Before sharing with you what Bunny Wilson had to say on this subject I (Cindy) want to clarify a few things. This is a very touchy topic for most people —women in particular. Sadly, there have been a lot of abusive liberties taken because of misunderstandings that occur when the subject of submission is brought up.
I encourage you to read her book because she explains this subject very well. What I especially like is the fact that she’s such a strong woman whose natural tendency isn’t to submit and yet she’s seen the importance of following this concept as defined in the Bible because God says to. I figure if she can submit —most any woman can.
I also want to point out that she starts this particular chapter by saying, “I hope with all my heart you are not a victim of extreme circumstances.” This is so important to note. If you’re suffering from abusive behavior or your spouse has a mental disorder you need to be especially careful and prayerful on this area of your lives together. Under those circumstances you really need a Godly counselor to guide you through this because you need help sorting out the truth from the lies that you may be hearing from your spouse.
But also keep in mind that Bunny is talking about attitudes here. Even if you have to be careful and put up safeguards and boundaries because of your spouse’s tendency to abuse the responsibilities God has entrusted him with, your attitude towards him can still be respectful “as unto the Lord.” With this said, let’s consider what the author has to say on this subject:
In Ephesians 5:33 we read:
“And the wife must see that she reverence her husband.”
A woman who demonstrates reverence for her husband will have no difficulty submitting. In the Greek, “reverence” means to be “in deep awe or respect of.” If you’re thinking to yourself, “She doesn’t know my husband!” then you need a more complete understanding of what it means to have reverence for him.
As I meditated on the word “reverence,” I asked God to give me a relevant example. Not long thereafter, He showed me a picture of former President Reagan walking into Congress. As our Chief Executive made his entrance, everyone rose to his feet in honor of Reagan’s lofty position. No one would have denied that there were many people in that room who were opposed to Reagan’s politics. If it had not been for his position, they would not have stood. They were honoring his presidency, not his policies.
On a prestigious television interview show, former Vice President George Bush was being interviewed regarding the Iran contra scandal. Based on the line of questioning, it appeared that the host of the program felt Bush had knowledge of the Iran affair. Several times during the interview the commentator’s attitude was brisk and curt. When he was finally out of time, the journalist cut the Vice President off sharply and concluded the program.
The public was outraged! Television executives were embarrassed. Letters began to pour in. Were they angry because they thought Bush wasn’t involved with the scandal? No. People were upset because of the lack of respect shown to a person holding the position of Vice President.
Respect the Position
We may not respect our husbands for the type of men they are, for their decisions or their leadership. However, God demands that we respect the position He has placed them in as husbands. I asked the Lord, “Does this mean that I am to stand whenever my husband walks into a room?”
He replied, “No, but your spirit should. Your spirit should stand in honor, and bow in respect. When you vowed to Me that you were accepting him as your husband ‘until death do us part,’ he became the head of you and your home.” God reminded me that this policy is appropriate even in the cases where husbands clearly do not conduct themselves in a respectable manner.
After God had finished unfolding the meaning of reverence, I hung my head and wept. I realized that I had had enough “marriage sense” to be respectful to my husband on the exterior, but I knew in my heart that I’d never had reverence for him. Rarely did we have a conversation where my inward spirit was not rebelling at Frank’s words.
I had never even considered the position that God had placed him in. That is when I repented. I said, “God, I didn’t know. From this day forward, I will not be irreverent to my husband; not in words, thoughts or actions. And if I should slip, Father, I will go to him and ask his forgiveness.”
From that moment on, my life completely changed. The first thing I noticed was that all the noisy dialogues within me ceased. Have you ever considered the number of conversations you have with your husband inside your head? Many times I would be raging when Frank walked into a room, and he hadn’t said a word.
Once I repented, I experienced a peace I would never have thought possible. Today when my husband walks into a room, my spirit stands in honor. It bows in respect to the position he holds. I strive to resist thoughts that would stand against his position. Little did I know that simple obedience to God’s Word would open a freedom to me that I had never known.
The benefits of this obedience could not be contained in this book or in hundreds of others. Without my telling Frank about my decision to have reverence for him, he began to change in ways that I never could have imagined in the first 15 years of our marriage. Time after time, I watched him start doing things I had only dreamed might happen.
This article can be found in the book, Liberated Through Submission: God’s Design for Freedom in All Relationships written by P. B. Wilson published by Harvest House Publishers. P.B. Wilson is the author of several books. She and her husband of more than 30 years, well-known songwriter and recording producer Frank Wilson, conduct marriage and family seminars across America.
— ALSO —
An article posted on the “Girls Gone Wise” web site, written by Mary Kassian, gives insights from the Bible, that would be good to read:
Filed under: For Married Women