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Ephesians 5:21-22 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”


By Cynthia Bailey-Rug


          I will be the first to admit, I don’t like verse 22.  I never have, and probably never will.  I think the main reason for my feelings is because so many in the church have preached it to death.  And, so many preach only on the importance of being a submissive wife, but neglect to mention verse 21 which says we are to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 


          It is important to know the meaning of submission.  It has been taught that being a submissive wife means allowing your husband to treat you as a doormat.  Anything he says goes in your marriage.  But, that is not the case!  Submit to your husbands as fitting with your faith.  If your husband wants you to begin participating in watching pornographic movies, for example, God doesn’t expect you to submit to that!  It is immoral and goes against God’s own word.  He doesn’t expect anyone to put another person above God in their priorities. 


          Being submissive also doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to have feelings, needs and wants of your own.  God gave them to you—they are good, and shouldn’t be sacrificed for your husband.  Dreams may need to be postponed temporarily, but don’t give them up.  And, allow your feelings to be what they are.  Sometimes, men, being the less emotional creatures than we are, will say things like, “Honey, now don’t you cry.  Everything is going to be fine.”  You don’t have to submit to that “order”.  Just cry and let it out!  Holding emotions inside can be detrimental to your health.  I'm not saying it is right to live life by your feelings either.  There needs to be a balance.  I'm simply saying that it is perfectly okay to feel the way you feel, and to need an outlet for them, whether it’s through tears, journaling, or even beating up on a pillow when you’re angry. 


          Submission is, however, giving your mate honor by not telling his secrets or laughing at his mistakes.  When he asks you to do a favor for him, you do it whenever possible, even if that means rearranging some things in your schedule to accomplish it.  It means, when your husband says money is tight, you don’t go to the mall and buy a new wardrobe—you clip coupons and look for sales more than before.  It means giving his own dreams and desires a place of priority in your life.  It means praising him to others.  It means loving and honoring him as the man God gave you to spend your life with, whether you feel he deserves that honor or not, because it is what God wants you to do.


          Living submissively isn’t easy.  But, when you focus on the Father, it is possible.  He can help you live this way, and when you do, it will be a joy to your husband!


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