Biblical Submission: He Can’t Lead if You Don’t Let Him

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This week we’re reading chapter 6 of Messy Beautiful Love, which is about a subject that can lead to some controversy – biblical submission. I’ve been on a journey to figure out what biblical submission should look like in my marriage for a couple of years, and this chapter brings up some very good points. It’s one thing to say that you want to submit to your husband, but it’s a different thing entirely to actually put those words into action.

A couple weeks ago, we talked about giving up the right to be right, and this is the logical next step. In this chapter, Darlene tells us that we can never expect our husbands to truly lead our families or to become the leaders that God intends them to be if we never give them the freedom to do so. Will he make mistakes? Sure, but he will never be able to grow as a leader if you don’t let him.

I’m sure most of us have heard the saying “mother knows best.” I think we live in a society that promotes that stereotype. I know a lot of women who are of the opinion that they know the right way to handle things all the time (I’m included in that group quite often). We need to remember that as Christians we are not supposed to conform to the ways of the world, we are to hold true to the ways of God’s word, and that includes submitting to our husbands.

Ephesians 5:24 tells us that, “As the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”  I know that in our culture, sometimes those can be difficult words to swallow, but in this chapter Darlene includes a description of biblical submission that I really liked and I think is relevant for even the most forward thinking Christian women.

“Yes, the Bible tells us that the husband is the head of the wife and that the wife should submit to his authority. With that in mind we should remember that submission is a choice we make. It is not something that is or should be imposed on us by another person. It’s our response to God’s love. It’s a choice we make out of obedience to God because ultimately everything we do should focus on Him and His will. There’s a reason we do it, and that reason is To please God.”

We also have to keep in mind that our husbands have grown up in the “mother knows best” society as well. They may doubt their ability to lead us if we don’t encourage them and build them up. So in addition to getting out of the way and allowing your husband to lead you, I want to encourage you to encourage him on this journey. It will take time for both of you to figure out how best to handle the practice of biblical submission in your marriage, but like anything else, if the two of you join together with God there’s nothing you can’t do.

Darlene’s Challenge for the Week:

Pray for your husband, asking that God will equip him to lead your family. If you haven’t done so already, examine yourself to see whether there are areas of your marriage where you should step back so that he can step forward. Keep the lines of communication open for healthy discussion, but on those days when you can’t come to a united decision? Humbly step back, and allow his choices to stand.”

With Love,


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