Here’s how it starts:
If you want to have a lively discussion, just ask this question at your next dinner party, “Do you think a wife is supposed to submit to her husband?” For many couples, whether they are Christian or not, submission is an archaic, irrelevant idea. It worked well in the 1950s but today many women are bringing home more money than their husbands. How does submission work then?
The Biblical command to wives has not changed through the centuries to accommodate shifts in the culture. The Christian household is to be characterized by two people who prefer one another and consider the well being of the other spouse. In Ephesians 5:21, we’re told to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” It goes on to say in the next verse, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” This command is repeated in Colossians 3:18 and 1 Peter 3:1 and the wives are always instructed to act first.
Submission is not about worth, equal rights or ability. It’s more about roles, attitudes and divine order. The dictionary defines submission as the condition of being humble or compliant, and an act of submitting to the authority of another. When I was a teenager, my pastor Glen Cole served as a vibrant role model of a successful marriage. He went to be with the Lord on Valentine’s Day last year. He and his wife were happily married for 58 years. A few months before his passing, I asked him about the role of submission.