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What’s The Difference Between A Submissive Woman and A Submissive Wife?

Recently, I was asked to describe; what it means for a wife to “submit” to her husband. I had to stop and think about that for a moment, as when you study scripture, you’ll learn there’s really no difference between being a submissive woman and a submissive wife. In fact, there’s really only a submissive woman!

Recently, I was asked to describe; what it means for a wife to “submit” to her husband. I had to stop and think about that for a moment, as when you study scripture, you’ll learn there’s really no difference between being a submissive woman and a submissive wife. In fact, there’s really only a submissive woman!

 

Submission is a word that many of us run from, especially women. However, recently we were a guest on a relationship podcast and were asked to describe; what it means for a wife to “submit” to her husband. Honestly, I had to stop and think about that for a moment.

When you actually study scripture, you will learn that there’s really no difference between being a submissive woman and a submissive wife. In fact, there’s really only a submissive woman!

Hold up. I probably lost a few of you. On the other hand, I may have just started a debate in your mind. Either way, give me a moment to explain.

When I think about being a submissive wife, I immediately think of the Virtuous Woman (also known as the Proverbs woman). And if we look at the virtuous woman within the context of who she is, it will help bring some clarity on this subject.

Let’s First Define Virtuous

Proverbs 31:10 (NKJV) says: “Who can find a virtuous wife?  For her worth is far above rubies.”

Now don’t let the word “wife” trip you up just yet. I will explain that in a moment.

However, the word virtuous used in this scripture means; honorable, reverential, highly principled, modest, strong, and a woman of substance.


Follow me for a moment. If we replace the word virtuous with the words that describe what it means to be virtuous; then Proverbs 31:10 would read: Who can find an honorable and reverential woman?

Therefore, if being honorable and reverential, describes submission; then the scripture would read: Who can find a submissive woman?

Now let’s keep that in mind, as we re-read Proverbs 31 in another translation.

A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman—who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. ~ Proverbs 31:10(AMPC)

 

Let’s Bring This All Together

The scripture says: Who is he who can find her?

Well, let me ask you: who is her? In this scripture her is defined as a virtuous woman.

What’s a virtuous woman? A woman who is honorable, reverential, and submissive.

This means, when a man finds this virtuous woman, he FINDS her; honorable, reverential and submissive.

You see, she DOES NOT become submissive when she becomes a wife. The virtuous woman is honorable, reverential, and submissive, right now; when she is found. And when a man puts his eyes on THIS VIRTUOUS WOMAN, look out, he then found a good thang!

Ladies, it’s important for us to remember that no matter what type of relationship we are in (boyfriend and girlfriend, fiancé, husband and wife, or even friends), we are brothers and sisters in Christ first. And God expects us to be submissive one to another because we all belong to the Body of Christ.


Don’t just take my word, I encourage you to consider studying 1 Peter 2: 13-25. In the Amplified Version, this particular passage is titled Christian Submission. And if you continue reading 1 Peter 3:1 (AMPC) it goes on to say…

“In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,” ~ 1 Peter 3:1 (AMPC)

Notice the scripture says, “in like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands.” So, just as you are submissive to brothers and sisters in Christ, you are to be submissive with your husband as well.

I know the word submission has a negative connotation in our culture today. However, when we embrace kingdom submission with each other, we will embrace who we are in Christ. And then when we become a wife, we will naturally submit to our husbands because this is what we do as virtuous women.

Ladies ask yourself, am I a submissive woman? Forget about being a submissive wife, are you a submissive woman? Are you a submissive sister in Christ with all of those you are in relationship with?

PS…The links to the relationship podcast we were a guest on, are provided below if you want to hear the podcast. The book I reference in the podcast that I read before getting married to Andre, The Proverbs 31 Study Aid by ER Reid, is available on our store page or by clicking the link below.

Right To R.E.A.L. Love Podcast

What It Means For A Wife To “Submit” To Her Husband: Part 1  Part 2  Part  3 Part 4

This post has been shared on Salt and LightGrace and Truth a weekly Christian link up.

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~ Timberley Gray

10 Comments

  1. Charlie | MississippiMom says:

    You are so right! And to go one further: are we submissive to Christ? I have found that’s the key for me. If I’m struggling to submit in my marriage, I’m often struggling in my faith walk, too.

    • Timberley Timberley says:

      Charlie you are so right! Without being first submitted to Christ, we would have a hard time submitting to anyone. Our behavior towards others is a reflection of how much time we have been spending with God strengthening our faith. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Submission shouldn’t begin with marriage. I have been teaching my girls to firstly, submit to God and His authority, and then submit to my husband and me. I wasn’t submissive when I was first married, I had to learn about that on my own. I’m thankful I can be that example for my girls – and my son. Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.

    • Timberley Timberley says:

      I’m so glad we agree that submission shouldn’t begin with marriage, as this is so important for us to teach the young girls today. What a blessing your girls and your son are to have you teach them those truths. ~ Blessings

  3. Liz says:

    You got my inner word nerd all excited with this post! I so enjoyed it! Blessings!

    • Timberley Timberley says:

      Liz that’s funny I love studying the word like that too! I just seem to get so much more out of it when I take the time to break it down. Thank you for reading. ~ Blessings

  4. Rosanna says:

    This is different than I’ve ever thought about submission before, but I recognize the truth behind it, immediately. I would dare say that submission to the authorities in our lives should be taught to our daughters AND sons, after all, it’s important that we all have the right heart attitude.

    • Timberley Timberley says:

      Rosanna you are spot on about us teaching our sons and daughters about true submission. Training them up in THE WAY (the Bible) is the best thing we can do for the next generation. ~ Blessings

  5. Desiree says:

    Wow! Such a hard word for me and I pray daily for God to teach me how to be submissive to Him first so that in turn it is easier with my husband. Keep me in your prayers with this one!

    • Timberley Timberley says:

      Desiree this is a tough one for so many of us women. I pray right now that the Holy Spirit will speak to your heart and give you wisdom in this area so that you can not only yield to God in complete submission but to your husband and to the body of Christ. May God fill your heart with His love so that it may be reflected towards others in your speech and actions. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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