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When Your Husband Says You Should Eat Less…
A Lesson In Biblical Submission
I just couldn’t stay quiet about this one. I came across this statement while clicking through Twitter and honestly couldn’t believe what I was reading. Although really, I shouldn’t have been too surprised. These kinds of statements are made all time towards wives; especially Christian wives.
“Submit to your husband. Don’t ask why just do it. That’s how you honor God.” And although the intent is (most times) honorable, there is definitely some correction and clarification that can be applied to the whole “blind submission” principle. That’s what this post is about. Providing clarity for the wife who is chasing after God and wants to honor her husband at the same time.
SO. Let’s talk about this Twitter post from The Transformed Wife.
“If your husband said to you, “You eat too much and need to lose weight,” how would you respond? Would you be angry with him & tell him it’s none of his business,” or with, “You’re right. I will eat less & lose weight”? The first response is rebellious and the second one biblical.”
That’s where my hand went up. “What about the second response is biblical?”
The short answer: It’s submissive. And wives are called to submit, right?
Are Christian Wives Really Called to Be Submissive?
Now, I am in no way questioning the validity of biblical submission. I do believe wives are to honor and respect their husbands as we are taught in scripture. But when it comes to biblical submission, in order for us to get it right, we have to understand one key thing: Husbands are not our ultimate authority; God is. So are Christian wives really called to submit to their husbands? The honest answer according to scripture is yes, but that instruction comes with boundaries just like man’s authority comes with limitations. When you overlook these limitations you also miss the original heart and purpose behind of submission; to create unity.
Submission is about bringing glory to God and carrying out His will here on Earth. In order for us to do that we have to be of one accord; we have to be united. And this isn’t just a marriage principle.
The problem with the statement made by The Transformed Wife is that it’s not a reflection of biblical submission.
The Difference Between Biblical Submission and Dominance
Biblical submission in marriage focuses on 4 things:
1. How can we serve Christ together?
2. How can we serve each other?
3. How can we serve our family together?
4. How can we love people together?
The way the statement by The Transformed Wife was made puts the emphasis and serving man, not God. Without having any backstory or any other information about this conversation between husband and wife, what we have is an example of dominance; not submission.
What’s the difference?
Submission is Christ-inspired. Dominance is man-inspired
Submission is about yielding to Christ. Dominance is about control others.
Submission glorifies God. Dominance glorifies man.
Submission builds a Kingdom and ushers down to earth. Dominance builds only pride.
Do you see the difference here? Do you understand why this is worth addressing? Biblical submission is not the same as blind submission. We don’t leap when our husband says jump UNLESS what he is calling us to is honoring to God.
Acknowledging the Flip Side
Now, this husband could honestly have good intentions. And if he does, the healthy thing for the two of them to do would be 1) to have a conversation about what about it. Address the heart and motives of his statement as well as if there’s any validity to it. And 2)decide AS A UNIT how to move forward in a healthy way that honors both husband, wife, and furthermore Christ.
But far too often statements like this are just one of many that can reflect an unhealthy marriage. God puts boundaries on submission for just that reason, to protect people from abusing it. You are worth protecting!
Disclosure: I honestly don’t know much about The Transformed Wife or her ministry so I will leave each of you to discern whether or not her teachings overall are sound. My intent is not to attack her or her ministry. This topic is just too important to be left alone. My hope is that this piece gave you some insight on what biblical submission really looks like and how to walk in it as a wife after God.
I love you all!
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