It comes with some heavy thoughts.
The Bible says wives are supposed to submit…but what does that mean? And what are some practical applications of this so-called submission?
Submission is a beautiful thing when approached with the right heart and the right understanding of submission.
But sometimes it can be hard to figure out how to submit. What does that look like in real life?
Here are 10 practical ways wives can submit to their husbands.
10 Ways to Submit to Your Husband
1. Listen More
Most women like to talk…a lot. I’m no different. When my husband comes home, I’ve had a full day of seven kids, homeschooling and TONS of mishaps that I’m ready to share with him.
We go on walks, and I’m the one doing most of the talking.
I literally have to slow down and remind myself to allow him some space. Space to collect his thoughts. Space so he feels comfortable talking. Space so he knows I’m “done” (at least for the moment) with my part of the conversations.
If your husband isn’t a talker, this when you can honor your husband by asking pointed questions about his day and his dreams.
Submitting doesn’t have to always mean some grand gesture, it could be as simple as listening more and talking less.
2. Don’t Nag
I don’t know about you, but when I want something done…I mean yesterday. And if I’ve asked my husband to do something and it takes him a few hours/days to respond…well, it can get a girl’s blood boiling.
I can mentally start checking off ALL THE THINGS that I’ve accomplished and compare them to all the things I feel he’s not accomplishing.
Anyone with me?
The temptation is to remind gently…then to ask again (a little more firmly, of course)…finally to blow a gasket. Right?
But the Bible says this about nagging:
A continual dripping on a very rainy day. And a contentious woman are alike. Proverbs 27:15
When your husband isn’t doing the chore you’ve asked…take a deep breath and either:
- Do it yourself (with a sweet spirit)
- Wait patiently
3. Be Quick to Respond
My husband doesn’t ask much of me.
Some women might not be so lucky, but when he does ask a favor, I try to do it as quickly as possible. This is kinda hard for me…because I’m a total Type B person…I forget things that aren’t directly in front of me!
To overcome this, I usually send myself an email. In general my inbox stays empty and I like it that way. When I send myself an email and I can’t delete/move it out…it irks me until I do it.
Whether or not you are like me, being quick to respond to your husband’s request is a wonderful way to show submission to his authority over your family.
And ladies…this includes sex! While I believe sex, in a perfect world, should be completely a mutually-desired-event…in layman’s term…you are both equally “hot and bothered”…that’s not always the case.
In fact, if you have small children (especially nursing babies which hinders the libido), this almost always not the case! Within reason, respond to your husband’s advances. If you can’t muster up the “feelings,” may I suggest a sex schedule so that your “response” is at least somewhat quick to his needs?
4. Exalt Him to Others
When I was first married, before I knew better, my friends and I would sit around the table and poke fun of our husbands.
We even perfected “the dumb husband voice.”
So much so, that one day when my husband walked into a co-worker’s office to ask a question, but she was on the phone when he heard her use the “dumb husband voice” with the friend on the other side. He recognized it right away. Apparently, it’s a common thing wives do! When she got off the phone to he said jokingly, “Is that your ‘dumb husband voice’?” She laughed and said, “Yeah! I guess so!”
Ladies…we shouldn’t have a dumb husband voice! We should exalt him in front of others!
I have a friend whom I admire, and I can’t remember ANY time she’s spoken ill of her husband…now that’s a legacy I want to be remembered by!
Speak highly of him…and he’ll be honored everywhere he goes. Who knows…your words can lead him to promotions that he might not have otherwise had the opportunity for.
5. Honor Him with Modest Beauty
Husbands love their wives. They want to show them off…but they don’t want other men to be picturing their wives naked!
It’s possible to dress modestly and be beautiful at the same time.
When you go to a company picnic, church or out for date night, dressing appropriately is important and points directly back at what your family holds in high regard. While I believe that modesty isn’t about rules, we should be careful about showing cleavage, too much leg or bare skin.
Let us show of by being submissive with a gentle and quiet spirit.
Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3-4
6. Keep the Kids in Line
A man is highly esteemed when not only is his wife not contentious…but also his children.
The Bible says that a leader in church should be…
One who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?) 1 Timothy 3:4-5
Obviously, not all men are serving in the church. But you’d hate for an opportunity to pass your husband by because your children were unruly!
Part of keeping the kids in line, is being a good example of submission yourself. If the wife doesn’t submit…how can the kids? Kids that lack submission and discipline show that a man doesn’t have control on his household and speaks volumes about your family and its leadership.
This also means that if your husband has certain rules for the kids and you don’t agree with his “take,” you submit. Sure, you can have a conversation about it, but in the end he’s the decision maker if push-comes-to-shove (no actual shoving, okay). I want to recognize this might be especially hard in a second marriage where the husband isn’t the children’s “real” father. I can’t think of a harder situation to be in…but I believe that it does amazing things for a marriage and the unity of a family when a wife forgoes her parenting style to submit to her husband’s will.
7. Keep Things Confidential
In my world…I’m an open book. You’ll always know what’s going on in my life. Some call this “wearing your emotions on your sleeve.” That’s me.
But my husband LOVES privacy…in fact, he’s changed careers recently from videography to cybersecurity because he believes in privacy so deeply.
There are things, as a blogger, I’m not allowed to blog about because he’s sensitive to the information out there — whether it’s personal about him or about our family. And for someone who is a tell-all person…this takes restraint!
The Bible says this of the Proverbs 31 woman:
The heart of her husband safely trusts her. Proverbs 31:11
This means that a good wife is a trust-worthy one.
And this doesn’t just mean online or social media…this means he can trust you not to blab his secrets to your best girlfriend if he’s asked you not to. And if you aren’t sure what he considers confidential…always ask.
8. Spend Money Wisely
There are two things that top the list on reasons married couples get divorced:
I discussed the first point in #3, but it’s important to recognize that money (or the lack of it) can lead to a TON of stress really fast.
The wife usually does most of the weekly spending (in my experience) with shopping for groceries/clothes/etc. Husbands tend to make large purchases a few times a year.
Discussing a logical budget with your husband and sticking to it is a great way to show submission to your husband.
Many wives might argue that their husbands are the reason for the money stress in the family, and if that’s true for you, it’s even MORE important that you submit yourself in the area of finances to not cause additional stress.
Remember the promise in 1 Peter 3 that says:
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.
Your obedience and submission to your husband can lead them to repentance/salvation/freedom in different areas of their lives, including financial freedom.
9. Do the Hard Stuff
I love the titles in the Bible…especially when it says: A Word to Husbands…and is followed by special advice so that men keep it together and act right.
This is the case in 1 Peter 3:7
Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
Women are the weaker vessel…I don’t care what modern culture wants to say!
BUT that doesn’t mean we are weak!
The Proverbs 31 woman comes to the rescue again and says three things about the strength of a woman:
- She willingly works with her hands (Proverbs 31:13)
- She girds herself with strength (Proverbs 31:17a)
- Her arms are strong (Proverbs 31:17b)
If you have something that needs to be done around the house and it’s within your power and strength to accomplish it…do it! Stop waiting for your man to rescue you.
You can trim trees, climb on the roof, and use a chainsaw just as good as your husband!
If he likes to do that stuff…fine, you can do other things…but submitting to your husband might require you to do some heavy lifting!
10. Share the Same Politics (or at least stay quiet)
Now, I know I’m going to get heat on this one…because, after all, didn’t women EARN the right to vote!?
Ugh. I can readily admit that I’m not on board with all that my husband believes. But when it comes to voting and supporting certain political beliefs, I believe that sharing the same politics is vital for the family’s strength and unity.
I cannot stress this enough. Unless your husband supports things that are obviously unbiblical, like abortion or homosexuality, I think it’s important to try to align yourself as much as possible with his political ideology.
If you can’t bring yourself to believe the way your husband believes politically…show submission by not being contentious about it. Let him have his word and, then, remain silent.
If he does support unbiblical things, you can vote according to your conscious, but do so quietly and without fanfare.
No One Said it Would Be Easy
“‘Get married,’ they said. ‘It’ll be fun,’ they said.”
No one said marriage was only going to be fun. And only a fool believes that marriage should be easy, or look like the movies.
Marriage is amazing. The Bible says that the relationship between a husband and a wife is like the relationship between Christ and his church. It’s like the relationship between the Trinity.
But iron sharpens iron. And there will be sparks (and not just the good kind).
Submission is the way God sharpens women to become more like Him. Being gentle and loving is the way God sharpens a man…but that’s for your husband to explore. As wives, we have to stick to the submission thing. It’s our shtick.
Women are a beautiful addition to the cause of Christ in so many wonderful ways…even more useful when they are in full submission.
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 1 Timothy 2:11