Saturday, May 1, 2010

Husband Submission to Wife Prohibited

Within marriage an egalitarian view tends toward abolishing differences and advocates “mutual submission,” which often results in the husband acting as a wimp and the wife as a usurper.
~Wayne Grudem, editor of Biblical Foundations For Manhood And Womanhood

Grudem is right. The Bible says NOTHING about husbands submitting to wives. At least, not in so many words in Ephesians 5.

However, I Peter 5:5 says “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, ALL of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble.”

Now, for Grudem’s view to be correct, we must conclude Peter is only talking about males in this directive. MALES are to be subject one to another and be clothed with humility [toward one another only]. It is unlikely this was written to females only, because that is not specifically stated. And he most certainly could not be ordering males to submit to females, particularly NOT husbands to wives. Since males were considered the superior gender in the New Testament era, and since Christians for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood also consider males to be the superior gender, we must conclude the Bible, which was written by males, was primarily written to males, except when otherwise stated.

Ephesians 5:21 says “Submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God.” This must be speaking to males only. After all, the Epistle to the Ephesians was written to the saints at Ephesus, and no females, particularly, wives, could EVER be saints. Therefore, the book MUST have been written to males, except for Ephesians 5:22-24, of course. That was most definitely written to wives, since it orders them to obey their husbands.

Furthermore, isn’t there a verse in the Bible (can’t think where it is located) that says: “The Lord sayeth, husbands, keep your wives in all subjection. Let not submission to your wives be known among you, for it is not seemly for a husband to submit to his wife. He that submitteth to his wife shall have his part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. Rather, let the husbands rule their wives first with tongue lashings, cursings and threats, and then through withholding of money and friends and forcing them on the marriage bed, and then through smiting with the hand. If the wife refuse to subject herself to her husband, let the husband bring it to the church, and let the church rebuke her. If she still puts on the cloak of Jezebel the rebel, let her be considered a heathen, and let no one have anything to do with her.”

Oh, yes, you can find that in the book of Ahasuerus 1:22

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge," a novel about a wife who discovers traditional marriage advice doesn't always work. See


  1. The facts are that the writers of the Bible were Jewish. Jewish society was male dominated. A good Jew had about as much value on his donkey as he did his wife. If it came to a choice of a good donkey or a good wife, the typical Jew would ask, "What is the purpose of the purchase?"

    I don't mean to be crude, but these are the facts.

    What amazes me most is that usually the pontificators of "how women should behave" are men who have sexual and ego issues in addition to being male! Us men just don't get it!

    Women are from Venus / men are from Mars. That was a book title which bespoke the fact that the greatest mystery in life is what makes a woman tick (for men) and the reverse for women.

    If you will notice, the best sitcoms from "I Love Lucy" to "Home Improvement" all use the differences between men and women and their values as the basis of laughing at ourselves.

    At age 64 with 42 years of marriage, I think I know whereof I speak, but it is with stars still in my eyes!

    My wife, at age 60, does not look a day over 40. We are going through a tough spot right now with our daughter separating from a 15-year abusive marriage with 4 boys, ages 12-5, in tow. My wife is having to stay 1.5 hours from me and we are together about 15% of our time instead of 60% to which we are accustomed. It is tough, but IT IS LIFE!

    Wise people recognize what is honest and real. I know our daughter's troubles are temporary and the demands on my wife will end. It is hard right now. At times I have been overly critical and a "male cheuvenist pig" in spite of my superficial understanding of the situation.

    That's why our marriage vow said, "For better or worse / for richer or poorer / in sickness and in health / to love and to cherish 'til death do us part."

    So who said life was always easy and instant understanding along with infinite love magicaly appeared at the wedding altar???

    It's a job and challenge we BOTH take on for the rest of our lives when we say, "I DO!"

    Most of the biblical pontificators did so from an Ivory Tower rather than a marital relationship including "better" and "worse."

  2. "So who said life was always easy and instant understanding along with infinite love magicaly appeared at the wedding altar???"

    Actually, Gene,
    I have heard it said that sometime during the wedding reception the typical Christian male undergoes brain surgery. He goes into the wedding being a loving and tender fiancee, but leaves the reception and goes on his honeymoon being a domineering jerk-husband.

    I contend that the complementarian teaching of husband authority, and "if wives submit your husbands will love you," is the very foundation and cause of marital misery for wives and children, and just like a fountain, it spews forth domestic abuse and domestic violence. The only people who enjoy such marriages are the husbands, who grow more and more infantile as they demand more and more slavery, loss of dignity, loss of choice from their wives.

    These men may THINK they are loving. But anyone who takes the freedom of personal choice from another right-minded adult, and demands that she do that which she thinks is less than the best choice, and expects her to accept his preferences and choices as being the best ones, is devaluing her by making her into a slave and a puppet, which is one of the most unloving things one adult can do to another.

    Gene, I am sorry you are having such a difficult time while your daughter works to recover the years the locusts have eaten. It is a hard row to hoe. Been there, done that. Years later, she will still see the ill-effects of the junk perpetrated by her husband. The best you all can do, is try your best to contain the damage so it won't spread any further, and little by little work to eradicate the "spill" and the damage.

    But do not despair: God is on your side. And He is a God "that healeth thee."

  3. Gene,

    Unfortunately the view of women as fundamentally inferior and unable to exercise leadership is not restricted to ancient Jews. My own husband turned the radio up very loud yesterday with John MacArthur preaching:

    QUOTE: "the Fall was the result of violating the divinely appointed role of the sexes and woman acting independently of man. Woman assumed leadership, and you know what man did? He messed up his role and then he instead of maintaining the leadership acted in submission to whom? To the woman. And the whole reversal was part and parcel of the Fall. So subordination of women in the church wasn’t invented by Paul, it is rooted in the nature of the sexes and it is confirmed in the Fall." ENDQUOTE

    (Cheryl Schatz has an excellent biblical response to JM's sermon here)

    So, he's teaching to modern day Christians just what Waneta's post says: husbands must not submit to their wives. To do so is to be a wimp like Adam and be led astray. I have heard almost those very words from the mouth of my own evangelical christian, seminary graduate, christian college professor, missionary husband "ADAM'S BIG MISTAKE WAS LISTENING TO EVE AND I DON'T INTEND TO DO LIKEWISE"

    So, men who sit in pews or turn on the radio and listen to JM and the like, turn around and treat their wives with massive disrespect.

    Not God's intention for a God honoring marriage. For that, we need to go back before the Fall where God commissioned them both equally to have dominion/authority. Or better yet, we need to move beyond the Fall into the redemption of Christ. For we are seated with Christ (Eph 2:6) "far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given" Eph 1:21