“Submission” is a Dirty Word

By Pat Robertson

People today seem to think “submission” is a dirty word.

Husbands and wives fear that by yielding to one another they’ll lose their identity or independence — but a ruthless tug-of-war will pull their families apart!

I frequently hear about these struggles during The 700 Club’s “Bring It On” segment, as couples ask some very thorny questions.

A husband wants a vasectomy despite his wife’s desire for more children. A mother’s permissive parenting style conflicts with the father’s authoritarian ways. A workaholic husband demands that his stay-at-home wife do all the housework.

These are big problems, but the Bible provides a very practical solution — submission.

Men may like to quote Ephesians 5:22: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” But the key to biblical submission is in the previous verse: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).

When we yield to others, we develop a give-and-take relationship. We listen to their heartfelt concerns without rushing to judgment or demanding our rights. We ask God to expose any error in our own thinking and to reveal His perfect answers.

In this loving context, we put others’ needs ahead of our own.

However, submission does not mean losing all self-respect, obeying ungodly commands, or being abused — for God says, “You are precious and honored in My sight” (Isaiah 43:4a).


Jesus was continually submissive to the Father’s will, but He had an inner strength that carried Him to the cross for our sake!

In fact, husbands should have that very same attitude. Ephesians 5:25 states, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”

When a man is willing to sacrifice for his wife’s good, she is willing to submit to his leadership. She knows he is always looking out for her and willing to put her interests ahead of his.

When a woman respects her husband — even during disagreements — he is encouraged to grow in spiritual leadership of the family.

Every day, couples should seek God together through Bible reading and prayer — with the confidence that no problem is larger than His wisdom and power!


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