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What it means for a wife to submit

Colossians 3:18, ESV: "Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord."

Colossians 3:19, ESV: "Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them."

There is no shortage of instructions existing for those living in a Christian home - two of the most prominent ones are stated above.

In the former verse, Christian wives are addressed. Here, there is some controversy regarding the words “submit to your husbands”. Truly, in the 21st-century roles have changed, and women are much more independent than they used to be. In actuality, the word “submit” can have multiple meanings - not necessarily in a military connotation.

In this case, the word “submit” may be interpreted as cooperating, taking responsibility, and being loyal and obedient to husbands. In an era where the responsibilities of different roles are merging into each other and overlapping - be it for the greater good, or not - it is no surprise that the notion may be confusing. Although men are not considered superior to women, the advocacy for complete independence seems not to be in line with the teachings for good Christians.

It is crucial to note that in no way are wives being referred to as inferior, rather, they are seen as helpers who cooperate with their husbands. Therefore, it is essential that good Christian wives resume their role as a helper, and do not attempt to be too independent - the roles are prescribed and with good reason.

As a good Christian woman, you should be the gentler of the two. When taking what is considered “fitting in the Lord”, the idea that the husband should be allowed to run the household is also of prime importance. In turn for the husband’s kindness and the pains he faces in running the household, you must show your husband the compassion and obedience he calls for.

In the same vein, husbands are not completely free from responsibility. The latter verse specifically calls on husbands to not be too harsh with their wives, but rather, show them the love they deserve. For both sides of the union to be fully committed to each other is what is considered “fitting” to God.

The Bible very clearly iterates that men are to be the runners of the home, with women as the supporters. A properly functioning pious family will have both the husband and the wife fitting into their designated roles.

Blessings and Breakthroughs,

Pamela D. Smith

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