The word “submission” is made from two Greek words: hupo, which means “under”, and tasso, which means “an orderly manner, appoint”. So the word submission literally means “to live in an orderly, appointed manner under headship”. When the Bible instructs a wife to submit, it means that God has appointed a wife to live under the leadership of her husband in a God-ordered manner.
Many women fear submission. They may think submission means they are somehow less worthy or less loved by God than a man is. Or because of abuse or mistreatment by a male authority figure, a woman may think submission is a bad thing and should be resisted.
But God understands better than we can the special way He created a woman. She is unique, and as a different makeup and role than a man. A woman is more tender and sensitive; she is “weaker” (1 Pet 3:7), which means more vulnerable to attack because of her lesser physical strength. Thus, God provided a way for women – His daughters (2 Cor 6:18) – to be loved, cared for and protected. And He charged husbands to fulfill this role.
Sadly, many men do not understand the role God has given them as husbands. They may not properly love or care for their wives. At the same time, many women do not understand how to receive their husband’s love and leadership. They may fail to encourage, support or help him. This misunderstanding of the biblical roles of husband and wife is the ca use of much heartache and disillusionment in marriage.
PUTTING ASIDE UNGODLY INCLINATIONS
God commanded the husband to love his wife; He also commanded the wife to submit to her husband. These commands are repeated several times in the Bible (Eph 5:22-28; Col 3:18,19; 1 Pet 3:1-7).
In the natural, fleshly realm, a man’s first instinct is not to love someone else; it is to think of his own desires first. Thus, the Bible reminds a husband repeatedly that he is to love his wife. A godly man will choose to “crucify” his own fleshly desires (Gal 5:24), and instead obey the spiritual commands of God to love his wife.
A woman’s natural, fleshly inclination is to want to control, not to submit. She was originally created to co-rule with man. But after the Fall, she was to be subject to God’s order of authority, and be led by her husband. God warned her, “your desire shall be for your husband” (Gen 3:16). In other words, her fallen, sinful nature would desire to have the man’s position of authority. So the Bible repeatedly reminds a wife to submit to her husband. A godly wife should no longer give place to her fleshly inclinations to control or resist her husband. She should instead obey God’s command to submit and receive her husband’s God appointed leadership in her life.
TRUSTING IN GOD
A wife must remember that it is God Who established the role of the husband as the authority over her. A husband does not earn this responsibility; he is commanded by God to lead and serve his wife in this way.