“I am your husband, therefore you will do as I say.” “I’m your wife, therefore you will do as I say”. “Do this, or I’m leaving?” “Do I not have a say.” These are the phrases too often used in marriages to get one partner to do what the other wants. It’s a struggle for control.
Too often I hear of husbands abusing their roles in marriages, declaring their wives do everything they say. While I do believe that the man should be the head of the household, I don’t believe this gives the husband power over his wife as if she were a piece of property, not letting her have a say and influence in the marriage and family.
“But it was not the design of God that the husband should have control, as head of the house, when he himself does not submit himself to Christ. He must be under the rule of Christ that he may represent the relation of Christ to the church. If he is a coarse, rough, boisterous, egotistical, harsh, and overbearing man, let him never utter the word that the husband is the head of the wife, and that she must submit to him in everything; for he is not the Lord, he is not the husband in the true significance of the term….”.(White, 117)
Ephesians 5:25- 27 says, “Husbands should love their wives like Christ loved the church, for he gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore, as the church unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing” – Ephesians 5: 22-27 KJV
Wives should submit to their husbands, but not in complete submission, as Ellen G. white explains, “for entire submission is to be made only to the Lord Jesus Christ, who has purchased her as his own child by the infinite price of His life”(White, 116) Also, let’s be honest, if you were to yield to your partner’s every selfish command and desire would you still love or like your partner as much as you did prior- probably not. A man declaring his wife submit herself entirely to him and not have a say in anything is going against God’s word.
“Neither the husband nor the wife should attempt to exercise over the other an arbitrary control. Do not try to compel each other to yield to your wishes. You cannot do this and retain each other’s love. Be kind, patient, and forbearing, considerate, and courteous. By the grace of God you can succeed in making each other happy, as in your marriage vow you promised to do. MH 361.”(White, 118)
Wives, submit to your husbands. Husbands, cherish and love your wives.
White, Ellen Gould Harmon. The Adventist Home: counsels to Seventh- Day Adventist families. Review and Herald Pub. Association, 2001.
The King James study Bible: King James Version. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2008.