Submission Does Not Equal Inferiority
As soon as one affirms that wives should submit to their husbands, some folks get upset. Feminists argue that the submission of women to their husbands implies the inferiority of the female and opens the door to the abuse of wives by their husbands. Others claim that the idea of the submission of the woman to her husband is out-dated and narrow-minded. These same folks might be surprised if they were to discover that the idea of a wife’s submission to her husband is straight out of the Bible! The submission of the woman to her husband does not find its basis in any particular culture or man-made creed, but rather in the will of our Creator who created the family and chose to regulate it. The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord" (5:22). The apostle Peter similarly exhorted his female readers, "Likewise you wives, be submissive to your own husbands,…" (1 Peter 3:1). We may not all immediately agree on exactly what is meant or included by the phrase "submit to your own husbands," but be advised that it was God who gave the command. The Bible is God’s Word and thus anyone who argues against the submission of the wife has aligned himself against the Lord Himself. I realize, of course, that some people don’t care what the Bible says, but it never ceases to surprise me how many religious folks routinely ignore what the Bible clearly states!
Does submission really imply inferiority, as feminists and others affirm? While submission CAN indicate inferiority, it does NOT inherently imply inferiority. For example, the fact that a man submits to the authority of the government does not imply that he is inferior to those individuals who constitute the government. Both man and woman were created in the image of God and are called by God to redemption in the same manner. So far as I know, the Scriptures NEVER teach implicitly or explicitly the inferiority of the woman. To link the submission of the wife with any supposed inferiority of women is to construct a straw man, evidently with the purpose of avoiding a divinely mandated responsibility. To teach that a wife’s submission to her husband might lend religious support to wife abuse is to ignore what the Bible says to husbands about their responsibility. Again citing Paul, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,…So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church" (Ephesians 5:25, 28-29).
No man who truly loves his wife will abuse her (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 for how love behaves). The submission of the wife does not condone abuse by the husband and the love he should show toward his wife will prevent abuse.