God’s direction for husbands and wives


“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” Colossians 3:18-19

Saying that wives should submit to their own husbands is not popular in our day, but this is what God, in His Word, commands. The world (as well as a great number of churches and church bodies) does not accept what the Bible says of women’s role in the churches — not to teach or usurp authority over the man but to learn quietly and in all submission as the law says (cf. 1 Cor. 14:34-40; 1 Tim. 2:11-15). Yet, this is the role created by God for women.

It is, as the Bible says, “fit in the Lord,” to obey God’s Word in this matter. Wives are to submit unto their own husbands “as unto the Lord” (Eph. 5:22). And it is rebellion against the Almighty to disregard His perfect will. He does, after all, know best. His ways are always good and right.

Though the world may think differently, every true Christian humbly agrees with God’s perfect Word and says with the psalmist: “Therefore I esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:128).

Even tougher, because of man’s sinful and rebellious nature, is what God commands of husbands and of men. Men are to love their wives and not to be bitter against them or treat them harshly. Men, this means putting your wife’s needs above your own. It means living your life and exercising the authority given you by God for the good of the helpmeet God has given you.

The Apostle Paul explains this in more detail in his letter to the Ephesians (5:25-27): “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

This means not only being willing to die for your wife but to live for her. It means sacrificing your own desires and ambitions for the good of your wife and the children God has given you. It means living and dying in such a way that your wife and family might be presented to the Lord Jesus holy and undefiled through faith in Jesus’ precious blood, shed upon the cross for the sins of the world.

Because of our fallen sinful nature, it is difficult for wives to be submissive to their husbands and to be careful not to usurp roles and authority that God has not given them. It is impossible, without the regenerating work of God’s Spirit, for men to so love their wives and families that they sacrifice themselves in living and dying for the good of their wives and children.

Rather than rebelling against God and rejecting His Word, we need humbly to agree with God and His Word that we have failed and come short. We need to acknowledge our own sinfulness before the Lord and trust in Him to forgive and cleanse us for the sake of Jesus Christ and His innocent sufferings and death upon the cross in our stead. Jesus, God’s Son and our Savior, has paid in full the punishment for the sins of all the world; His resurrection is proof. For His sake, God is merciful to you and to me and forgives our sins and gives us life eternal in fellowship with Him when we look to Jesus and His cross in faith.

Dearest Jesus, I have sinned and come short of living in accord with Your perfect design in creation. Forgive me for the sake of Your shed blood and give me the will and the strength to conform my life to Your perfect will. Amen.

[Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.]

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