own body, but [instead] he nourishes and protects and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members (parts) of His body.
Simple right? In all reality, it truly is very simple. It all comes down to love and respect. As wives who love Christ we are to respect and love our husbands just as we do Christ. The same applies to husbands who love Christ. They are to love and give themselves up for their wives so that they are sanctified. They are to love their wives as they love their own selves. Both are morally obligated to do so when they enter into the holy covenant of marriage yet both can easily fall into the snares of the devil when they spend more time noticing what the other does wrong instead working on what they can do right in the eyes of the Father.
Mutual submission is husbands loving their wives self-sacrificially and wives following the leadership of their husbands. This design is flawless. Deep down our desires and needs are met this way. Women desire love. men desire respect. When a wife respects her husband his natural response will be love. When a wife acknowledges the husbands place as head of the household and respects his position without telling him how to do it and amazing thing happens: he begins to show more love. When a husband nourishes and protects his wife and shows her love her respect for him builds. A proper marriage of mutual submission looks like a beautiful circle of love and respect flowing through the marital union every single day.
I have often heard wives say, “If he will show me love, then I will show him respect. He doesn’t deserve it until he shows me he loves me.” My response to this is NO! My sweet friends, unless he is abusing you, be the one to show respect first. Be the one to break the unending cycle of “until you deserve it”. None of us are deserving of anything. We are all sinners. We all fall short. Someone needs to respect the Father enough to stand strong and say ” I will respect you whether you deserve it or not because I respect my Father and in my marriage I will reflect His love and glorify Him.”
Will it be easy? No. Husbands and wives can make it very difficult for each other to desire to break the “worthy” cycle. Will it be worth it? Absolutely! Following God’s design always reaps reward. Imagine what your marriage can look like a week from now, 6 months from now or years from now when you are in tune with and following the Father’s design for your marriage!
I believe the key to a successful marriage begins with a submissive wife. In Part 3 I will explore what a submissive wife is and how her attitude toward submission and godly design for her marriage can literally change the course of the marital future.