Three general categories that describe many marriages:
1) Non-Christian Feminism No distinction between the roles of husband and wife. They live parallel lives, legally married but functionally single.
2) Christian Egalitarianism No distinction between the roles of husband and wife. They also live parallel lives, but often share some unifying, ephemeral elements (e.g. kids, hobbies, church).
3) Christian Complementarianism Husband and wife fulfill distinct and equal roles. They live as one together under God’s authority with unified purpose.
Wives are to follow their husband’s leadership
Husbands are commanded to love their wives as Jesus loves the Church (Eph. 5:25); Jesus died for the Church. Jesus’ example guards against chauvinism and other abuses of the principle of submission.
Ways a husband can handle disagreements with his wife:
Pray and discuss with your wife. Be patient. Wait for her to come around.
Appeal to a higher authority (pastor/counselor).
If the matter is pressing and/or a decision cannot be reached, the husband must decide. His wife should submit to the decision.
Wives are to preach wordless sermons
Those who have unbelieving husbands should not nag or be preachy, but rather love, serve, and respect their husbands, praying that God would use these actions to soften the husband’s heart.
Wives are to cultivate true beauty
There is nothing wrong with outward beauty, but it is “fleeting and deceptive” (Prov. 31:30). Holiness is true beauty. Godly wives have a quiet and gentle spirit; they are not silent, but prudent (knowing when and where to speak).
Wives should seek to know exemplary women
Peter gives Sarah as an example, and the Bible is clear that she is flawed. She is exemplary for her honesty and repentance, not because she is perfect; she ultimately did submit to God and to her husband.
Wives should fight fear
Fear (what if it doesn’t work out? what if I’m unhappy? what if my husband makes a bad decision?) makes life miserable and should be fought against by faith.
Submission Does Not Mean:
A husband is in ultimate authority.
A wife does not have independent thoughts.
A wife does not seek to influence her husband.
A wife must obey her husband’s command to sin.
A wife is less intelligent or competent than her husband.
Submission Does Mean:
A husband and wife are equal with complementary roles.
Wives are to submit like Jesus did in Gethsemane (Luke 22:42).
Husbands are to lovingly lead like Jesus does the Church (Eph. 5:25).
A single woman should only marry a man she can follow.
Christian marriage shows the Trinity and the gospel.
I am a professional writer for CCM Magazine, wife to Drew, and mama to Emmy. I own Wonderment Entertainment, where I provide publicity for musicians, and social media consulting for clients. I blog about life, fashion, mommyhood, marriage, and social justice.