What we believe about submission

“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives” (1 Peter 3:1 NIV).

Submission guidelines for our Hope in a House Divided email group

1. Truths we believe about submission
We will not debate whether or not submission to our husbands is what the Bible teaches

  1. Our first responsibility is to God.  God is supreme.
  2. Our second responsibility is to our husbands.
  3. God’s Word teaches that we are to be submissive to our husbands.   Anything short of submission to our husbands is rebellion against God.
  4. Differences:
  • We may find differences in our individual situations of how that submission is to be applied, and we can discuss them here.
  • We may find differences in our understandings of how far that submission is to go, and we can discuss that here.
  • We will not challenge the fact that God’s Word teaches that our husbands are appointed by God to the role of leadership and we are appointed by God to be submissive to that leadership.

2. What is submission?
A Biblical concept of submission

  • Submission is meekness.  Jesus demonstrated meekness
  • Meekness is not a doormat.  Meekness is in control.  Doormats are stepped on and have no choice.  They don’t like their plight, yet they know of no other way.  They submit begrudgingly and resignedly.
  • Meekness says, “I am able to make my own decisions.  I know some better ways to do things.  I can choose how I wish to handle this.  My choice is to be obedient to God in submission to my husband.  My choice is to give up the better ways I know and trust God’s better ways.”
  • Submission is not disobedience to God’s Word.
  • Submission is not committing adultery, doing drugs, lying, stealing, or breaking any of God’s other black and white laws. Submission is not putting yourself or your children in physical danger.
  • Submission is not catering to your husband’s every whim.
  • Submission sometimes stands up for itself in a loving but firm manner.  (An example of when this might be needed is in the following situation:  A husband is indecisive and wants to play back and forth on leadership, giving the wife opposing commands so that either way she goes he can blame the results on her.  He is not really wanting to be the leader.  He is wanting his wife to lead, yet he wants to step in and insist on his way when it is convenient.)
  • We do not mean by this that we should commit overt sin.  We believe that, if we look hard and pray, God will make a way out so we don’t have to do that.  But, we do not tell any woman to commit overt sin because her husband commands it.

3. Mutual submission
Submit to one another

  • The Bible teaches mutual submission. It teaches that the husband is to respect the wife’s desires and what is best for her. We are to seek to please one another.
  • Even the most “mutual” of marriages has to have someone designated to make the final decision if the two can’t agree on the issue. Otherwise it will become “unmutual” and there will be constant pulling in opposite directions until some sort of truce is reached.
  • We cannot change our husbands.
  • We can and are responsible before God to change ourselves to follow God’s role for us in our marriages.

See also Lois’ Daughters of Sarah Bible study.