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Yes, the Bible does say that the wife should submit to her husband.  Let’s read Ephesians 5:22-24, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”  The proper order in the Christian home is for the husband to be the head of his wife and family, in the same way that Christ is the head of the church.

Now let’s look at the husband’s role in the family as we read in Ephesians 5:25-26, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.”

I’d like to pose a couple of questions here.  As the husband, do you set a proper example for your wife?  Are you submitting yourself to Christ because He is your head?  Too often, we men want our wives to submit to our wills, but we are not submitting ourselves to the Lord’s will.  When we do that, it gives off mixed signals.  As head of the family unit, we men must be the ones to set the example.

Another question I’d like to ask is this: are you obeying the Lord and loving your wife like Christ loved the church?  Again, as the head of the house, we men have the primary responsibility to obey the Word of God so that we can show our families what the proper role of the man is.  Are you sacrificing your own happiness so that your wife can be happy?  As head of the house, the man should love his wife, just like Christ loved the church.  That is an unconditional and sacrificing love.  We read in Ephesians 5:2, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”  Are you actively giving yourself for your wife’s happiness and well-being?  Is her happiness more important to you than your own happiness?

My wife and I have been married for 40 years.  I have learned from the Word and from experience that if I love my wife the way the Lord tells me to; if I love her with the same unconditional and self-sacrificing love that the Lord loves me with, she finds it much easier to submit to me.  If my desire is to make her happy and to care for her, then the things I ask of her are not grievous to her.  Let’s look at 1 John 5:3 which says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”  The Lord has required that we submit ourselves to him, but He also tells us that His commandments are not grievous.  This word, grievous, literally means ‘weighty’.  The things the Lord asks us to do are not heavy.  In fact He says in Matthew 11:30, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  As husbands, we should be able to say the same thing about our wives, “my burden is light.”  When we love our wives the way we should, we will not burden them with things that are unpleasant and cumbersome.  Our desire will be for their rest and comfort.

So, what do you do if you are seeking to love your wife with a Christ-like love and she still will not submit to you when you ask her to do things?  You keep loving her!  We are not told to love our wives as long as they are submissive.  No, we are told to love our wives with that unconditional love that Christ loves us with.  I think you will find that if your love for her is unwavering and unconditional; if you are living a life of submission to the Lord, then she will soon want to put herself in the place of submission to you as the Word says.

Just remember that the Bible tells her to submit herself to you.  It doesn’t tell you to make her submit herself to you.  It’s the man’s role to be the kind of husband that his wife will gladly submit herself to.