When You Stink at Submitting to Your Husband

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When You Stink at Submitting to Your Husband | AlisonTiemeyer.com

You know those days when you learn a huge life lesson and then remember it forever? This was one of those days.

There is a steady desire within me to submit to my husband. But on this particular day, I peeked over my man’s shoulder and thought, just let me take over, babe.

Our cell phone contract was coming to an end, and my husband wanted to switch to Verizon. Which is no big deal in the slightest except that all cell phone carriers are shockingly expensive.

In my mind, a phone is a phone. You can call and you can text. You can check social media, email and other seemingly important things that, in reality, are not all that important.

So, as my husband was kindly doing all of the heavy lifting by changing our cell phone carrier, these thoughts about cell phones were running through my mind.  He filled the online cart with the required updates and data plan.

Most cart additions he made, I questioned. And if I didn’t outright question it, something was burning fiercely hot in my chest making me want to question it.

Unfortunately, this is my nature.

As my husband took care of our cell phone plan, I kept cringing – both outwardly and in my heart.

I wanted to submit to his decision-making and his leadership. I wanted to be excited that he was dealing with the cell phone people and I didn’t have to do any research. But in my heart, I knew – in that moment and today – that I stink at submitting to my husband.

You see, my husband is my equal – created by God to lead our family and be head over our household. This does not mean that he makes decisions without talking to me, purchases expensive cell phones without a conversation first, or anything of the sort.

But it does mean that, as his wife, I must stand beside him, support him, and serve as his helper – a role that is of equal importance and value to our family.

I stink at submitting to my #husband. Maybe you do too? Here's some hope. #marriage Click To Tweet

Eve wasn’t all that submissive either. She wanted to take control, and she did. It didn’t turn out well. The story is right at the beginning of the Scriptures, which is an eye-opening reminder to me that this issue is common, and that trouble submitting as a wife will exist until the day Christ comes back to redeem the earth.

You know Eve’s story. The cunning serpent lied and convinced her to eat the fruit of the one tree in the garden that God told her not to eat. Then, she gave some to Adam. Sin made them brutally aware of their fallenness, so they covered themselves and tried to hide from God. Thus, the first sin took place and humanity – and marriage – has been fallen ever since.

God designed marriage to be full of honor, friendship, love, and grace. He designed marriage to imitate the gospel, to speak truth to the masses, and to showcase His relationship with the church.

And, to be harsh but honest, we ruin that all of the time. We choose selfishness and personal gain. In pride, we wish for our opinions to be heard. We want to make decisions and plan our days and live our own way.

We ruin the opportunity of #marriage with the curse of idolatry. #wifelife Click To Tweet

Next comes the part of the story where Eve is told she will stink at submission.

Genesis 3:16: “To the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you will bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (NKJV)

Desire in this verse points to idolatry. We idolize our husbands over the Lord, or we desire the position and headship of our husbands, or we do both.

Sin came in like a crushing wave and destroyed much of our ability to submit to our husbands well. We still live in sin, meaning we are far from getting this submission thing right.

But we should try anyway.

If you want to submit to your husband but find that you stink at it, you're not alone. As Christians, our marriages are meant to reflect the gospel to the world. But so often we get this wrong. So often we struggle to respect and honor our husbands as we should. Here is some encouragement to help you submit to your husband!

With our marriages, we should aim to love in gospel-centered ways and to show the world the best possible example of Christ.

How do we do this?

We worship the Lord when we wish to idolize our
husband’s authority.

This is the root of the issue – our worship. What are we worshipping?

I pray that I’m not worshipping my opinion or the ability to disagree. I also pray that I’m not running after control or choosing distrust in my marriage.

May we run to the cross – leaving idolized authority in the background and jumping into the arms of a worthy Father. He is able to work in us and make us new.

As my husband clicked ‘confirm’ on the new cell-phone plan, I praised. I thanked God for a husband who was willing to research the best carrier, for the ability to pay for a cell-phone plan, and for the countless ways God has blessed us recently.

My issue was never with the cell phone plan. Rather, it was with my own idolatry – I was worshipping my desire for control. I was choosing to question my husband rather than support him as a helper.

So, I stopped and praised. I didn’t do it perfectly. In fact, I barely did it well.

But I fumbled through my brokenness and praised anyway. Try with me?

If you want to submit to your husband but find that you stink at it, you're not alone. As Christians, our marriages are meant to reflect the gospel to the world. But so often we get this wrong. So often we struggle to respect and honor our husbands as we should. Here is some encouragement to help you submit to your husband!

If you’d like more encouragement about marriage & godly living, sign up to join the community here! You’ll get instant access to a free library of resources, including a Wife’s Scripture & Prayer Pack. It’d be an honor to meet you in your inbox!

24 thoughts on “When You Stink at Submitting to Your Husband

  1. Yes, I stink at this! This is something I’m working on ! It’s not always easy and sure requires God’s wisdom and grace. God is the One who can make a way for us as we learn to work through differences. What a great post, Alison and something I needed to read.

    1. Definitely requires grace & wisdom – definitely. I think it almost makes it sweeter to know that we cannot magically become more submission apart from God’s strength. It forces us to lean into Him, remember Him, trust Him. Thanks for commenting, Valerie! <3

  2. Yes, I struggle big time. I use to make submission conditional. The Bible says I should submit and my husband should love me like Christ loved the church. So I’d say we’ll he doesn’t love me like Christ loves the church so I don’t have to submit. Then God convicted me by reminding me that I stand only before the throne of judgement and will have to account for my behavior, not that of my husband’s. Since then I have been working at submitting but it is really hard sometimes!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Kira! What an important thing to add. Submission should never be conditional, because you are right, we are only responsible for our thoughts, actions, behaviors, and beliefs. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  3. I stink at this as well. One of the big light bulb moments I had recently was my husbands version of what kind of wife I should be is more important than society’s version.

    I felt guilty because I wasn’t home much, I wasn’t doing the traditional wifey roll, and I agonized over this for several months. I wanted to quit my job, take care of the house, take care of my husband. My husband wants me to keep working, to keep learning, and to keep an income coming into our home to keep children in college and help them get a start in life.

    All I had to do was submit, to my husband and to God. Duhhhh yea well I really didn’t want to, I wanted to be like all the other wifeys out there, but my husband married me, no anyone else. In part because I am independent and enjoy working outside the home.

    Hmmm God is smart, so is that guy I married, maybe I should learn to listen to them 🙂

    Great post!

    1. Michele, I love your comment. You are so right! It’s important to understand what submission means to our husbands specifically. I think it looks a bit different for every couple, every marriage, every home. This is an absolutely excellent addition. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Alison, I can TOTALLY relate! I think we all as wives have had a few (or many!) moments when marriage is just HARD. I have learned that submission does not mean I have to agree with everything, but I agree with God to obey His Word–and praise Him for the growth and blessing that comes from doing marriage God’s way. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It is hard, but it is so full of God’s goodness & glory when we pause to remember Him. Thanks for commenting, Christin! I sure appreciate you and your ministry.

  5. This is SO wonderful, Alison! We can really make it look like submission, when inside we’re burning to fight him. I struggle with this so much because we both have leader personalities. But this encouraged me so much to submit and showed me how-through praising and worshipping God! So, so glad I stopped by today!

    1. Oh, Nicole, your comment just made me smile. Thank you for sharing! I think we all struggle in some capacity or another. But when we’re seeking Christ and learning to praise, even when we’re struggling on the inside? Well, that’s grace-filled progress. 🙂

  6. Hi Allison… I admire your strength and courage to do so as it is not always easy as a human being to submit and to sometimes watch the other make mistakes…
    I have hard time submitting to my husband, but one thing I’ve learnt… sometimes it is better to let him make his own mistakes rather than going against the flow… eventually he realises the bad decisions he makes and listens to my opinion and takes it into account in other situations… however, I believe that sometimes when one of us know that the other is making a bad decision or is not quick at making one, best is for the ither spouse to handle the situation on the spot…
    It is tough but it all depends on situations and circumstances..
    Both learnt to trust eachother and to listen to eachother more…

    1. Hi Rosa! Absolutely, I agree with your comment. There are times when we have to sit back and stay silent, letting God work. And there are times when God uses us to teach one another. Thanks for commenting!

  7. I like the verse you put in about Genesis because it fits this topic of submission. Everything this verse in Genesis says is very true. Speaking on experience and faith.
    Upon Reading the verse of Genesis slowly and numerous times I realized women were ment to go through God’s punishment after the fall but It doesn’t mean we should be hissful about it and if we are pray to our God to please forgive the sin. Yes we are not perfect

  8. I think it is less about disagreement in a husband’s choices and decisions and more about how we express concern, questions and disagreements. We definitely need to express what we think or feel with grace. Just accepting what a husband thinks is wise and not voicing our concerns is not at all helpful. In fact it leads to a lot of men having their way so much that when a wife finally expresses concern or question, especially after a husband’s “wise” leadership causes problems financially, or emotionally for himself, his wife or entire family etc, it becomes a huge wedge in the marriage. Better to voice what is making us cringe, than to just deal with decisions made for us without our full input. Who knows, maybe our expressed concern, said in grace, may help our husband arrive at a more sound decision, or, at the very least give him opportunity to convince his wife of the wisdom of his decision, which could allay her fears.

    1. I’m with you, Jenny. In this post, I am more talking about the fact that I am too quick to judge and take over, rather than listen and allow my husband to lead. I like control, which as a wife can lead down a dangerous path of taking control and making decisions without letting my husband lead my heart. Thanks for pointing this out! It is so important to have a firm understanding on submission while continuing to speak truth in love.

  9. Hi allison I’m also a Christian blogger and God has been prompting me with this aswell. He lead me to start reading the book Fascinating womanhood and wow it is such a good book. If you have time to read it let me know what you think. I’m doing 3 week course in feb on this subject as well. I love what you write its so true and we can all definitely grow in submitting to our husbands

  10. I loved this! I really struggle with this. I have three kids and a husband who works shift work so his hours are all over the place. It is hard enough to just have family time as a while, but trying to fit in bible study on top of that feels near impossible. I always feel like a failure when it comes to leading my children to God, but after reading this I don’t anymore. I do implement all of your advice into our lives almost daily so I can see now how that is just as leading as bible study. Thank you for your tips and encouragement!

  11. Oh how I struggle with this! I like to be in control of every aspect of my life and so being submissive has never been one of my strong qualities! I will definitely be taking your advice and praising and seeing the positive in my husband’s decisions! BTW, my comment before this was for a different post and for some reason post on this one. I had one post open in browser and one on pinterest haha so sorry about that confusion!

    1. Whew, the struggle for control is real. I fight it daily! Thanks for commenting, Heather. And no worries about the other comment. Computers do weird things. 😉

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