Top 5 Challenges: #3 Submission to Husbands


Challenge # 3: The issue of submission and head of household.

Did you know that some Christian women have more power and influence at work than in their own homes? Really. It’s ironic, because we live in one of the most liberating generations for women. Today’s woman has options and choices that our grandmothers only dreamed of having. Women are educated, fiscally independent and taking their place in today’s world.

At the same time, some Christian women contemplate scriptural concepts to make peace with Biblical expectations of submission in today’s marriage dynamic. The perspectives of man as head of the house and feminine submission hinge on scriptures found in Genesis 3:15-16 and Ephesians 5:22 and 25.

“My salary pays the majority of the mortgage, I run the home, a department in a corporation and yet I am expected to submit to my husband?” Is it fair for this woman to be expected to submit ‘head of household’ to her husband? Similarly, what if she is more competent than he is with life issues? How does it work then? Some mean cannot make a simple decision, much less a complex one.

How does today’s independent Christian woman adapt? Should she have to?

“I just felt powerless.” Her eyes dropped downward. As her friend, I almost felt guilty asking her to re-live the pain of her marriage. She grew up in a denomination that taught that men should have unchallenged authority in the home and the woman’s role was that of servant to the male head. “The hardest thing is they justified my mistreatment with the Bible”. This young woman is now divorced from her husband and has since remarried another man.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, some wives support the concept of male superiority in marriage. One friend of mine said she feels liberated in their [male-led] marriage. “Submission for me is not oppressive; I don’t feel oppression is God’s plan for any marriage”. Partnership is the word used by this Christian wife. According to her, she and her husband collaborate on household issues. But should there be an issue that they disagree on, he has the “winning vote”.

Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Is the concept of the male-dominated home archaic or is it part of God’s timeless plan? What do you think of this challenge facing the 2010 Christian woman?

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  1. What a great post. I struggle with this issue as well. I was taught that the man is always the head of household. My parents divorced when I was young and I lived with my mother, who was single for many years. So while I had the base for the idea, my reality was that women needed to be strong and self sufficient. I’m married now, and I’ve discovered that when I step back and allow my husband to be the head of household, to have the final say – that we suffer later down the line. So at this point I’m torn. I want him to be the head of house, but what if he doesn’t do a very good job?

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