In Ephesians 5:22-24, wives are instructed to submit to their husband. Amazingly, they are not told to love them even though they are more affectionate. The men are commanded to love as Jesus loved the Church. From experience, it is easy for a woman to love but difficult to submit despite the possibility. Dearest, I would discuss some qualities men (both single and married) should possess that make submission easier for the wife. From my observation of godly marriage, wives who submit easily to their husband caught sight of some things. These qualities are foundational and can be developed to have a godly marriage.
PURPOSE: For a man to lead his wife correctly, he needs to be established in purpose. You could also call it, Vision. Marriage is meant to fulfill a purpose. A purposeless marriage breeds division of strength of the family. The wife runs her course, the husband his, and the children theirs. As a compass is to a ship so also is purpose to a marriage. And the man must have a good understanding of this for his wife to submit to him. Godly women respect men with a sense of direction, purpose/vision in life. She can submit easily, run with him, improve him and sustain the purpose/vision.
DEVOTION: This is the man’s personal walk with God, his prayer life, quiet time, faith and knowledge of God’s Words. Godly women respect a man that has developed a strong relationship with God. The husband is the head of the wife, (Ephesian 5:23) therefore the head need not to lack oil (i.e. anointing) Ecclesiastes 9:8. The oil lubricates various aspects of marriage like parenting, finances, relations, leadership, spiritual discernment etc. The oil cannot flow without a personal devotional life. This also birth godly force that a man needs to drive his marriage.
WISDOM: Wisdom is supreme (for the man) so (husbands) acquire wisdom and whatever you acquire; acquire understanding (Proverbs 4:7). Women would submit to a man of wisdom. Wisdom will eliminate arguments and frictions in a home. It helps make astute financial decisions that would not plunge the home into crisis. Among many things the man should have understanding of are the Laws of Marriage. (Further details, read Spirit Meat devotional, May 2015 edition, from 8-12th May)
LOVE: I mean love not feelings, emotions or romance. Although women respond to the three but it does not make them necessarily submissive. From 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, love attributes includes being patient (with your wife) kind (to her), not envious (about her success). Love doesn’t brag or is it proud. It isn’t rude but polite in manner. It is not self-seeking but sacrificial like Christ. It is not hot tempered and doesn’t keep a diary of misdemeanors. Love does not disobey God’s command to obey the woman. It also does not expose her to danger but protects her. Love always trust, hope and perseveres. Romance, emotions and feelings fails but never fails. No woman can resist the power of love.
OBEDIENCE TO GOD: At times, a man’s obedience to God is tested by contrary demand from his wife. Therefore he is in a fix between whom to obey, his wife or God. If the man chooses to follow God, despite the contrary request by his woman, he has passed the test. Although the woman maybe unhappy but within her, she has seen a man she can submit to. He isn’t a puppet but a real man.
INTEGRITY: Integrity in words, financial dealings and character by the man would earn the respect of his woman. This will consequently make her yield to his leading. The man should stand by his “yes” whenever he says it. It encourages trust and confidence in the home. It will crush the every bug of doubts that can raise unnecessary dust in the marriage.
GOODLY WORD: it is an established fact woman responds to words. Right words are like golden apples in a silver artwork. Healthy words bless everyone including the man and his woman. A man cannot be verbally abusive and earn the respect of his wife. For submission to be easy, the man has to speak right. Words of praise, comforts and encouragements would make a woman go extra mile for her man. Knowing when to speak, what to say and how to deliver it, is a great virtue in marriage.
FINANCIAL STRENGTH: Life generally revolves around finances, so also is the home. Financial power is the wealth a man possesses. Wealth is in various forms: cash, stocks, investments, knowledge, properties etc. Financial provision is imperative for peaceful living in the home. The Scriptures say that a man that does not provide for his own house is worse than an unbeliever (1Timothy 5:8). Provision is the statutory duty of the man. No woman would keep submitting to a man that is in debt or persistently borrow from her. However, the man with various form of wealth will earn her respect.
Dearest, the qualities discussed are templates for the man that wants a submissive wife. They are not all encompassing but would give a head start for a godly atmosphere in the home. A good and godly marriage is work. Hard work. Therefore let us make all the necessary preparation for it and not be filled with expectations. Dearest, I pray you have a godly marriage.