3 Ways The Bible Verse, 'Wives Submit To Your Own Husbands' Hurts Marriage

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3 Reasons Why One-Sided Biblical Submission In Marriage Between Husbands & Wives Ruins Marriage
Family

Since the 1960’s married women have worked outside the home, along with taking care of the children, cooked, cleaned, and served her husband. 

And who has gotten all the credit for running the ship? 

Your husband. 

It’s exhausting to think how much you accomplish in a day. In most marriages, it’s optional that a husband helps the wife with household duties and child rearing.

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He doesn’t have to take care of the children, clean, cook, and serve you when you come home after a long day at the office. 

But the expectation is your husband believes it’s your job to take care of him. As a woman, it’s your lot in life.  

Things are changing but there's still a lot of work to be done. It's important to see where the problem started in order to avoid heading to a world where women are not regarded in the way that she was meant to be- an equal partner in every single way.

So, where does this mentality come from? Let’s take a look at the Christian teachings of how you (a woman) are treated and thought of even in today’s church.  

You are not allowed to stand out and lead men or your household. You certainly are forbidden to outshine your husband. If you do it’s considered disrespectful.   

Seriously?  Women give birth to these men. Let’s take a closer look at why we are still stuck in the dark ages, and why Christians should embrace feminism to create equality for both men and women, including how we interpret the Bible.

Pastor’s proudly stand on the pulpit, and recite, Ephesians 5:22-5:23, “Wives, submit to your husband as to the lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church.” 

One of the most misconstrued and misunderstood quotes by so many who are believers. It’s teaching is Draconian. A set up for misunderstanding.

It's not a threat to adopt a more feministic approach, in fact, it honors marriage, and encourages a bond of faith between spouses to make the union last.

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A mindset that your husband is the one and only “leader” of the household is a recipe for disaster and dangerous to the relationship. Why?

As a marriage therapist, I have seen my share of domestic violence incidents because men truly hold on to this belief that women “are less than.” One person should never have that much power.  

But, this is not what is taught in church. Matter of fact it’s encouraged for you to “Submit to your husband. And your husband to “rule his kingdom.” 

The church fails marriages with these strict and rigid teachings. But what does the quote mean and does it apply in the 21st century world? 

The meaning is different for men and women, and here's why it's harmful to marriage:

1. It's leads to a man's power over a woman's body.

Men believe they are entitled to sex at any time, and that’s the wife’s duty. And you the wife have no say in it as you become a slave to his desires. 

2. It makes women believe they are weak and undeserving.  

It’s so far from the truth and what marriage really represents. You are an independent woman and an individual who brings value to the relationship.

3. It goes against the idea that husband and wife are "two in one flesh".

Your body won't function well if it's lopsided, and neither will a relationship between two spouses who are meant to be equal in every way.

An equal playing field is a must for a successful and long term marriage. Because you are two individuals who have come together as one, to make decisions about your life together.

But, again, the Bible states, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” Ephesians 5:33.

Yet another way to separate men and women. In no way is this a  Bible bashing session, but more of an awareness of how we think about men and women as husband and wife.  

Here’s the how to really look at submission between spouses, according to the Bible in its entirety.

1. The husband and wife are unique individuals but they are a team.

A successful marriage is when two people come together in love, respect, and admiration. 

The hard truth about marriage is we were all created equal. Yes, there are some significant differences as male and female. Some obvious ones, but men and women both want the same things. 

2. Mutual respect is key.

Men and woman both want love, respect and acceptance of who they are. In marriage, there shouldn’t be roles that divide men from women.  And I don’t believe men are from Mars and women are from Venus. 

Instead, of the separation of the genders in marriage what if we give our body, mind, and spirit to each other. 

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3. Share love rather than earn it.

Both men and women want love, acceptance, and respect. If little boys are taught at a young age to be the ruler of the house, what harm does that do in how men treat women.

4. Remember, even after marriage, a person has control over their own body and the way it is to be handled.

It sets up a mentality women are nothing and are only there for the pleasure of men. Aren’t we here on this earth as pleasure for each other? In a way that respects the boundaries and limits of our individuality. 

5. Encourage each other's growth and independence while learning how to be interdependent in a healthy way.

When men and women look at each other as equal partners in the marriage it becomes a loving and respectful one. So, husbands love, respect, and adore your wife for the strong and independent woman she is. 

It doesn’t mean she doesn’t need you. Quite the contrary. She will need you more. And women love, respect, and adore your husband for the strong and courageous man he is.  

The equal playing field will take you to the depths of friendship and over flow your marriage with more abundance than possible. 

Never look down on one another. Always take care of each other with kindness. Your marriage will have a love and trust like no other.  

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Marybeth Hrim, LCSW, MBA is a writer who covers marriage and family topics.