Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for
those who belong to the Lord (v.18).
A group of children were asked, “How can a wife
submit to her husband?” An 8-year-old named
Mary said, “My mom could mow the yard,
feed the dogs, work in the garden, and help us with our
homework instead of making my dad do it. She could also
make food for special occasions, go grocery shopping,
take us to doctors’ appointments, pick out our clothes
every morning, and fix our breakfast, lunch, and supper.”
Mary’s definition of submission makes for marital chaos
and a perpetuation of misinformation regarding submission.
So, what did Paul have in mind when he penned those wellknown
words at the end of Colossians 3?
The command for wives to submit to their husbands was
actually one of the evidences of the Colossians putting on
the new self. So when Paul gave this command for wives
to submit to their husbands (v.18), he was not saying that
wives were inferior, that husbands could force submission,
that all women must submit to all men, that wives aren’t
intelligent and don’t have good ideas, or that wives should
follow their husbands into sin.
The word submit meant to “line up under.” Paul was
saying that each wife, in recognition of God’s orderly
arrangement established at the creation of the first human
beings (Genesis 2:7,18,21-23), should line up under the
headship of her husband. This brings honor to Jesus and
clearly reflects His rule in her life.
As followers of Jesus, we shouldn’t react negatively to the word submission
based on bad experiences and misuse. Instead, reflect on its true biblical
meaning. Husbands and wives ought to confer on decisions and situations
they face and strive for unity in their decisions—all with the husband lovingly
bearing the final weight of responsibility (Colossians 3:18-19). That’s God’s
orderly arrangement. —Marvin Williams
Read Ephesians 5:25-
29 to gain a greater
understanding into the
to his wife.
In what ways have you
seen the word submit
misused in the past?
How does the husband’s
role of loving his wife
make submission easier
in a marriage?
I am Man, I am Woman