Liberated Through Submission

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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.

Another Point

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.”

Respect

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.

Disrespected

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.

Woke Up

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.”

Life Change

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:

7 MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUBMISSION

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Filed under: For Married Women

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5 responses to “Liberated Through Submission

  1. (USA)  What would YOU do if you had a husband who wouldn’t let you go ANYWHERE by yourself, either by driving or walking, he only would drive you but you first had to get his permission, didn’t let you see your family for years, let you have zero friends, couldn’t go out of the house to get the mail without permission, had kids who were not allowed friends, not allowed to go anywhere or do anything (I am not exaggerating, as in NOTHING), told you what to do (like rules) when to do it, how to do it, where to do it, always pointed out faults everyday, rebuked all the time, all day long, was strict with kids had to be accounted for all day inside the house, always told you how rebellious, proud, and irresponsible you were, called you b—h, stupid idiot, etc…?

    1. (USA)  Wow! Sister. I wish I had an ‘easy’ answer for you. I don’t. My heart hurts with your heart, and I will pray fervently for you. Your husband sounds like a man my mom was married to when I was a child (notice I didn’t refer to him as my stepfather – there is a reason). Your husband sounds like he is insecure and controlling. Please know that judging you is not my intent.

      Have you sought counsel from a godly, biblically strong and grounded person – male or female? What you’re experiencing sounds like abuse – definitely on the mental abuse side if he is referring to you by labels other than your name. I am not proporting divorce, but I don’t believe that God expects for you and your children to remain in an abusive situation. Are you in a position to sustain yourself and your children if you have to? If not, think of ways that you can get yourself to that position. Seek God in that… I believe He will show you how.

      Are your children sons or daughters? Would you want your daughter(s) to think its alright to remain in a situation like this? Would you want your son(s) to think its alright to treat a wife and children the way that you and your children are being treated? Just some things to think about, sister. Please don’t be like another woman I know who shared with me that she has endured 40 years of extreme physical abuse, and yet she continues to CHOOSE to remain in the situation. I love you in the Lord. My heart goes out to you and I will pray for you and your children as the Holy Spirit leads.

  2. (SOUTH AFRICA)  Wow! This sounds like being in prison. My advice is to seek God in your situation. Place your heart and your trust in him.

    ‘I pray Lord, that you give my sister peace within her situation. Inner strength not to be broken by the rules and the environment that she is in… acceptance and faith O God, that you will deal with this. The Bible has lots of examples about people in prison… Joseph, Daniel, Paul… they all held on to your word… they knew in their hearts that their God is bigger and greater than the situations they are in. I pray for that similar resolve Lord in her heart, for the same faith and perseverance and hope that you know exactly why things are like this, and you will work in your time. She must have faith in you. We know that you are bigger and greater than this! Assist her to be always joyful and praise you at all times and in all circumstances. Her husband Lord is your creation… you deal with him in your own way. He is yours and you know what should happen and when and how. Hear our cry Lord and hide your child in your bosom. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.’

    Submit to him in your heart, in your spirit… and see God work in your life!! Surrender yourself to God and let him walk with you in agreement to your husband’s leading. God will work your man! …Allow him. For strength… Psalm 91:1-3.

    1. (NZ)  Are you saying she hasn’t sought God or placed her heart and trust in him? That somehow if we trust God and allow God to change our husband, He would? Then why didn’t he change King Saul or Judas or Herod? He wanted to, but maybe it was because they had a free will and didn’t want to change.

      Even your prayer implies that there’s nothing more she could do but just be joyful. Joseph couldn’t get out of his prison, but where people could, they did! Like when Peter was in prison, the angel opened the door, and he didn’t just stay there, he walked out. Or like Paul and Silas where the chains fell off and they were free.

      Is this woman imprisoned and not able to escape? Does submission include submission to sin? How can she walk in agreement when her husband doesn’t lead?

  3. (ZIM)  Thanks for starting of the topic very well by saying that submission can be manipulated into something different by certain men. Thing is, I’m sure many women want to understand submitting. What does it really mean, does it mean that I have to agree to whatever my husband says? Does it mean the final word in the house is his? Does it give him total power over me?

    Just to make an example, if you have a husband who wants more kids than you do, let’s say you want one and he wants three. Does submitting mean that you should have three because he, as the head of the home, wants three.

    I have seen very painful situations where women are told to submit to their husbands with things that they feel very passionate about. I once watched a TV show where a husband and wife got married. Then the wife attended church on Saturday because it’s her Sabbath day but the husband attended church on Sunday because it was his Sabbath day. The husband once married, told the wife she had to start attending church on Sundays but she couldn’t because to her, Sunday is not Sabbath day. The marriage eventually ended after long trials and conflicts, because understandably the wife refused to change her belief. The husband made a comment on the show that the wife was not honoring him as man of the house and is not being submissive.

    So that’s why I feel the term submissive and what God meant by submissive, should be explained clearly to women. Some women are not even allowed to wear what they want because the husband does not like it and she has to be submissive.

    Save us please, by explaining.