The Truth about Submission in Marriage.


Guest Post By: Nicole Kauffman


Wives submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. -Ephesians 5:22


What a backwards concept in our culture today.


With so much emphasis on feminism, independence and self-sufficiency, godly submission in marriage tends to get swept under the rug.


But what if submission wasn’t passivity?


What if submission didn’t mean simply swallowing your desires and surrendering your sufficiency altogether?


When Paul speaks of submission in marriage, he is painting a beautiful picture of what God intends for a healthy and thriving relationship.


When we hear the word submission, we don’t have to shudder or wave our hands – pointing to the “old days”.


When we can learn to truly submit in our marriages today, we will experience the unbelievable power of God.


So let’s take a look at what it means to truly submit and the amazing benefits of a godly marriage.


What Submission Really Means


Submission can be summed up in one word: Respect.


And respect requires more than just an action.


There have been so many times in my marriage when I thought I was submitting. I’d done or given up what was asked.


But I saw the effects of my attitude tear at my husband.


My sulking or the cold shoulder that I offered in an attempt to deal with my disappointment caused my husband to doubt himself.


But in this beautiful picture that Paul is painting, our husbands are called to be the head of the house. To lead.


For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. -Ephesians 5:23


When we fail to submit, we drive a wedge into our husbands’ attempt to lead.


And several times, I have seen this cause my husband and so many others to step back and to take the role of passivity. And whether it is just when it comes to one specific area or as a whole in marriage, we tear down the opportunity for God’s intention in marriage when we fail to align our hearts with our roles to submit.


In order to truly align my heart with my role in submitting to my husband, I have to be active and aware. I have to take time with God every day. And this is always a learning process.


If you are learning to submit with your whole heart, you can join me on this journey.


Here are a few things that have helped me to follow this call.


1. Spend time praying every day


And sometimes multiple times a day. I’ve learned how important it is for me to pray specifically and strategically for my marriage.


Satan knows just what it takes for me to put my walls up and want to take control in my marriage. So every morning, I surrender my heart to the Lord.


Every morning I ask the Holy Spirit to fill me with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23).


Especially self-control. I often get to the end of the day, tired from working and getting dinner ready and at the first frustration in my interactions with my husband, my emotions take over.


Why is it that what we try so hard to do, often times, we cannot do!


Praying constantly throughout the day will allow you to continue to align your heart with God’s will for you.


In prayer, you can find the strength to submit.


2. Practice Choosing Trust


One of the most pivotal turning points in my marriage was when I realized that sometimes, we have to choose trust.


With a difficult past, trust does not come naturally for me. In fact, even when I want to trust, I find myself putting up walls or making excuses.


So when my husband makes a well-thought out decision, my first reaction is to pull out the spotlight and my long list of questions.


For me to feel genuinely okay with some of these decisions, I’d have to debate them until I’m blue in the face and satisfied with every answer.


Trust is often a choice.


And it is a choice we must make daily in our marriage.


When my husband takes the lead, I can choose trust even when I don’t feel it.


I can choose to trust that he loves me and he wants what is best for our family.


So the next time you struggle to submit, the next time you want all the answers before you accept your husband’s lead, practice choosing trust with me.


Say it out loud to yourself. “I trust my husband’s leadership.”


Say it out loud to him, “I trust you in this.”


Over time, you will begin to feel that trust take root.


3. Give Yourself Grace


This one I struggle with. When I see myself fail to submit, I get frustrated, discouraged, angry.


But as you spend time in prayer and practicing choosing trust, you must remember that it is a process.


It doesn’t happen overnight.


Marriage as God intends it takes time and plenty of grace.


So offer yourself that grace, just as Christ offers it to you.


Submission in marriage is a beautiful reflection of Christ and the church.


The church submits to Christ and in turn is blessed beyond measure by the One who loves us immensely.


As you submit to your husband, you will see God’s blessing poured out.


You will see a transformation, beginning with your own heart.



Nicole Kauffman is a wife, blogger and passionate follower of Christ. Her blog Courage. Hope. Love. was founded to encourage, inspire and guide Christians to deeper hope and joy in the Lord.  Nicole lives in Pennsylvania with her amazing, God-seeking husband and family. She is an aspiring author who loves to grow relationships, mentor, and explore the beauty of God’s creation all around. You can follow her on Facebook and Pinterest.



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  • Reply
    3 Amazing Benefits to Praying for Your Marriage - Mama of Three Boys
    July 30, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    […] began praying strategically and fervently for my […]

  • Reply
    July 26, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    I work at this, too… often thinking my ideas are better thought-out and therefore superior to my husband’s. I like the perspective of submission not being passive, but rather an intentional choice. It helps!

  • Reply
    Brittany Putman
    July 26, 2017 at 5:13 am

    I always think of submission as I submit and he loves me and leads me the right way. It’s hard when your husband isn’t leading the way he should! I think prayer is the key. Prayer is so important.

  • Reply
    Bailey | The Thin Place
    July 25, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Such clear, tangible ways to practice submission. It is truly something we need to practice at each and every day.
    Bailey | The Thin Place recently posted…The Beauty of Confession: 3 Ways to Incorporate it into Your Prayer LifeMy Profile

  • Reply
    July 25, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Trust is key! It is a tricky thing but really makes the difference.

  • Reply
    July 25, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I love how you explain submission , people assume the worst when they hear that word . Great job !

  • Reply
    Melissa Javan
    July 25, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Submission is so hard. Why is it so hard to trust? Good post, food for thought.

  • Reply
    July 25, 2017 at 5:32 am

    AMEN SISTER!!! Spot on and beyond beautifully written!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    We have been married almost thirty years and I firmly believe we must each respect one another to keep the relationship strong.

  • Reply
    July 20, 2017 at 4:41 am

    This is so beautifully written! After ten years of marriage, I have been actively pursuing what it looks like to truly submit to my husband through the last six months. It is incredibly encouraging to read pieces like this and know I’m moving in the right direction. Thank you!!

    • Reply
      Nicole Kauffman
      July 28, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Thank you, Angela! I’m so glad you’ve found some affirmation and encouragement 🙂

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