The doctrine about submission in marriage is one of the most misquoted and misused Biblical teachings about marriage. Any kind of teaching requires wisdom. For submission in marriage to be taught to a group of people, some basics need to be in place.
1. Submission in marriage is a Biblical teaching. It only applies to families that subscribe to the Biblical teachings as the foundation of their marriage.
Both husbands and wives must subscribe to the same school of thought and they must be grounded in scripture. It cannot be taught in situations where husband and wife subscribe to different schools of thought.
For example, a husband is a criminal or an abuser then the wife is a Christian and she is advised to submit to him, meaning that she submits to his decisions yet he is led by by a spirit that is contrary to God’s word.
What spirit or value systems will she be submitting to exactly? Confusion sets in that “My husband has ordered me to engage in group sex or to procure an abortion….” Can a God fearing wife submit to that kind of leadership?
2. Couples must be adequately prepared for marriage. That means that they have been helped to address baggage such as damage caused by unfavorable upbringing environment which includes but is not limited to child abuse and/or neglect, unhealed pain from past relationships, unhealthy cultural beliefs and practices, etc.
They are born again, new creations in Christ Jesus for behold the old is passed away. They have been instructed and brought up in the ways of the word of God.
3. These people are part of a supportive system such that not only do they have people to adequately prepare them for marriage, walk with them and guide them as they find their way; but they are also accountable to someone.
Have you ever wondered why submission in marriage is taught within a church setup and not out there on the streets or in the clubs? Because God has entrusted shepherds who feed His children His word. The word of God is food for His children; it is not for the sinner.
With such systems in place, the chances of the submission doctrine being misused to be an tool of abuse and oppression are minimized. A God fearing man desires nothing but Christ’s leadership in his home.
Man submitted to Christ, steering his family to serve the Lord the way Abraham the father of faith led his household and his record is in the Bible that he pleased God. The family is indeed submitted to Christ, the author and finisher of their faith.