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Submission as an Act of Worship


Submission is a sweet, undeserved gift we can give to our husbands because we have a great love and trust for the Lord.  #submission @mferrell

Would you think of your submission to your husband as an act of worship to the Lord? To be perfectly honest it’s not the first thing that comes to my mind. When I’m reminded that my submission to my husband is to be voluntary and is not dependent on his behavior, then I can see how it is an act of worship and obedience to the Lord in his calling for me as a wife.

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. ~ Ephesians 5:22-24

Submission is a sweet, undeserved gift we can give to our husbands because we have a great love and trust for the Lord. 

Submission is a sweet, undeserved gift we can give to our husbands because we have a great love and trust for the Lord. Click to Tweet

Even the best of husbands who are easy to submit to most days will not be that way every day. So how can we have hearts that are ready to submit even when it’s challenging? When our husbands don’t seem deserving? The reminder that I have to come back to is that it is the Lord’s will for me to submit, not my husbands.

If you’ve been following along with the podcast series on marriage, my husband joined us last week in sharing on the theology of submission. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing on what submission is and isn’t on the marriage series so I’d love you to listen in if you haven’t joined us yet. (You can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite app here.)

It’s been helpful for me to camp in these areas of love, respect and submission as these are specific areas of responsibility in scripture that the Lord calls us to toward our husbands.

There is much joy in being obedient to God’s Word and that joy carries over into our marriages when we follow God’s plan for our marriage. It doesn’t mean it will be easy, but as we look to Jesus, I hope our hearts will find delight in honoring and serving Him in every area of our lives.

Hearts and Minds Prepared for Submission:

Spend time in the Word and prayer. When you are enjoying time with the Lord obedience to His Word becomes a natural outflow from the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds.

Pray for the Lord to give you a right heart attitude towards submission and help when it is challenging.

Jesus is a beautiful example of submission not just to God but to his earthly parents. We have not been left without an example.

Pray for your husband as the leader of your family. Ask the Lord to give him wisdom and guidance. Here is a prayer for my husband that I keep in my prayer journal. 

Be reminded of the example you are setting for your children and others of what a biblical marriage looks like. What is your life modeling to them?

Lastly, but the most important may we be reminded of Christ’s example of submission to the Father as He went to the Cross to die for our sins and give us true freedom from the bondage of sin. If you’re struggling, be reminded of my husband sharing thoughts on Philippians 2:1-11. Pray over those scriptures in your prayer time. Memorize them so you can meditate on them throughout your day. Jesus is our ultimate example of humble submission lived out.

Trusting the Lord:

As we trust the Lord in submitting to our husbands He will give us the strength and grace to obey. Our Lord is sovereign over every aspect of our lives. There is nothing that happens in our lives that is without purpose. There are challenging situations and I know I can’t even imagine some of the difficulties in each of your marriages out there but I know God’s promises are true. I know we can only see this messy side of the tapestry and not the beautiful finished work on the other side that our Lord is working through each of our lives.

If you are in Christ, He is truly working all things out for your good and His glory (Romans 8:28). Be reminded that He is holding fast to you and there are true joy and peace in obedience to His ways. We don’t know what He is working in the lives of our husband through our joyful submission.

Joy in Submission:

Martha Peace in The Excellent Wife gives us four biblical principles concerning the wife’s submission and joy. She reminds us that submission of a godly wife should not be looked at as just a duty but her heart’s delight. We’re reminded there is great joy in obeying God’s commands.

  1. Joy results from trusting and obeying God’s Word. (Psalm 119:111)
  2. Joy results from knowing that God is working to accomplish His purpose even in difficult circumstances. (James 1:2)
  3. Joy results from following the example of the Lord Jesus in difficult times. (Hebrews 12:2)
  4. Joy results from a Spirit-filled life. (Colossians 3:16)

“You should therefore commit yourself to learning submission, not with a dread of what is to come but with an anticipation of how you can best glorify your Lord. This is God’s ordained purpose for you. He has created an orderly world, and He alone has the sovereign right to determine how He wants you (as part of His creation) to glorify Him.

~ Martha Peace, The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective

Sometimes we forget that submission is the way all believers, male and female, are called to respond to God. By the grace of God, you can respond to your husband in a way that is kind and gentle and gracious. It is very natural for us to respond harsh and unkind in our flesh.

Pray for a heart to have a gentle and submissive spirit towards the Lord and your husband. As Martha Peace stated:

“It is the heart of God for you.”


Related Resources:

Podcast Episode 37: What is Biblical Submission (with guest Doug Ferrell)

Marriage Series at the Podcast

The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective by Martha Peace