Andrew and I have been married for twenty-two years now. Being that I’m a year older than my husband that makes me the boss right? (*smirk*) In this day in age twenty-two years under the belt is no small feat. However, before it sounds as if I’m just tooting my own horn, let me say that we’ve made our mistakes, had our blow outs, and learned some things the hard way. It shouldn’t be this way, but marriage seems to have a learning curve. However, when you learn, you really learn, and if you don’t, here’s where things begin to go a little sideways.
In our modern world, It’s almost a given that these words to ‘honor and obey’, more specifically, ‘obey’, will be unappealing, and possibly even appalling to a great deal of modern women–That is, when it’s understood incorrectly. This word once made me cringe as well, and to be honest, I don’t remember the word ‘obey’ in our wedding vows (Convenient right?) Andrew guarantees me that it was. (Haha!) However, when all is said and done obeying actually works out to be a beautiful thing.
The word obey in this sense, and even in the way that we obey God, means to submit, but it’s a willing submission, rooted in the understanding of the freedom we find in it, rather than the threat of punishment. What I mean to say here is that submission is not the other end of a brow beating. This is not what the true picture of a marriage should look like. Submission, however, does require humility. This means setting aside your pride. Pride does have a tendency to cause friction in any relationship. As followers of Christ were are called to humble ourselves. Jesus Himself said that it is the meek who shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).
Why would anyone willingly submit? Because submission creates peace and stability in the home. Without submission conflict is inevitable. Plus were instructed to do so. Submitting to your husbands is submitting to God.
What does submission really look like? Submission can look like a whole host of things from the simpler acts of kindness, attentiveness, and respect, to things that may take greater effort like patience, compromising and even possibly long suffering. Submission sets a marriage up for better communication and connectivity, which in the long run creates a happier and healthier home environment. Most importantly, it’s an act of obedience towards God.
“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.” Ephesians 5:22 NIV