1Pe 2:13 Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,
Eph 5:21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives and Husbands Eph 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
In my last article I spoke on how submission to authority is a must for one to live a godly life and be great in the Kingdom of God. I wanted to add a little to that in this blog but come at it more from the marriage relationship.
It is common for feminists to decry any form of submission of the wife to her husband as indicating that she is in some way inferior to him. In part many men have reinforced this idea because they treat women as inferior. But in actuality this is a fundamental error in thinking and in understanding what the Bible is after when it tells wives to submit to their husbands. There is never in God’s Word any indication that women are ontologically inferior to men; that is in their humanity they are different than men but equal as human beings. Their submission is for order in society and their protection; it is not a statement that men are superior and neither is it a statement that men can always do a better job at things that they are to lead in.
Feministic ideas fail because at their heart is the refusal to submit to any authority and especially God’s. They are inconsistent because they don’t apply their rebellion equally when it comes to authority. For example, does the fact that we are all commanded to obey the government mean that we are inferior to government officials? Is the employee inferior to his boss? No, and it is not unusual for a boss to be incompetent or at least unable to do his job better than some of his employees. But the fact is that everyone can’t be the boss, everyone can’t be the foreman, the President, or the school teacher. And in the same way the home needs a leader and God has given the husband and father that responsibility. Whether his wife can do some of it better has nothing to do with who is to be the head of the home. If a man is a good leader he will recognize when his wife is more or at least as gifted as he is in some area and give her the freedom to help him. It is just like a good boss looks for those under him who can help him do his job and why a good President fills his Cabinet with people who are more qualified than him in certain areas. As a leader his job is to make it all work for the good of the country.
A godly wife understands that she has been given her husband’s leadership from the Lord for her good and even though it is sometimes difficult to obey him, she does so within the biblical parameters because anarchy and butting heads is good for no one. If her husband makes her feel inferior then that is on him and as the leader he will answer for that and this gives us all the ability to suffer under bad leadership. I might be able to run the country better than the President but I am not the President so my job is to submit and the same goes for a wife even as we understand that each sphere of authority the submission is different and there aren’t one to one correlations. In other words, the authority and consequences of rebellion are different from government to school to work place to home.
Someone put it well. “For a marriage to be what it should be both spouses need to love the same Man, the God/Man Christ Jesus. Without that both leadership and submission is much more likely to be guided by selfishness." This is especially true for the husband who is to lead for the good of his wife. To fail here will lead to unneeded stress in the relationship at best and tyranny and abuse at worst.
A good illustration of this is when Jesus impresses on Peter the need for him to feed the sheep in John 21. He doesn’t try to motivate Peter by asking if Peter loved the sheep; he asks three times if he loved his Lord. Joh 21:17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. If Peter loves the Lord he will take his responsibility to tend the sheep much more seriously than if he saw the sheep as existing for himself.
Here is a fundamental lesson for all of us. Keep our love for the Lord warm and our love and interaction with others will be where it needs to be.