The other side of the headship issue is submission. Some men are fast to point out the places in Scripture where women are told to submit, while ignoring the commands to the husbands that come just before or after those verses. Personally, I don’t feel I have much right to point to what she’s supposed to do if I’m not doing an excellent job with what I’m supposed to do! I am NOT saying my failure justifies her failure, but I do know I’m commanded to remove the log from my eye before I try to deal with whatever may be in her eye.
Our wives are told to submit, but nowhere are we told to push them to submit. We need to understand submission is voluntary. We have free will, and if God won’t violate our free will to save us from hell, why would we think He would violate our will for anything else? If God doesn’t force us, why do we think it would be acceptable in God’s eyes for us to try to force submission from our wives?
The best way to “get her to submit” is to woo her. If you love and protect her, she’ll be more likely to choose to submit. If you sacrifice for her and make it obvious you put her first, she’ll be more likely to choose to submit. If you demonstrate servant leadership, rather than trying to control or manipulate her, she’ll be more likely to choose to submit.
What if you do all that and she still chooses not to submit? I don’t think anything you can do will be as effective as what God will do. Besides, if you try to do something about it, you’ll likely get in the way of what God wants to do about it.
A word to the wives: Yes, submitting is scary, and yes, your husband is imperfect and he’s going to make mistakes. Thing is, God is good about helping and protecting those who are in His will, while those outside His will often find themselves outside His protection as well. I am NOT advocating doing anything wrong because your husband tells you to, and I am not advocating a shut up and do whatever without saying a word. For more, check Lori’s Submission Series.