Yes, husbands are given a unique mandate to lead and a responsibility to be accountable for the family, and while I believe a godly wife should respect her husband and submit to him as the Bible instructs, how she ultimately chooses to (or not to) submit is something only God can enforce, reward or punish. Nowhere in Scripture is a husband told to enforce a behavior with his wife. That would create a parent-child dynamic instead of the equal partnership God intends for marriage.
4. Husbands are actually called to submit MORE than wives.
Our mission as husbands is to “love your wife as Christ loved the church.” He gave his very life for us. He pursued us when we denied him, he loved us when we were unlovable, he gave his best when we couldn’t repay, and he died to his own desires and preferences to give us life and then told us to love our wives with that same kind of love. That’s humbling, and doing the same requires a lot of submission on our parts.
5. Our marriage mission is not submission; it’s love.
In practical terms, I believe that this Christ-like love should compel husbands to daily lay down their own demands to willingly pursue the preferences of his wife. Let her pick the paint colors. Let her pick the restaurant. As Jesus washed his disciples feet, get some good lotion and massage her feet. Give her your very best; not your leftovers. Delight in seeing her smile knowing she has a husband who adores her.
Men, let’s do these things! You’ll be more content in your marriage and your wife will be as well. When there comes a rare crossroads in your marriage when you and your wife aren’t in complete agreement about which road to take, she will find it so much easier to submit (which is simply means she’s freely giving an invitation for you to lead) because she’ll know without a doubt she has a husband who is following the Lord and who would gladly give his life for her.
This article about submission in the Bible originally appeared here.