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Submission Is Voluntary

Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.
—1 Corinthians 11:3

Submission is a part of God’s created order. In Genesis 2, when God created man, He gave him an assignment. He said, “Adam, your job is to rule over the earth and to subdue it.” And then in verse 18, God contemplates the creation of woman. “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’” He said, “Adam, your job is to rule over the earth.” God created the woman to be a helper to him. Ladies, if you choose to marry, your primary assignment from God is to help your husband in the assignment God has given him.

I understand it is unpopular to say that wives are to assist their husband in his goals. After all, what about the woman’s goals, her aspirations? What does the Bible say about that? Let me show you something that might help you understand. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “I will make him a helper.” That word “helper” in Hebrew is used 21 times in the Old Testament, and 15 of those times it refers to God Himself. God is called the helper of man. Does that mean God is inferior to man? Of course not. The fact that man needs a helper is not a testimony to his strength but to his weakness. God has placed women in men’s lives, not because men are so strong but because they are deficient. They need a helper to shore up their deficiencies.

God has assigned roles in marriage as part of His created order. The husband is to be the leader of the family. And that is God’s plan in all of His created order. Whether it be in a business or a government or the church, there always has to be a decision maker. And in the family, that ultimate decision maker is the husband. Now men, you ought to listen to your wives. Many times she will have insights you don’t have. Nevertheless, there has to be a final decision maker.

That leads to another principle, which is that submission is voluntary. Now I’m not suggesting that wives get to choose whether or not to follow their husbands. I am saying that the decision to place yourself under your husband in a marriage relationship, that is voluntary. Ladies, you do not have to get married. But if you do choose to get married, you are voluntarily placing yourself under the leadership of your husband.

First Corinthians 11:3 is a great illustration of that. Paul says, “I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” Think about the relationship between God the Father and Jesus the Son. Are they equal? Yes. Yet Jesus voluntarily placed Himself under the command of God in coming to earth to die for our sins. It is the same way in the marriage relationship. A man and a woman are equal in inherent worth. But just like Jesus Christ, the wife voluntarily places herself under the leadership of her husband.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Truth about the ‘S’ Word” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


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