I find this description of biblical submission really interesting – kind of a sneak peak into a man’s soul and God’s wisdom for His design for marriage:
A woman is looking for a man who can lead. An unsaved woman, not having the strength of the Lord, may be more susceptible to following a worldly man provided he exudes an aura of strength.
Christian women are caught between their natural inclinations and their spiritual inclinations.
However, the stronger a woman is in her faith, the easier it will be for her to see that her strength comes from the Lord, and that she does not have to find so much of it in her husband.
Ultimately, her submission is far more to the Lord than it is to her husband, the Lord having the final authority over our lives more than any person.
It is important to realize that when a wife submits to her husband, it is a deliberate act of her will, not some force external to her that compels her to submit. Submission from a wife to a husband not freely given is really meaningless to a man with self-respect. Just as forced, obligatory displays of affection from the husband are not as meaningful to a woman as those same things freely given.
Submission, therefore, is an act of a woman’s will, deciding with her own moral agency that she will submit to her husband.
The husband does not “enforce” submission on the wife. He simply responds to it.
At work, if I fail to submit to the authority of my supervisor, it is not my supervisor who enforces on me. He will report me to upper management, who is the power of enforcement.
If a wife does not submit to her husband, the husband needs to take the issue to the Lord, who is the one who will ultimately judge whether husband and wife have acted according to their commandments.
Can a woman be in submission to the Lord, yet refusing to submit to an imperfect, but generally Godly man? Maybe, maybe not. And the reverse: Can a man claim to love the Lord and then not love his imperfect but otherwise Godly wife? Hmmm.
Submission is a vote. A vote of confidence in a man’s leadership.
Think of governments where a vote of no confidence is taken, which effectively dissolves a government and removes a leader.
Ladies, your man needs your vote.
The whole world is full of corrupt and ungodly people who are not looking out for your best interests. And satan wants to harm him and bring him to nothing. And you along with it.
Women want a confident man. If you do not express confidence in him, he will believe you. You are part of him, because marriage makes the two of you one flesh. A woman’s lack of confidence in her husband is not some external observation. It is an internal break in his composition, and the damage will show.
He must know you trust him, and are behind him. Men respond to duty, and to their own internal sense of obligation. The obligation can’t effectively be brought from the outside as easily, especially if it seems like nagging. If you think he may not be leading correctly, take the problem to his boss – Christ.
Christ is not interested in having the men under His authority being slack and ineffectual.
And He will straighten a husband out for sure. But the wife might not get the satisfaction of seeing her husband disciplined, because the Lord knows that can lead to pride.
She must simply be appreciative of the changes the Lord makes in him.