“And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:21-24).
Ever wonder why the word “submission” really just irks the human race? There is something so annoying about that word to so many people, especially to us as women. As women and Christ-lovers, we hear it left and right about how we must submit and often times we are left without a real explanation as to why. I wanted to get to the root of it but it turns out I didn’t have to look far.
God revealed to me something nothing short of marvelous years previous to pondering this topic. Have you ever been on a long road trip, stopping at multiple rest stops along the way? Imagine stopping– forgetting your end destination– and believing that was the destination. It’s unthinkable, HOW ON EARTH could you forget about your much anticipated destination?!
That is exactly what happens to us when we ponder the topic of submission and land at the conclusion that submission for women ends at marriage. If you think that submission is about feeling weak, controlled, and passive, you are poorly mistaken. Sadly, this is the conclusion that most people end at. Can I offer some hope? That conclusion is not even in the ballpark of what God meant when His word says, “Wives, submit to your husband, as it is fitting to the Lord” (Colossians 3:18).
Submission is gorgeous. It’s the byproduct of reverence. When we have reverence for something, we have a deep respect. And when we have a deep respect, we find ourselves pining to obey, to submit.
What’s the end destination of submission then? Jesus Christ. Marriage is a rest stop that points us to Jesus. God placed a calling on the husband to model Christ-like love to us. Submission is the byproduct of the outpouring of love our husbands are called and expected to give us. Our submission is a reaction to that love. What I am not saying is to make an idol out of your husband. What I am saying is to have reverence for Christ by submitting to that love He calls our husbands to.
Love God more than you love your pride. Love God more than you love being right. Love God more than stopping at unthinkable conclusions. Our end destination is eternity with Christ, the most gorgeous and humbling reality out there. I want to approach God with the peace that I put Him first, that I obeyed His instructions when they make sense and even when we don’t understand the point. I am positive that we will not meet one person who has ever regretted having obedience and reverence for God on this earth, when we are in heaven. “I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart” (Psalm 40:8, NLT).