Submission

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Mentoring Tips

Make one-to-one mentoring easier by learning what to do and what not to do.  Click to learn more.

Tip#1 – Find your PLACE

  • Pray: simple yet powerful act
  • Listen: people want to feel heard
  • Ask: good questions foster productive dialogue
  • Consider: think slowly and biblically
  • Encourage: uplift rather than beat down
Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes

  • Fixing: this is a person, not a project
  • Preaching: walk alongside, don’t talk at or down to them
  • Carrying: show concern but don’t carry too heavy a burden
  • Blaming: no condemnation in Christ Jesus
  • Rescuing: you are not their savior!
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Scriptures
Hope
  • 1 Kings 5:4 (He has given rest on every side, neither adversary nor misfortune)
  • Exodus 14:14 (the Lord will fight for you while you keep silent)
  • Philippians 4:6-8 (don’t be anxious, let your requests be made known, focus your mind on better things)
  • Ruth 3:11 (a woman of excellence will be trusted)
  • Proverbs 25:15 (with patience a ruler is persuaded; a soft tongue)
Help
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Conversations
Starters
    • What is your understanding of submission in marriage? How do you think your spouse would answer that question?
    • What is your understanding of how the husband and wife roles in marriage differ? How do you think your spouse would answer that question?
    • What would you like to change about the way you and your spouse relate as husband and wife? What keeps you from making that change?
    • What was your mother like? In what ways have you as a wife imitated her and in what ways are you different?
    • What do you think the Bible means when it says the husband is to be the “head” of the home?
    • What do you think it means for a wife to be a helper? (Gen.2:18)
    • Do you know a woman who seems to be a good role model as a wife? What makes this person come to mind? Have you ever sought wisdom from her?
    • What resources have you read on the subject of submission in marriage? How have those been helpful to you?
Deeper Questions
    • In what ways do you honor your husband and his leadership role in your marriage?  How does he respond?
    • In what ways do you undermine your husband and his leadership role in your marriage?  How does he respond?
    • What would you say are the main things that hold you back from submitting to your husband in your marriage?
    • Do you give your husband space to think issues through and then to initiate and lead, or do you lose patience and take over?  How does that generally work out?
    • Have you ever considered that maybe your husband wants to lead and is waiting for you to allow him to take that role?
    • Do you feel your husband is open to your input?  Do you feel valued by him?
    • Is your marriage relationship a safe place to disagree or do you fear conflict?
    • What are some simple things your husband could do to give you more confidence in defering to his leadership?  Have you graciously and respectfully discussed those with him?  How did he respond?
    • Once you have discussed an issue, do you defer to his leadership decisions?
    • Do you realize that your husband will be held accountable by God?  How does that impact how you treat him?
    • How can you begin to trust God to do His part as you do yours?
    • Submission does not mean living in fear.  Have you or the children ever had reason to be afraid of abuse?
    • Do you have any specific questions or concerns you’d like to discuss with me?
    • Are you open to taking a look at Scripture together about being a godly wife?
    • I believe that the most important relationship in your life is the one you have with Jesus Christ. Can you tell me about that?
    • What is one step you can take in the right direction and how can I help you do that?
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Resources
Online Helps
Other Ministry Links
  • Northwest Family Life  Hope and healing for individuals and families facing the pain of domestic violence
Books
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Encouragement
Quotes
  • - Robert Lewis, Rocking the Roles, p. 239

    “From the Bible’s perspective, a leader in the home is that man who accepts responsibility for his family—to love, provide for, and protect them and to direct them along biblical guidelines.  Given that, I believe every man can be a leader, regardless of his personality.  He can do it even if he lacks the inspiration, articulation, and vision of a natural leader.  Leadership of the family as a core responsibility is within the grasp of every man.”

  • - Stu Weber, Tender Warrior, p. 87

    “Why, in our culture, do so many discussions of male/female roles seem so painful, unfair, unreal, unfunny, and even preposterous?  Because of men who demand submission from their wives but in turn submit themselves to no one, including God … We cannot blame women for being frustrated because they fear the injustice of being under headship that itself is not accountable.”

  • - Robert Lewis, The New Eve, p. 169

    “The husband who uses the title of headship as a cover for control, dominance, or even abuse is not only not a head in the way the Bible sets forth but is instead a moral and spiritual failure.  Let me make this clear: When it comes to a man’s leadership in his home, male domination is never a teaching of the Bible.  But headship is.”

  • - Bob Lepine, The Christian Husband, p. 134

    “The husband who ‘serves’ his wife by continually yielding to her desires or her wishes is in fact asking her to do his job for him.  He’s ignoring his responsibility to lead.”

  • - Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, p. 120

    “Frustration is the by-product of attempting to fulfill responsibilities God does not intend for us to carry. Freedom, joy, and fruitfulness come from seeking to determine God’s priorities for each season of life, and then setting out to fulfill those priorities, in the power of His Spirit, realizing that He has provided the necessary time and abilities to do everything that He has called us to do.”

  • - Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Wife, p. 41

    “Let go of as many expectations as possible. The changes you try to make happen in your husband, or that your husband tries to make in himself to please you, are doomed to failure and will bring disappointment for you both. Instead, ask God to make any necessary changes … Accept your husband the way he is and pray for him to grow … Your greatest expectations must be from God, not from your husband.”

  • - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 222

    “I often hear many wives complain that their husbands are too disconnected and passive on family matters. But why is he passive? Quite likely in the past, every time he tried to step up to the plate, she had a better idea. After a while, he just let her have her way.”

  • - Ed Welch, Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave, p.111‐112

    “What if the addict is wrecking the family finances? If the spouse is working, she could give all her funds to a trusted friend who could manage some of the daily finances … All you can do is shield money in whatever way you can. In most states, the only time a spouse is not liable for her husband’s debts is when there has been a legal separation or divorce.”

  • - Bob Lepine, The Christian Husband, p. 193

    “God may use a wife’s quiet and submissive spirit in her husband’s life. But her core role as a wife does not involve spiritual leadership. She may influence him by her behavior, but he must assume the responsibility to nurture and disciple her. It’s at the core of what it means to be a husband.”

  • - Robert Lewis, Rocking the Roles, p. 137

    “A biblically submissive wife’s focus is not on enabling wrong behavior, but on empowering her husband to pursue right behavior–to become the man God wants him to be, and the leader God wants him to be. That’s an extremely important point. God never asks a wife (or any believer) to do what is wrong. After all, she ultimately serves Christ.”

  • - Robert Lewis, Rocking the Roles, p. 141

    “Submission is a way of telling your husband, ‘I believe in you! I’m with you! You can do it!’ It’s a way of keeping him the leader, even when he doesn’t want to be.”

  • - Robert Lewis, Rocking the Roles, p. 141

    “Men won’t fight their wives for leadership; they’ll just turn it over and walk away. Everything in the culture encourages them to do that. Everything in their sinful nature encourages them to do that. If their own wives start fighting them for control, then they’ll quickly abdicate.”

  • - Theda Hlavka, Saying I Do Was the Easy Part, p. 40

    “It’s not wrong to determine together which direction to go … It’s alright to have an opinion and express it stridently. Obviously there’s no sin in that. Go ahead and let your husband know how you feel … Discuss it long and hard, but in the end, if he’s not willing to change his mind, you must let him lead.”

  • - Theda Hlavka, Saying I Do Was the Easy Part, p. 37

    “I think part of the problem with the idea of submission is that we’ve lost sight of our real purpose. First and foremost, we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Then, as we’ve already seen in Genesis, we’re to complete our husbands–adding our strength to theirs.”

  • - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 235

    “Self-righteousness can deceive you more than any other sin. If you see yourself as far better than your husband, especially in the spiritual realm, he will back away from you spiritually and probably in many other ways. As the years pass, your husband will stop giving advice at almost every level.”

  • - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 221

    “What your husband wants is your acknowledgement that he is the leader, the one in authority. This is not to grind you under or treat you as inferior. It is only to say that because God has made your husband responsible (Ephesians 5:25-33), he needs the authority to carry out that responsibility.”

Next Steps
    • Good job reaching out for wisdom in what it means to submit to a husband in marraige.
    • Read any of the online articles listed in this guide and let’s discuss.
    • Read any of the scriptures of help and hope in this guide and let’s discuss.
    • Remember that you are not alone, many women struggle to submit to their husbands for many reasons.
    • Read through the Portrait of a Godly Wife, read the scriptures listed there, and let’s discuss those.
    • Always know that you can confess where you have fallen short and pray for strength to change
    • Remember that submission is not weakness, it is a sign of great strength; Jesus was the perfect model of submission to His Father
    • Don’t wait for your husband to become a perfect leader before you follow him.
    • Remember that submitting to your husband is really done out of submission to God.
    • Remember that submission in marriage is not submitting to sin or abuse.
    • Reach out for help by finding one or two other wives to meet with regularly for accountability
    • Submission does not mean being passive.  It actually takes a strong woman to choose to submit and follow the leadership of her husband.