Submission: It’s Not What You Think


February 19



Ephesians 5:21-24 (ESV)

...submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.



What other relationship is marriage symbolic of? Why then, should wives submit to their husbands?


Submission. It’s treated like a dirty word in our culture. People just do not like to hear that they have to submit to anyone. They don’t like the idea of anyone having any kind of authority over them. And yet, Paul is saying that out of reverence to Christ, we are to submit to one another. What does this mean?


First and foremost, it means that all Christians are to submit to Christ as the authority over all of us. We are to revere, or deeply respect, that God has placed Him as the head of His church. As members of His church, we humbly subject ourselves to the rule of Christ.


Second, we submit to each other. Notice that the foundation of submission is not that any one Christian is greater than another. We pattern this behavior after Jesus Christ Himself who is our Lord and yet, He humbly served others in His ministry. He is God and yet He became man. He even stooped to the lowly level of a foot washer. Ultimately, He humbled Himself to the point of dying for us on a Roman cross. He was mocked, scorned, and humiliated. All for our sake. He who was greater became less. Given this, we are called to defer to each other. In Philippians, Paul said, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4).


Third, knowing that we are all to submit to each other, Paul specifically mentions that women are to submit to the leadership of their husbands. Note that not all women are to submit to all men. But in a godly marriage, God has ordained men as the leaders of their households. The reason that Paul gives for this is that marriage is symbolic of the relationship between Christ and His church. In Scripture, the church is even called “the Bride of Christ.” But remember, even though wives are called to submit to their husband’s leadership, Paul first told all believers to submit to each other. So, a godly marriage is made up of a husband with a leadership role, yes. But husband and wife should first submit to Christ and then both should consider the other as more important than themselves.


Next week, we’ll look more closely at what it means for husbands to be the leader of their wives and households. Spoiler alert: Christ-like submission isn’t what the world thinks it is and Christ-like leadership isn’t either.



Jesus, thank You for showing us what it means to humbly submit to each other in love and service. Help me to count others as more important than myself. Just as You considered me to be worthy of the sacrifice You made on my behalf. Amen.


~ Pastor Nat Crawford


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This is a difficult lesson for a person like me, but because of my love for Jesus Christ and His Word, I am willing to concede and yield to my wife as appropriate.
My husband of 67 yrs went to be with the Lord last Year. I miss his spiritual leadership looking forward to being with him again
Illumination of God’s word...awesome!
What a powerful message!
Submission to each other is Godly. As for the ungodly leaders let us not judge but pray for them to turn to Christ. That is our responsibility... the Great Commission
Love our spouses as god demands, teach our children trust in god, allow and encourage them to grow
I should build up the body of Christ for the kingdom of God.
Heavenly Father I submitted to long ago and how Thankful I am that I did. Lord please continue to Bless tech and give me to do as You did and remain to do each new day. Father I try to always pay it forward what I learned as the Blessing from You Your word is as we summit to You we are to as well all others putting them first before ourselves after You. I Praise and Thank You for all You have done and remain to do to teach me to become more like You each new day, In Jesus name Amen
Jesus didn’t come to be served ! He came to serve! I should do as he ! In Jesus name I pray Amen ✝️✝️🇺🇸
My first submission is to the Lord and I to follow His Word accordingly, I humbly thank Him for His grace and mercy to me and my family, amen!
With so many unGodly men, and women in power, I too struggle. Daniel chapter 4.
Thank you Lord! Jesus give me give strength to submit in love and kindness when the opportunity presents itself. Amen!
Glory be to God. Truth...Amen, by the grace and help of God.
Thank you for reminding us where our submission should lie. Thank you for preaching the word. Amen
Great teaching. I can't submit to political leadership which goes against God's word. Example is state sponsored abortion. God's word says honor those in authority over us. Daniel is a great example. I am struggling with this.
Heavenly Father I thank You for Your Son's sacrifice and I am grateful that I am able to submit to Him. Father I need help and submitting to others. Help me do Your will and all that is pleasing to You. Help me Father. I pray in Your Son Jesus name, Amen.
Thanks for your comments. And to piggyback on your comments about "if Paul were alive today" he did say that very thing. We are to submit to each other. Ephesians 5:21 "submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ." There it is. It's important we all take a text in its context. Great thoughts!
Good Word Pastor. Thank you Lord for being our example of humility, and showing us what it looks like.
Thanks for your comments. I'd love to have you unpack this a little bit more. How do you see this in relationships today?
Well said, Larry. Thank you.
Thank you for my daily devotional it has been a blessing to my life and so it allows me to be a blessing to someone else Jesus is awesome im so joyful he put me with your minstrelsy May God bless each and everyone there at Back to the Bible
Jesus please help us
I believe it is impossible to understand scripture with our understanding the historical context in which it was written. This does not mean cherry picking. It means 2000 years ago, even 100 years ago cultural norms for men and women were very different. There were very well meaning Christian men who did not support women voting, working outside the home, or having their own opinions in the not so distant past. While this scripture does not offend me, because I put it in historical context, I believe if Paul were alive today, he would have phrased this "husbands and wives submit to each other." In over 40 years of marriage, my husband and I treat each other as equals and submit to each other.
O mighty one please continue to show us how value it is for us to humbly submit to each other, in jesus name Amen
Thank God for giving us another beautiful day and thank you for pastor Nat for the devotion and I thank God for the beautiful weekend Amen
It’s sad to see when a wife does put her own husband, who does everything, on a pedestal! A woman who is doing nothing to save her marriage but everything to ruin a family!!
Jesus please help us 🙏🙏🙏
Short&sweet teaching on Submission.Thnq.Praise the Lord!
When I am fulfilling my role as a Godly man, my awesome wife loves to follow my lead! Thanks Nat.
Amen, Father God I want to always follow your will in Jesus name Amen
“Humility”, “submit to each other,” putting God first in relationships - these are thoughts the world preaches and pushes hard against. Lord, please help seek Your ways and walk on the path Your light illuminates....Amen
Thank you, Father. Amen.
It is better to give than receive. God so loved the world that He gave..... We must learn that Jesus came to give us Himself in word, deed, and death. He showed us that by giving himself we all receive eternal life. We have been so blessed by God because we can participate in the great plan of giving to others in Jesus name for his glory. What joy awaits us if we trust the Lord and love others more than ourselves and be like Him (Father God) who gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will receive (a gift) eternal life. Thank you Jesus. Amazing grace, Amen