Question: My husband constantly tells me I have to submit to him. There are times I seriously disagree with his decisions. What do I do? Joyce in Illinois
Answer: It isn't easy but submission is an important discipline in the spiritual life. It teaches us that we don’t have to have our own way and that some things are more important than our rights (like unity and the good of another person (Ephesians 4:2-3; 1 Corinthians 10). However, biblical submission isn’t only for woman and wives. All believers are called to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:1), to authority (1 Peter 2:13) and to God (James 4:7).
Like the command to love our enemies, submission is difficult. Therefore it's always good to check your own heart attitude and ask yourself whether you are thinking too highly of yourself (Romans 12:3) and/or believing you’re always right or have to have your own way. Do you need to learn to submit as a part of yielding more fully to God?
But please understand this important point. Being the head in a marriage doesn’t give your husband the right to make all the decisions or always get his own way. That’s not biblical headship, the bible calls it selfishness and a misuse of his authority.
One final point, biblical submission is something only the one doing the submitting can chose to do. It can’t be forced anymore than love can be forced. Your husband can’t demand you submit or force you to do it. That isn’t submission, it’s coercion or worse.
Husband’s are equally commanded to sacrificially love their wives and do them good (Ephesians 5). When both partners in a marriage sacrificially give up their own way for the good of the other person, the marriage thrives and it a beautiful picture of Christ and the church. When only one person obeys God in this regard, the relationship can become unbalanced and unhealthy.
To download a free article on Biblical Submission, Headship and the Misuse of Authority visit Leslie’s home page at www.leslievernick.com