Here is a difficult question for men: How is a husband to submit to his wife? Too many Christian men might say, “Huh? She’s supposed to submit to me!”
And, they would be correct, but the husband submits to his wife also. God asks me to submit to Louie.
That question is very appropriate but becomes misguided by the people who see marriage as egalitarian – which means that men and women are equal rulers in the family. The idea of mutual submission taken by itself, without regard to authority and submission (Order), will drive the marriage into a ditch. So, that is not what I am promoting here.
Back to the questions, how does a husband submit to his wife?
Well, it is easier to understand than you might think. Think of it this way. A husband submits to his wife by doing what God asks the husband to do for her. For example, you submit to her need for safety and security when you love her, cherish her, develop her, sacrifice for her, protect her, provide for her, and preserve her.
When you do those things, you submit to meeting her needs. When God asks you as a husband to love your wife, you practice mutual submission, putting yourself underneath her to serve her as any great leader and husband would. Just like Jesus did for you!
That is the way that I submit to her need to be secure. If I am not doing those things, I am not submitting to her need as a woman.
While a husband does submit by providing for his wife, it is not solely focused on “Do you have money, food, clothes, and a house?” That does not submit to her need for a loving relationship.
With mutual submission, you submit to your wife by doing what God asks you to do to meet her relational needs.
That is how a husband submits to his wife!
1 Peter 3:7 (NKJV) – Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
That verse is mutual submission. The context of the verse is about unjust suffering. Got it! So, the verse says that even when your wife is mistreating you for doing right things (unjust suffering), stay with them, dwell with them in an understanding way, and be considerate of her.
That is submitting to her needs!
So, in a marriage relationship, the husband submits to the wife, and the wife submits to the husband. That may be unwanted news, but it is what God says. There is mutual submission for relating to each other correctly and authority and submission for maintaining order in the relationship; both are true. And the order component is coming up shortly.