You advise women to stand up to jealous husbands, but The Bible says submit….

by Rod Smith

You advise women to stand up to their jealous or controlling husbands. Don’t you know the Bible says wives must submit to husbands?

Please write, I'm reading...

Please write, I'm reading...

I do. Paul says, “wives submit to your husbands,” and one can safely assume Paul is addressing all of his writings to both men and women. A husband who loves according to Paul’s descriptions of love is both safe and worthy of submission! Such a man will indeed not be going out of his way to secure the obedience of others. Beware of any man whose knowledge of Scripture begins, and ends, with “wives submit to your husbands.” Loving men (leaders, bosses, teachers) have no desire (or craving) for the submission (obedience) of others. “Love seeks no power, and therefore has it,” says Alan Paton.

Submitting (“giving in”) to jealousy or controlling or abusive behavior is certainly not very helpful to the marriage, the husband or wife. The Bible doesn’t require anyone to submit (accept, obey) anyone’s pathological behavior, whether it is from a spouse, pastor, or any leader. To resist (stand up to) pathological behavior, however (wherever, whenever) it rears its ugly head, is to do the perpetrator (spouse, pastor, leader) a loving service.

Submitting to damaging behavior can hardly result in helpful long-term outcomes.

Sadly, I have seen many a woman hang onto the hope that the husband will eventually change (stop drinking, beating, swearing, and go to church!) if she could just learn to really “submit.” I know women who believe their husband’s abuse is deserved – a “reward” for the failure to really submit. If abusive men (yes jealousy and control are forms of abuse) were as interested in Paul’s injunction to men: “love your wife as Christ loved the Church,” we’d be pleasantly engaged in a completely different discussion.

No. The monster (jealousy) will not go away if continually fed. It only gets more controlling, more demanding, and more viscous when it is not appeased.

15 Comments to “You advise women to stand up to jealous husbands, but The Bible says submit….”

  1. My ex husband used to throw the Biblical meaning of “submit” at me all the time, along with other Bible verses that supported his views. I was almost relieved when he asked me for a divorce. He finally got it that I wasn’t going to “conform” to the way he thought a wife should be. He seemed to have forgotten that I was a human being, and not a pile of clay he could mold to his liking. No matter how hard he tried, I was never going to be that naive 18 year old again.

    And you are right that no one has to take abuse from anyone, no matter what their beliefs are. After all, I don’t believe that there’s anything in the Bible that says “Submit even to cruel, harmful and demeaning behavior”.

    • My husband kept badgering me with the ‘submit to your husband’ scripture, but I kept reming him of the following scripture, and he has since stopped using it as a weapon of control –
      Ephesians 5:25
      For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.

      I’m not one for ramming scriptures down people’s throats – but there is always a scripture to counteract an abuse of God’s words to one’s selfish motives within a marriage.

      Thank the Lord.

  2. Thanks. I am always sad when people are taught to submit as if it is come kind of key to solving problems not even their own.

    Rod Smith

  3. Very nice way of handling a very touchy subject. Congratulations!

    Cheers,
    Albert | UrbanMonk.Net
    Modern personal development, entwined with ancient spirituality.

  4. Dear Rod,

    I want to tell you how I appreciate your answer on this subject. Only a year ago I divorced my husband who left me for another woman, which was a relief. I didn’t, or maybe couldn’t, see how abusive my marriage was until after he left the house. In the midst of my 14 year marriage, the advice given me by my pastor was that I must be a better wife, look prettier, keep the house better, work harder, give him more frequent sex (even though he was sexually abusive to me), etc…. and that I was having marriage problems because I was not submissive enough or a good enough wife. I swallowed that philosophy hook, line, and sinker. It nearly destroyed me emotionally… and staying with him nearly killed me. I’m beginning to see that my pastor did not have a full understanding of abuse, or when it is right to stand up to abuse. I always thought it was disrespectful to stand up for myself. But now I’m starting to think a different way. If I hadn’t gotten out at that particular time, I think my husband very possibly could have gone over the edge… leaving my two beautiful children motherless. I’m not sure yet what the Bible says about abuse… but I do see that it says more to husbands about loving and honouring their wives than it does to wives about submitting to thier husbands. There is also a passage that says the two are to submit to each other in love. Well… thank you for helping to confirm what I’ve newly learned. Thank you for this site, as well. It is very helpful.

    Yours sincerely,

    Molly

  5. Excellent post! I spent 20 years in an abusive marriage and 13 of those years on my face with God to learn His heart on the subject. The Bible has WAY more to say on the subject than just “wives submit.” For instance, it also says that love does not enable another person to live in sin (paraphrase), and we are supposed to submit to governmental authorities – and in our country most abusive behaviors are illegal. You can’t take one verse out of the context of the whole Book.

    The Bible also has a very specific process for church discipline when one believer has been offended by another – and marital abuse would certainly apply. Most churches won’t follow this Scripture, but it’s in the Book. Ultimately, a spouse who has been confronted and refuses to change is to be treated as an unbeliever and the church is supposed to withdraw fellowship. It amazes me that churches like to preach “submission” all day long but I have yet to hear one say they’ll excommunicate an abuser.

    My marriage nearly killed me. I ended up with breast cancer at 40. I finally realized my “surprise” new daughter was going to grow up like her brothers had (very bad and no one would ever believe us because my “very good Christian” husband wore such a perfect face) and my example was going to teach her to marry an abuser. And I was not going to be around to raise her very long either because his treatment of me was going to kill me – even if he never laid a hand on me. So I got a divorce in spite of my pastors’ disapproval. It has turned out to be the best thing I ever did. My ex promptly remarried and is adding to his progeny (scary) and my children and I live in a peaceful home.

    I’m in school full-time now to get a PsyD in clinical psychology because I want to make a difference. The church appears to be incapable of offering genuine help in this situation (and others) so that desperately needed assistance and guidance is going to have to come through other avenues, and this can be one.

  6. Did you know that it wasn’t until 454 AD that women were even identified as humans? The vote 32 yay and 31 nay. This vote was taken by clergy men of the time. What does that tell us ladies? The bible is just one persons interpretation, the person who wrote it into English. Just remember that.

  7. The Bible does tell women to submit, or come under, their husbands. If the husband was who the Bible described him as he should be, most of us would take joy in that submission. Husbands are supposed to offer security, affection, honor their wives, and love them as Christ loved the Church. What woman would have a problem submitting to that? It’s when women become used and doormats that submission doesn’t work. There are responsibilities on both sides of a marriage, and when both people are living up to their responsibilities, the marriage works in harmony. So — submission isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually a beautiful design when both husband and wife are being what Christ called them to be.

  8. Here here for the last comment. Unfortunately, there are many men who do not understand leadership and service. They do not understand their role very well and pursue unrighteous dominion over their spouse. It was never designed to be that way. Men should rule over the home in “righteous dominion”. Women are to support their husbands in “righteous dominion”. That is the way the Lord has set it up from the beginning of time. Unfortunately, a lost man….leads to confusion all the way down the ranks. To make matters worse….most women come from a long line of mothers and grandmothers who have not trusted the leadership provided. So we see clearly “the sins of the fathers (mothers) passing to the children”. I believe a man should lead his family and wife righteously. And I hope he would find a woman strong enough to follow in righteousness. There is so much confusion in the world today. Men who want to have the womans role. Women who want to have the mans role. Certainly a sign of the last days.

  9. Only idiots interpret the Bible that way and have no business calling themselves Christians. Submission, give us a break! Educate yourself and read the book “Why Not Women?” Satan hates women…always has.

  10. Which incude most of them ….. always preach against divorce and tell women to stay with abusive men and be submissive (a pornograhper’s favorite word, by the way). And why? Think about it…they want the tithes money. Sure let the women and children suffer meanwhile the guy molest kids, bring homes STD’s but never enough money….cause they are not men and NEVER WILL BE, or they’d go out in the world and fight for money and good causes. So, no guys, I doubt you’ll make it to heaven, I don’t care what your greedy, perverted, doped up from drugs, so-called pastors say.

  11. …has led to a bunch of stupid, ugly people being bred like animals. Kids their education from their mom, not the dad. Learn a few things from science and gentics, people. Therefore, we now have the major problems we have today, dumbasses running the gov’t and everything. It’s a sick, downward spiral. And by the way, there were women disciples and Jesus was not sexist. On the contrary, he liberated women.

  12. I recently started studying about woman’s rights in the bible. I feel like an infant in my knowledge of the bible. I have been a christian for only about 5 years. I felt God calling me to use my business after hours to hold prayer and worship meetings. Through one of my clients I learned her husband was wanting to preach. She told me he has done it before. I approached him about it and he was willing. Very shortly after we met I realized he has a problem with women. He feels women should be submissive to their husbands. Even though I feel like this is something I was called for. He continues to bypass me and leave all his answers with my husband instead of talking to me directly.
    I have been working very hard to have people come and listen to him because he is a good preacher, but I feel offended and have no rights even though I love the Lord because of this. Could you please show me some scriptures about a wife’s rights in reguards to her husband and being obedient. Because I feel I should be my husbands equal and God loves us the same. I have been waiting for the opportunity to witness to others , I always volunteer to be open to help others. I’ve been told I can’t witness to men , only men can witness to other men. Could you please point me in the direction of scriptures pertaining to this.
    Thank you so much for your time and effort,
    Ana

  13. The bible states that women should be slaves to men. To submit means to yield to the will of another. Hence, no free will. And with no free will, there is no freedom. So, freedom is only for men, huh. Women, and the men who respect women, should get out of christianly. The god of the bilble hates you (and wants to make a slave of you). To say otherwise would be an insult to anybody’s intelligence.Not to mention, women are unclean. Oh, and I also don’t kill people who work on
    Sunday

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