“No woman wants to be in submission to a man who isn’t in submission to God.”
— T.D. Jakes
Let me attempt to get this idea right on paper without any further delay: there is a circular phenomenon of marriage based on the mode of service and submission.
The wife submits to her husband, but not before her husband submits himself fervently and consistently to God, and such a submission on the husband’s behalf is manifest by the way he serves his wife. The husband serves the wife by doing things for her, and she reciprocates by submitting to his authority under God. The truth is any wife would love a husband who is appropriately submitted to God, because she is respected, trusted, honoured, and dealt with as supremely worthy. She is cherished.
The circular phenomenon involves three parties: the wife, the husband, and God.
Every godly marriage has these three parts to it.
The wife submits to her husband, because her husband serves her, sacrifices himself for her, and puts her before himself. (Sounds like a kind of submission in itself, doesn’t it?) The husband does this because he is submitted to God; importantly, the husband sees intrinsic value in such a service. He cannot not serve his wife. Then God is involved in affirming the marriage in a public way. And marriage where the wife submits because the husband serves is a marriage on display for all to learn from and marvel about. People will marvel at this type of marriage because most wives cannot submit because their husbands do not serve.
It is of great credit to the man in a marriage—the husband of God—that he puts his wife before himself; at all times. The marriage is a great credit to him. And his wife wants everyone to know how loved she feels. She can trust his motives. She knows his intent. And though he is far from perfect, that intent comes shimmering through characterising him—he is characterised as one with potential. He always tries.
So the completion of the circular phenomenon of Biblical marriage is God blessing the wife, as she enjoys the Fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, etc. She enjoys these fruits because the Fruits of the Spirit are manifest in living ways through her husband.
The best marriages occur when a wife submits to her husband, because her husband is submitted to God to the point of sacrificing for her; the husband serves his wife in every way he can.
When a wife feels served she feels loved, and God blesses her and the marriage overall with a creditable name. She is proud of her marriage because it pleases God. He is happy because she is happy, but he knows that pleasing God comes before all else—which is why he serves her.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.