What Biblical Submission in Marriage is Not and How it Saved My Marriage. Christian wife biblical submission. biblical submission quotes. submission in marriage. submission in marriage quotes. submission in marriage god. submission in marriage heart. Christian Marriage advice. Christian marriage quotes Hope for marriage. #Submission #ChristianMarriage #HopeJoyInChrist

What Biblical Submission in Marriage is Not and How it Saved My Marriage

What is Biblical Submission in Marriage?  How can submission have any place in a series on hope for marriage? If there is to be hope for marriage you have to be learning how to be a biblical wife. Sweet Christian Wife, like it or not submission, is a character trait of a godly wife

No, submission is a character trait of a godly person.  The problem is that we have a twisted understanding of submission – much like Tatiana of The Musings of Mum did.  Today she will share part of her story with us.  Her story is all about What Biblical Submission in Marriage is not and how it saved her marriage.

What Biblical Submission in Marriage is Not and How it Saved My Marriage

Years ago, my husband, mother, sister and I (Tatiana Adurias), were attending a wedding reception. When the gathering was coming to a close, the groom’s mother, asked the guests to join her in prayer over the new couple. Eighteen years later, I clearly remember how infuriated we were during that prayer. Her prayer was offensive, demeaning, and weak. At least that’s how we felt at the time.

The offense in her prayer? An incessant plea for biblical submission in marriage. In her prayer, the mother of the groom had requested the new bride “submit to her husband”, at least 31 times. I counted.

What Biblical Submission in Marriage is Not and How it Saved My Marriage PinIt. Christian wife biblical submission. biblical submission quotes. submission in marriage. submission in marriage quotes. submission in marriage god. submission in marriage heart. Christian Marriage advice. Christian marriage quotes Hope for marriage. #Submission #ChristianMarriage #HopeJoyInChrist

Afterward, we left the reception horrified. I was raised by a single mother, who was raised by a single mother. All the women in my life are forces to be reckoned with. Strong women. Women who submitted to no one.

On the way home, I asked my husband how he felt about “submission”, and to my delight, he completely agreed with me. He too was raised by a strong woman and saw submission as a sign of weakness.

Why is submission such a bad word?

The World’s definition of Submission vs the Biblical Submission Definition

The world’s definition of submission implies weakness. However, submission in the Bible calls us to submit on multiple occasions.

  • Biblical submission to authority:
    • We submit to government officials
    • Obey laws we sometimes disagree with.
    • We follow speed limits and understand their purpose is to keep us safe.

Christ was present at the time of creation and all things were created by Him (Colossians 1:16). Yet He submitted to the Father in heaven. Even the creator of all things, submitted.

The reason we see submission as a bad word now, apart from the enemy’s way of twisting every holy thing we know, is that it is rarely talked about outside of references to marriage.

Did you find this mid-series?  Go back and see what you missed on the Hope For Marriage Event Page

Jesus Submitted

God called all believers to submission but submission in marriage is all we focus on!

Yes, this post is about biblical submission in marriage and yes submission in marriage is in the Bible.  BUT…  whew, there is a but…  Marriage submission is just one example of submission.

What Does the Bible Say About Submission?

Google “Bible verses about submission to husband”. In the New Testament alone you will find 31 bible verses about submission but only 5 of those are Bible verses about submission to husband.

At the time, the Prodigal-living-in-the-world that I was, would have picked a fight with anyone quoting the words of Peter (one of the Bible verses about submission to your husband):

“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands (obey your own husbands *in other translations) so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives” (1 Peter 3:1  NASB)

In that verse is another word society doesn’t like. Obey/Submit.  That is the verse that helped me learn how to be a godly wife.

How Biblical Submission in Marriage Saved my Marriage

Complete and total submission to the Lord as well as to my husband, Biblical submission in Marriage, came 7 years later.  One year later, my husband, came to the Lord.

Remember what Peter said?

Without a word. Without nagging, complaining and criticizing, my unbelieving husband gave his life Christ!

For years, I had prayed for my husband to change. I prayed for the Lord to change his heart, for the Lord to pour His Spirit on him. Yet all I had to do, was to get out of the way.

Dancing with the One Your Love: Living Out Submission in the Real World is a good resource if you are struggling with Submission.

Friend, are you in the way? Are you hindering a blessing from the Most High?

Remember Jesus’ words in the garden:

“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
(Luke 22:42 NASB)

What Is Biblical Submission in Marriage

By now I hope you can see that Biblical submission in marriage is not weakness.  It’s not the only time a believer is to submit and Biblical submission it’s not becoming a doormat for an abusive husband.

What is Biblical Submission?

The word submission comes from the Greek word hupotassó. The Greek definition of submit is also used as a military term. It means to place or rank under, to subject.

We’re not talking about a rank of importance here, but a hierarchy of accountability.

In the book of Ephesians, Paul writes:

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of the water with the word, so that He might present the Church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25- 27 NASB)

Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church. Taking into account the full authority of the Bible, the church is to willingly submit, follow, heed, every command, so that we may be blameless.  Therefore, as godly wives, Biblical submission to our husbands must be voluntary.

Biblical submission is NOT a bad word.  Voluntary submission places a godly wife lovingly under the headship of Christ.

Biblical Submission in Marriage Looks like Respect to your husband

The Musings of Mum is giving away an amazing resource to help your Marriage.

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This is a book that helps us understand each other at a deeper level and see our most basic needs.  His needs – Respect.  Her needs – Love and security!

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What Biblical Submission In Marriage Is Not

We disagreed with that very memorable prayer – the one emphasizing biblical submission in marriage – because we misunderstood submission.  We pictured that poor bride submitting to her new husband’s every whim.

Then, we imagined an abusive relationship. A dictatorship actually, where she would forfeit all of her dreams and desires.

This is not the picture God paints of Biblical submission. Paul’s admonition begins with love.

“husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church…”

Now, think of how Christ loves you. Broken, flawed, you. The you that has on more than one occasion turned your back from His relentless love. His fierce love.

The man, God gave you, is called to love you like that.  However, submission is not putting your husband’s will and authority above that of Christ.

A Challenge to Submit

In today’s society, a submissive wife is a thing of the past. In its effort to empower women, the feminist movement has emasculated men.  Submissive wives are no longer the norm or even the exception.

Friend, you are called to submit to the man God gave you.

Godly submission will revolutionize your marriage. My marriage is not perfect, and I don’t claim to agree with every decision my husband has made or will make in the future. However, I will follow his lead.  I will honor his position and respect his God-given responsibility to lead.

I challenge you to godly submission and prayer today. You will reap more blessings than you can imagine. Are you ready?

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Tatiana Adurias

Tatiana is a follower of Jesus, married to the love of her life, and mum to one boy and five girls. Her mission is to inspire, encourage and equip mothers, to raise children who long to walk with Jesus by giving them the tools and resources to teach their children to defend their faith in Christ, and to reach the next generation with the power of the gospel. She blogs about motherhood, home education and organized living at The Musings of Mum.

31 thoughts to “What Biblical Submission in Marriage is Not and How it Saved My Marriage”

  1. I think for me, I feel like submission invalidates my feelings or thoughts or ideas… I realize the fallacy with this, but it is hard for me to move past…

    1. Yes Molly! I struggle with that too… I don’t want to be a door mat… to be walked all over. But God (My favorite phrase now) has been showing me that He sees me, He hears me, He has plans for my life… I am learning to lean into Him and see Submission as His way of taking the pressure and responsibility of life off my shoulders… and He puts it on His shoulders – especially when hubby makes a choice that is not good (maybe not even godly). I am learning to Trust God to have us and be our safety net. He is Faithful and Trustworthy… I have to remind myself almost daily. Praying for all of us in this today!

  2. Tatiana, you shine such a beautiful light on something that is so often misunderstood. Thank you for walking us through and encouraging us in God’s definition of submission. It is something I think many of us struggle with. It has been looked at incorrectly for so long that we often give up and pile it in the corner of our hearts. What a blessing this was to read!

    1. Yes it’s a struggle! Especially when you’re surrounded by strong women everywhere. It’s still something I can’t discuss with two of my sisters. Both single moms, and proud of it.

  3. God bless you for this write up.
    The Amplified Bible puts 1st Peter 3:1 this way: “In the same way, you wives, be [a]submissive to your own husbands [subordinate, not as inferior, but out of respect for the responsibilities entrusted to husbands and their accountability to God, and so partnering with them] so that even if some do not obey the word [of God], they may be won over [to Christ] without discussion by the godly lives of their wives,”

  4. My husband wants me to do fasting(for spiritual reasons) eventhough I am diabetic. Am I supposed to even if it means risking compications?

    1. Hi Carla, I love that hubby is initiating this with you! It is refreshing. I am a huge proponent of fasting because it helps us draw near to God – and get real answers. I would say though that you should talk to him about other things to fast from beside food. Check out this article I wrote as I explored Fasting that Pleases God earlier this year. The bible speaks of fasting from sweets or oils or sex… anything that consumes our time and thoughts can be given up for a time to seek God. https://hopejoyinchrist.com/fast-pray-pleases-god/ I love that our God is not about Rules… He is about our hearts. Fasting is giving up something in order to draw near to His heart and He will honor that whether it is food or facebook. (Honestly, Facebook was harder for me than food… ) Just some thoughts and know that I will be praying for you as you walk through this!

  5. I appreciate the post, but how do you continue to submit to an abusive unfaithful spouse? I know this problem in my marriage isn’t greater than God’s mighty will… I’m trying to keep my covenant with God….

    1. When there is abuse or an affair or abandonment it is critical that you seek help outside your marriage. Submitting to your husband does not mean allowing sin. When those types of sin – that are clear grounds for divorce- emerge you can still work on your marriage if that is God’s will, but you will need counseling and firm boundaries to protect yourself through the process.

    2. Kim, when wives are called to submit in 1 Peter 3, husbands are called to honor their wives. Abusive and unfaithful behaviour is sin, and not God honoring. Biblical marriage counseling may help, I’ve seen it happen, but please don’t wait, especially if the abuse is physical. Praying for you sister.

  6. This idea of submission is so different from what I associate that word with. It’s so interesting to read and think about another perspective.

    1. I think we’re conditioned to see submission as weakness, and denial of self. One of the comments above quoted the amplified Bible version, I love how submission is spelled out on there.

  7. Yes! Really enjoyed this perfect reminder. I, too, struggle with the idea of submission, especially coming from a single parent household. It’s a process and the layers have to be pulled back but I couldn’t agree that it is rewarding and not to mention what it does to our own hearts. Blessings, this encouraged me. 💕

  8. I am late coming to these articles. I hope you are still notified when comments are posted. I feel that I am in an unusual set of circumstances. My husband has learning disability, long-term physical injury and mental (mood) disorders (OCD, anxiety) for which he is medicated. He is on full time disability and does not work. He does not feel a responsibility or the desire to be a “leader” of our family. The strong female role models in his childhood years taught him that he didn’t have to do anything for himself. They coddled and babied him, pampering and providing for his every whim. Today, at nearly 50 years old and 25 years of marriage, he remains passive, apathetic and at times downright aggressive towards any idea that challenges him to be responsible for even the smallest of tasks. He does not view himself as capable of leading and making decisions, primarily because he is unable to read, write or spell very well. Yet, he screams that I don’t respect him. I have been forced to carry all of the leadership burdens (spiritually, emotionally, and financially) for nearly our entire marriage. So, how do you submit to the authority of a husband that refuses to lead?

    1. This is such a great question, Renae. How do you respect and submit to a husband who is not leading or loving well? This is so hard but it is more common than you might think. God calls men to lead and to love as He leads and loves but HE doesn’t then give us an out unless there is infidelity, abandonment, or abuse… which is infuriating. What GOD does tell us over and over again is that He provides for us, supplies all our needs… so when your husband isn’t fulfilling his part of the covenant it’s important for us to lean into God to take care of us, respect God, submit to God, treating your husband in the way that you would treat other Christians – with love and respect and encouragement.

      It’s hard because when he doesn’t live up to our needs and expectations what we want is an out or to make him feel as bad as we do… but Scripture doesn’t give us permission to treat others badly. God even goes as far as to tell us to love our enemy and those who use us… That’s tough.

      Now all that to say, there are still times we have difficult conversations and step into counseling to get outside help. I’ve been to counseling many times alone – because he only agrees to come when we are at rock bottom and he sees it – and it’s always helpful.

      Today I am praying over you and this situation, for God’s peace and wise direction and hope and healing.

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