What's the big deal about Young Living

What Submission Looks Like in our House

When I saw that last week's 4 Moms assigned topic was on how we deal with differences with our husbands, I groaned a little to myself. I know that submission is a sticky subject and can be divisive. I have dear friends on all sides of this issue, and I love them all.

Since books upon books have been written about the why, when, and wherefore on both sides of this topic, I don't think I can add anything that hasn't already been said. I would like to show you how it works for us in everyday life.

Here is what a wife submitting to her husband does not look like at our house:

Me: I sure would like a ham sandwich for lunch. I wonder if my husband would approve of my eating one. (Dials hubby's cell number to ask.)

Here is a real life example of what it does look like.

Me: I can't wait for our construction to be finished! But... what's up with putting a door right there?

Him: What do you mean?

Me: I mean isn't that a dumb place for a door?

Him: No it isn't.

Me: Yes it is.

Him: No it isn't.

Me: Yes it is.

Him: Well, it's going there anyway because if we ever remodel the kitchen I want to have an entrance there.

Me: Submits to husband.

I make many decisions throughout the day, and since my husband trusts me, I do not consult with him on many of those. If our washing machine springs a leak, I call the repair man. When I have the wacky idea to let my kids paint pictures on the bathroom wall or write scriptures on the door frames, I hand them paintbrushes and Sharpies. When I find a new homeschool curriculum that I think will benefit the children, I order it. When I make income with my blog, I transfer some to our bank account, give some to the poor, and invest some back into my blog.

Being submissive to my husband doesn't mean I don't use my voice or my intellect. It means that my husband is the head of our home. Just as the president of a company delegates authority to his top level managers, my husband trusts me to run the home. But, just as the president of a company has the final say in the happenings of the company, my husband has final say in the happenings of our family.

And I submit to him when we differ.

"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." Ephesians 5:22-24

  • Share This:
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter


  1. Yep, I can see myself playing out that second scenario. Nice post, thanks for sharing! I love the way you give us glimpse of real life in action.

  2. It plays out somewhat like that at our house, too. When I was first learning about submission, I tried some other ways, not good.

    This is a healthy balance in my opinion.

  3. Nicely said. I have to admit it took me several years to figure out that life is so much better and so much easier if I get over myself and do it Gods way. I wish someone had mentored me in this area earlier in my marriage. It would have saved us alot of heart ache. Unfortunately no one, not even our church at the time, seemed to want to put thenselves out there on this sticky subject.

  4. Good post Smockity!

    I think the word submission gets people feeling all yucky inside because so many times it has been used for evil and not good. Mostly, I suspect because occasionally bad men forget the “husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church” part.

    But we shouldn’t let sucky people ruin God’s word for us. So keep up the good work!

  5. Submission is a dirty word to a lot of people because it’s misinterpreted so often. You summed it up excellently here. What many women don’t realize is that submission to our husbands is a way for them to provide protection over us. Submission to a husband is him standing in the gap for us and dealing with consequences of those decisions directly, whether positive or negative. When we submit we are allowing husbands the natural role of protector and provider.

  6. YAY!
    So nice to see just some simple, Biblical, common sense on this issue.

  7. This is how it would happen in my house:

    Me: That’s a dumb place for a door.
    Him: I want the door there for some reason.
    Me: Ok, I’ll submit to you.
    2 months later when the door has been installed
    Him: Why is this door in such a dumb spot?
    Me: Sigh.

  8. amen amen amen! i love this post!

  9. Perfectly said, Connie! I am so grateful for the protection that submission gives me. (It sure isn’t easy sometimes, though!)

  10. That’s pretty close to how it works here, too. We see it as the deciding vote should we not be able to come to agreement. On top of that, whoever is putting on the brakes/saying no wins until an agreement can be made. It is easier to change from no to yes than the other way around.

    Rich’s parents had a deal which sounds horrible. She had half the votes he did. This basically means, whether they mean it or not, that there is no reason for compromise or discussion, because his voice is worth twice hers. It means she is always overridden. I never would have agreed to that in our marriage. As it goes now, we discuss things, debate things, and either one or both of us changes our opinion and we move from there or someone says this is a no issue and I can’t move from no until we have had the time to pray and learn more, or we say that this isn’t a yes/no issue, and since we haven’t come to agreement, we will take a break on it, then if we still don’t agree, Rich will make the call.

  11. Also, I find it hilarious that I had to “submit” that last comment.

  12. You let your kids paint pix on the bathroom wall, without consulting your husband, who also lives in the house? Out of mere consideration, I would ask my husband if he minded, and make no mistake about it, I am no wilting violet. You can do what you want, but out of consideration for others, I think it’s important to @ least check.

    The other day while driving home with my 16-year-old daughter, she began to change the song on a CD that was playing. It was a Christian CD, and I was only half-listening. However, I explained, as I have before, that it is rude to simply change the song without at least asking the other person/people also listening if they cared if the song was changed. I explained that even “Dad and I do that with ech other.” It is simply a matter of courtesy, and making sure that we consider someone else more highly than ourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

    We are not independent agents, and, somehow, it seems, from my POV, that what you consider ‘submission” to your husband (and, yes, the Bile teaches submission to each other), is really a matter of your husband having his voice heard, as well, despite him having delegated you as manager of the house.

    This one left me scratching my head on some of the examples you cited.

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      It might be true for you that your husband wants to be consulted about the bathroom walls, but I can tell you for certain, and I know this because I have lived with my husband for 27+ years, that he would think I was crazy if I bothered him with such a silly question.

      It has been over a year since we did that and he hasn’t even NOTICED.

      He would also be annoyed if I asked him what color I should paint my toenails or what brand of conditioner I should use. He simply doesn’t care.

      • Fair enough, but from where I sit, you have managed to equate (and trivialize) a nail polish color to a bathroom wall. My husband is as mellow, and easy-going as anyone I’ve ever met, but, again, it isn’t about that. It is, though, about being considerate. And, I, too, have been married for decades…with kids ranging from 35 to 16.

        I would submit that when you encourage young wives, you (that word is used generically) should encourage them to live in consideration of the man to whom they’re married.

        I would also venture to say that many men just give up after awhile, i.e., that their wives don’t listen, so they don’t bother to even give an opinion. And, please, this isn’t an indictment on anyone, but it is to say that it’s easy for me, as a woman, to sometimes forget that my husband has the final say. I, too, know my husband, and he does not give a rat’s tail about my nail polish color (nor would I ask him about it, nor, like you, would I ask him what to eat for lunch, or if i could stop @ Wendy’s for lunch, or buybthe grandkids a toy, etc., etc.) but he would definitely care about a wall (drywall excluded) being painted by kids with markers and paints.

        Two cases in point: years ago, when my kids were young, they would ask for things like scissors, and I would point them to my husband’s desk drawer. Almost invariably, the scissors could generally be found–if they could be found–rusting outside, or broken. I began to think about my utter lack of thought for my husband, i.e., that somehow, what my kids wanted took precedent over my husband’s things.

        Another time, while my husband was out-of-town (which is a rare occurence), I had a phone call with a friend whose husband had died recently, and she was in dire straits. I told her that I would send $300, and when I told my husband, he was on board with it, but was surprised that I hadn’t asked him before doing it. I asked him how much I could give in the future, without checking with him, and we decided that any more than $100, would have to be decided on together. Conversely, around the same time, he was programming a new laptop (that was brand new), and he asked what I thought of him giving it to our son and DIL because they had a garbage computer.

        Another example…I have a friend who was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. She is an attorney, as is her husband, and she is not one to mince words. When she lost her hair to chemo, she decided to keep it short after it grew back. However, she told me that she overheard her husband talking to a friend, and that her husband told him that he preferred that she let it grow out. So, Connie, what would you do in that situation, or what would you advise a young wife to do?

        Yesterday, there were two packages sitting in our office that needed to be taken to UPS to be returned. My husband, I knew, wanted to get them back, but I was more carefree about them, and wasn’t in a hurry (after all, a daughter is getting married this Friday, and I have/had more important things to do). My husband never asked me to take them, but he intimated that they were bugging him, and that he needed to get them returned. I told my daughter that before we ventured out to the store once again, I needed to get those packages sent–out of respect for my husband, who was busy working his tail off so we could eat.

        So, perhaps it’s a different outlook, or perhaps we just flat-out disagree. But, since I’ve been reading you for some time, I ahve been under the impression that you welcome dissent, and are open to other viewpoints.

        Life is a matter of every day dying to self, and if it means doing something out of deference to my husband, then, oh, well (we’re. Ot talking sinful behavior here).

        • Smockity Frocks says:

          I do agree that wives should strive to live in consideration with their husbands. I think your husband and my husband want to be consulted over different things. My husband would just be annoyed if I bothered him about the bathroom walls.

          I know my husband likes my hair long and blonde, so I keep it that way. I know he doesn’t want to be bothered with decorating questions, so I don’t bother him with those. I know he doesn’t like me to try exotic new recipes, so I don’t.

          If you *know* (or even have a hunch) that your husband wishes to be involved in certain decisions, then definitely consult him. If you *know* he wishes you would decide for yourself, then do it.

          I think we agree on these things. We just have husbands with different preferences. :)

  13. Note to self…proofread more carefully, and do NOT use the iPad, the instrument with which one must wrestle to stop capitalizing the “i” in i.e., but is an enabler when I insist that “we’re should have a period after it, and “not” is spelled “Ot,” to make comments on blogs. UGH…sorry ’bout that.

    And, I do understand differences in men…my husband is an incredibly sexy stud, who is understanding, and quirky…like me–the quirky part–that is why I enjoy him so. And, even I did allow the kids to mark up the walls, he wouldn’t get mad @ me, even a little. He’s the best.