Marriage can feel miserable when submission is taken out of context and enforced on either spouse. Learn how to practice submission when you watch “Biblical Submission,” on this episode of Zara Talks!

Help Her Submit to Your Authority

A wife must submit to her husband as long as it doesn’t dishonor God. Complications show up when she doesn’t honor him, and even science agrees. A psychological study by Dale Miller shows that anger and aggression come from feeling disrespected more than anything. A husband might not recognize how he can help his wife respect him if he ignores Ephesians 5:25, where God instructs husbands to love their wives like Christ loved the church (that’s some serious love), but only a love like that could help eliminate disrespect, and promote his wife’s desire to submit to him.

Priority: Christ Kept the Church First, After God

1. Make sure division isn’t in the way. The Bible says husbands and wives are one. When you allow people or things to divide you and your wife, you’re not behaving as one and that doesn’t help her honor you. If you want to help, don’t make it harder by allowing things like hobbies or other relationships to come in-between you.

2. Notice Christ’s focus on His assignment. He was assigned to give eternal life. Despite how hard it got, He remained focused on that assignment—even to death. His priority never changed. Those that truly understand what Jesus did for them have difficulty disrespecting Him. Likewise, when your wife really experiences life as your priority, you set the tone for her to respect you.

 

Protect: Christ Protected the Church From the Enemy

1. Protect her from the enemy like Christ protected His people from eternal separation. When the enemy tempted Christ to forfeit our deliverance, He sent him away by speaking the Word.  If you see your wife bothered or weary, talk to her so you can find out what scriptures you need to send the enemy away with. What feels like disrespect towards you, could be misplaced aggravation from people or activities used by the enemy to harm her spiritual, emotional or physical strength.

2. Take authority over attacks with prayer. Since husbands must love their wives like Christ loved the Church, you must also mimic Christ’s renewing prayer life. When you’re spiritually empty it shows up in your marriage. It’s like the human brain—when it works right the rest of the body works correctly. You’re the head of your wife, so the respect you’re craving has a lot to do with you and your prayer life. James 5:16 says earnest prayers of the righteous are full of power, and they get results. If you believe the Bible is true then you must pray for your wife and expect a change to come.

Provide: Christ Provided So There Was No Lack

1. Work to earn money for your household expenses, even Christ worked. If you don’t work you don’t eat and the Bible calls such men lazy. It’s not about getting rich, but you can only expect lack and the attitudes that come along with it, when you’re able to work but you don’t.

2. Count on God to make more of your most. Over 5,000 people were fully fed with five loaves of bread and two pieces of fish, because of Christ. Imagine what he can do with minimum wage. Do your part and allow God to increase what you have, or ask Him to show you where the increase is, so your family can be “full.” Gender doesn’t matter where the pressures of debt are concerned, so your wife may come off disrespectful when she’s actually frustrated.

Power: Christ Exercised His Authority for the Church, Not Against It

1. Lead your wife by serving her, your wife isn’t the only one who’s supposed to submit. Christ never tried to make anyone respect Him for who He was. He even washed His disciples filthy feet, and told them to follow His example of leading by serving so God would bless them. Whenever He did exercise His authority, it was against the enemy or to perform a miracle.

2. Get the keys back. Jesus holds the keys of death and He had to die in order to get them. You’ll have to do the same and take the “keys” from the enemy so he doesn’t win over your relationship with your wife. Like Christ died to His flesh for our benefit, you must also die to your flesh for her benefit. Recognize that offense and feelings of disrespect are only hiding the unseen enemy. Deal with him and you’ll achieve that oneness and Christ-like love which can only result in winning your wife’s respect.

References
Stanford.edu: Disrespect and the Experience of Injustice

Resources
MarriageToday.com: What a Woman Really Needs (Video)
Shaunti.com: For Men Only