How To See Submission And Sacrifice As A Gift

I’ve been told that my stubborn streak – or as I like to call it, my “Why, that makes no sense!” personality – has been evident since birth.

I think it’s safe to say that there’s some of that in all of us. Who likes to be told that we should obey – or dare I say submit to – another human?

The word submit has been a topic of contention in women’s’ groups for decades. I can remember once a young mom became so upset about this Bible verse that she left our study group. She was flabbergasted that we could even think that the verse in Ephesians was what the Lord had in mind for marriages.

What God planned for our fulfillment in a marriage relationship, the enemy plotted to destroy. He has taken that verse and twisted it, making it heard from a perspective of dominance.

Here is the verse in Ephesians 5:21-22:

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body.

I have to admit – if I was new to the Bible, or if I had grown up in a domineering home or experienced abuse, this verse would have me closing the Bible and crossing my arms and stomping away! No one is going to tell me to submit – I have a brain, and I don’t need anyone telling me that my husband is going to tell me what to do.

After my experience with the mother in my study group, I wanted to understand this for myself because I too had a hard time understanding that perspective, and I didn’t have a domineering view of God or my husband.

I first had to ask myself two questions:

1. Do I know and believe that the bible is the Word of God?

2. Do I know and believe that God loves me and wants the absolute best for me?

Answering ‘yes’ to both questions, I thought about the plan that God had for my marriage, what it looked like to be submissive, and why Satan kept twisting the truth and targeting marriages.

I discussed this topic recently with a group of ladies in a Bible study I led in January. I loved listening to their take on this verse. One of the ladies told me:

“It usually makes me fearful or angry. I have to make myself stop and think about the situation and if there is a Biblical application for it.” Focus On The Family

How would you feel about it if you knew that the Greek word for submission (hupotasso) means to get under and lift up?

“In context, submission (hupotassomai) probably means to deploy yourself in support of your spouse against the enemy.

In fact, I would suggest that a better translation might be something like: Wives, arrange yourselves for battle for your husbands.” Stant Litore

Now I see it for what it is: a spiritual game plan to fight for my marriage!

In this week’s episode, I sit down and talk with Reverend Keith Haney as we discuss this verse and God’s desire for us to experience Agape Love to its fullest.

The Reverend is a brave man, not only be my first male guest, but to take on this topic. 

I know you will be blessed.  Listen in and share with a friend!⁠


Links mentioned in the episode:



Understanding Our Roles in Marriage

Find more information about Our Guest

Keith Haney Your Spiritual Game Plan

Reverend Keith Haney

Rev. Keith Haney is Assistant to the President for Missions, Human Care, and Stewardship in Iowa District West. He has been an ordained pastor for 27 years, and has serving multi-ethnic urban congregations in Detroit, St. Louis, and Milwaukee.

He is the author of numerous devotionals, including One Nation Under God: Healing Racial Divides in America. He is married to Miriam (Bickel) Haney and they have six children and one grandchild. He is also the author of the blog, The Light Breaks Through, where he writes on his study of God’s Word. He is also the host of the From Mess To Miracle podcast.


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