Mutual Submission

by David J. Stewart

Before I share with you this life changing truth, I would like to first look at a few Biblical principles. There is a great misunderstanding amongst feminist groups, as well as among many other groups and people in society today. This misunderstanding involves the proper God-instituted role of a man and a woman in marriage. Many women think that the Bible gives a husband the right to be a dictator, or a slave keeper; however, nothing could be further from the truth. Most men do NOT understand the Bible’s clear teaching on mutual submission. Do you mean that the man should sometimes submit to his wife? Absolutely! I will get to this teaching later; for now, please keep reading. 

Wives

       Firstly, The Bible is clear that a man is to be the head of his own home. The wife is to be obedient to the husband. There can be no arguments here if you believe the Bible.

“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body” (Ephesians 5:23). 

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands…” (1st Peter 3:1). 

“To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:5). 

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan” (1st Timothy 5:14,15). 

It is a shame to hear a wife criticize and tear down her husband in her conversation with others; this is wrong. The Scriptures are clear that a wife is to OBEY her husband.

“Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement” (1st Peter 3:6). 

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing” (Ephesians 5:24). 

“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves…”(Hebrews 13:17). 

Wedding vows used to include the phrase, “and to obey” on the bride’s part; it is rare to hear these words in a wedding today. It is not old-fashioned to believe that a wife should obey her husband; it is the right way! It is God’s way!

Husbands

Many women are militant feminists because they have seen too many men abuse their role as the husband.  God actually has much more to say to the husband than he does to the wife. Listen to what the Bible has to say to the husband…

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). 

God commands the husband to love his wife. The word “love” here means, “to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly.” Hence, a man is to give his wife the attention, respect, admiration and the cheering up she needs. 

“Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them” (Colossians 3:19). 

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1st Peter 3:7). 

 It is wrong for a man to be a tyrant towards his wife. A husband is to be loving, kind and considerate. So many men today are woefully ignorant of the Bible.

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband” (1st Corinthians 7:3).

The word “benevolence” means, “goodwill, kindness.” “Goodwill” means, “a disposition to kindness and compassion.” Hence, the husband is to be a nice guy!  He’s not to be a tyrant jerk. God COMMANDS the husband to be kind and compassionate. This is the wife’s “DUE” treatment. A husband is not supposed to bring his job frustrations home with him to take out on the wife.  The husband is to deal with the wife “according to knowledge” the Bible says (1 Peter 3:7).  This means use your head guys, you’re in charge!   You get more bears with honey. 

Some fellas are just plain selfish and rotten towards their wives. My father used to buy my mom cleaning supplies for Christmas. Though she never complained, he didn’t treat her very nice. A husband should love and value his wife. “Honor” means “to value” in the Bible. A man who values his wife WILL treat her with dignity and respect. Some men are complete pigs at home. Unless your wife is a pig also, I’m sure she would appreciate your better manners. 

Likewise, the wife is to show kindness and compassion on the husband. A man told me he was out front of his house cutting the grass. He was sweating. He asked his wife if she’d get him a drink of water.  She said, “Get it yourself!” How wicked! How rebellious! If this is you, I pity you on judgment day. A wife is to give “DUE” kindness and compassion to the husband. Surely a hug, drink, slippers and something to eat are not too much to ask if your man goes to work for you. Fellas, if your wife works—you should split the housework accordingly. 
 

 Mutual Submission

  I’m now going to share with you the truth of the matter and I think you’ll be amazed.

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:21). 

The honest truth is that the husband is also commanded by God to submit to the wife. Yes, the man is the head of his home; however, he is supposed to yield to his wife’s requests and wishes whenever possible—this is love. Many men think that the wife is to be a slave, having no will of her own. This is untrue! The Bible never teaches that submission is a one-way street. This is what the Bible says. I believe that a loving husband will yield to the wife’s wishes 95% of the time; however, for that 5% area where the husband feels he knows best, the wife is to submit to the husband. It basically means that the wife gives the husband veto power over her life. This should not be a problem if the husband is a godly man. A godly man is a kind and compassionate man!

        The problems arise when the husband is not fulfilling his role and responsibility as a man. Too many husbands expect their wife to obey, but then they provoke their wives to anger by not being kind, respectful and considerate. On the other hand; some wives are abusive; no matter how much the husband gives, the wife takes and takes and takes. My pastor used to say from the pulpit,” If either one of you were a good Christian, there would be no arguments.” He use to also say, “It takes two to tango.” 

       I only included this truth on mutual submission because I believe that many folks have gotten the wrong idea about all this. Yes, the man is to be the head of his home. Yes, the wife is to give her husband “veto power” over her life.” However, a godly and loving husband will not try to manipulate and control his wife. A wife is not to be kept in a cage. The husband is to love his wife, encourage her, brag on her, and build her up. The wife is to do the same for the husband. Marriages could be revolutionized if couples across America would take this truth to heart.  

       The same principle applies to the employer/employee relationship. The employer should allow the employees to have their way most of the time; however, at times the employer will have to say, “I’m sorry, but you cannot do that.” The employees are to submit to the employer, and then a good employer will submit to the employees—but the employees must submit first. 

Likewise, a wife is to submit to her husband, and then the husband submits to the wife—but the wife must submit first. A wife is more likely to submit to a husband that allows her to do things her way most of the time. An employee is more likely to submit to the desires of management if management allows the employees to have their own way most of the time. Whether it is a marriage, a family, a church, or a business; this is God’s method for management—mutual submission.

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:21).