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Submission in Marriage

Ephesians 5:22-25 is written: “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as you do to the Lord. The husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Therefore, as the church submits to Christ, wives should also submit to their husbands in everything. Therefore, husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...”

This passage from Scripture shows throughout history and across cultures - from ancient times to today - that God calls on women to live lives of submission and obedience to their husbands. But what does this mean for us in today's society?

Pastor Rick Warren explains that “submission does not mean inferiority; it simply means yielding to the leadership of another.” He explains that this submission is voluntary, not forced, and living in a way that honors your husband or wife. Just as Christ sacrificed for His bride - the Church - husbands are called upon to love their wives selflessly and sacrificially.

Evangelist Billy Graham says of Ephesians 5:22-25: "The Bible teaches clearly that when two people marry, they become one — united as closely as if they were parts of the same body. The husband is to be leader and provider; the wife was responsible for being his helpmate and joining with him in the work he does...”


Ultimately, it is up to the husband and wife to decide how best to answer the question of submission in marriage. The Bible does not demand that one partner submit unquestioningly; instead, it encourages couples to discuss their roles within the relationship and strive to support each other as they grow together in faith. The ultimate goal should be a harmonious union, with both partners honoring the other in a spirit of mutual respect and unconditional love.


Billy Graham emphasizes that in marriage, both partners are equal but have different roles. The husband is to be respected and honored, just as a wife should respect and honor her husband.

Biblical Commentator Matthew Henry explains that “the duty of wives to submit to their husbands...is founded upon the law of nature” and that it expresses love for your partner. To illustrate this point, we can look at the example Jesus set when He willingly submitted Himself to God, His Father - even though He was fully divine. Just as Jesus showed His submission through obedience, so are wives called on to obey their husbands.

In conclusion, Ephesians 5:22-25 calls for wives to submit to their husbands and for husbands to love their wives selflessly and sacrificially. Ultimately, submission expresses our commitment to honor each other in marriage, just as Christ honored us through His willing obedience. May we all live out this passage from Scripture in our lives today! Amen.

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