Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2010

Biblical wifely submission

NOTE: It seems the sermons from our pastor are going up a lot quicker than they used to. You can download this sermon by clicking here or read the manuscript by clicking here.

Our pastor here is going through Titus at something equivalent to a Tom Shaw pace 🙂 The series on the whole has been very refreshing and edifying. We now find ourselves in Titus 2 where Paul gives direct instructions to older men, older women, younger women and younger men. We have spent several months now learning how wives can love their husbands and have now moved on to Titus 2:5:

to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

This last week (as Louise was at home watching Katie) we had a brilliant sermon on how wives should submit to their husbands. I realize that this is not such a kosher topic nowadays but God seemed to have other ideas when he put it in His bible – so I will side with Him on this one 🙂 Below are some notes and comments I made while listening to the sermon.

Things submission is not

1. Submission is not only for woman

Everyone has to submit to someone. The bible is very clear that we are all created equal as humans. However, it is also clear that in certain circumstances we are to submit to others.

2. Submission does not mean that woman are inferior

Submission does not mean that the person who is submitting is inferior to the person they are submitting to. Submission represents an order in a given situation and not the status of the people in the situation. As a prime example of this we read in Luke 2.51 of how Jesus submitted to his parents by being obedient to them. However, simple logic shows us that the God of the universe is not below or inferior to his earthly parents.

3. Submission does not mean that women should submit to the ungodly desires of their husbands

When Peter and the apostles were told not to preach about Jesus they replied in Acts 5.29 that they must obey God rather than human authority. This principal holds throughout life – we are to obey God above all else.

4. Submission does not mean that wives put their husbands in the place of God

This is a variation on point three above but is more general. God is to be the only god in anyone’s life. The first commandment makes it plain that there is to be nothing or no-one higher than God in our lives. Wives are not to worship their husbands as god.

What is submission?

Dictionary definition: The action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person

At this point our pastor used an acrostic of the word submit.

S – seek your husbands leadership

This is not natural in any human being. To willingly place themselves under someone else’s leadership and authority. This is an active and not a passive action. It is not just a case of following a leader but of actively encouraging your husband to lead you in your marriage. A test for this part is to ask yourself the question – who makes the big decisions in your home?

U – undertake to maintain your husband’s honor/respect

… the wife must respect her husband Ephesians 5.33

As a husband with a wife who practices this I can say that it works and makes me love her even more. Questions to ask yourself here are:

  • Do you embarrass your husband in public or in front of your kids
  • Are you always second guessing your husband with others
  • Are you frequently impatient, shouting at or nagging to your husband

In this the target should be the pure, reverent wife with the gentle and quiet spirit talked of in 1 Peter 3.1-3.

B – bend your will to your husband’s when necessary

As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything Ephesians 5.24

The bible instructs wives to submit in all things – in everything (unless of course he is asking you to sin – see above). In the vows that are taken often in Christian weddings is the line for the wives to obey their new husbands. This of course does not mean that a wife cannot use her intelligence and wisdom in making decisions by expressing her opinion but it does lay out where the buck stops. Decisions of course should be made as much as possible together with your husband but when things cannot be agreed upon the buck should stop at the husband. If there is a point in a marriage that a husband leads a family in a way that the wife feels is unwise then ignoring or going against your husband is not a biblical option. However, this would be a good time for the wife’s faith to grow as she trusts in God’s sovereignty.

M – make your home in support for your husband

to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes Titus 2.5

This nowadays is a little controversial but none the less is here in Titus 2.5. I think our pastor done a great job of dealing with this as he explained it as a matter of priorities. For a family to work well a wife should have as a priority the management of her home.

I – inculcate respect for your husband

For those that don’t know what inculcate means, and I was one of those, it means to instill by persistent instruction. Respect for your husband is both learned and taught to your kids.

T – take care to do all unto the Lord

In 1 Peter 2.18-25 we learn how Peter is teaching slaves/servants to obey their masters even when it is hard as this pleases the Lord. Then we read in 1 Peter 3.1 that in a similar manner wives should submit to their husbands. We read in 1 Corinthians 10.31 that no matter what we should do we should do it for the glory of God.

At no time does the bible say that wives should wait for the perfect husband to be like this (see 1 Peter 3.6 for the opposite argument) but if you are, like me, a husband, hopefully the magnitude of what we need to live up to comes through. This teaching was challenging to me as a husband that I should step up to the mark and lead with God’s direction.

At the end of the sermon our pastor finished with the following applications which I thought were great:

  1. Being a biblical wife is a matter of priorities. If you are a wife is your priority in life your own career, interests, hobbies, happiness etc or is it aligned with what the bible asks of you?
  2. The calling of God for a wife is a high calling. Like all things God calls us to be as Christians we can only achieve it with His help.
  3. If you are a child or a husband and your mother/wife is like this do you thank her for being godly and biblical? Do you thank her for being what God wants her to be?
  4. Woman who are workers at home must never say “I am JUST a housewife”. Never look down on your calling from God. Think of the eternal impact of what you are doing.


  1. Amazing acrostic! I think I should put that on my mirror! Thanks Mark! Your family is beautiful! I still remember when you guys were having your first kid!

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