How to Be a More Submissive Wife when you are opinionated
How to Be a More Submissive Wife when you are opinionated

How to be a more submissive wife when you are very opinionated is the post I needed to read and need to be reminded of often, so I’m writing it! Yes, I am very opinionated. This makes it difficult for me to let someone else decide things and “have control.” I like to be in control. God reminds me over and over that, I’m not in control. The times we live in are just one more example of that. 

“Wives, submit unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Ephesians 5:22-24

The part that always gets me in these verses is the part that says “in every thing.” Does it do that to you, too? I don’t think submission is an easy topic or thing to do, but these verses are pretty clear, it’s what God wants us to do. 

Submission is a serious topic to God, I believe, because it reflects how we submit to Him and trust Him. It tells a lot about what we think of our God. I share with you a few tips I’ve learned that I hope will help you. Do you struggle as I have, and still do sometimes, with showing reverence and submitting to your husband? Let’s pray for one another!

I am writing these tips to you to remember them myself, so I can practice them more, too! These are ways to show respect. Respect and submission go hand in hand. 

We are to show respect to our husbands as unto the LORD. So, ladies, when we disrespect our husbands, we disrespect God. When we fight against or resist our husband’s decisions, we are saying we don’t trust God to lead through him, and we don’t believe that God is powerful enough to take care of us, to protect us, and maybe doesn’t even love us. It says a lot about our faith in God and knowledge of Who He really is.

Your Relationship With Your Dad Affects Submission to Your Husband

I grew up with a dad who was a wonderful man, a faithful husband, and a provider, he loved his family very much, was extremely demonstrative, and gave hugs often to all of us (and to our friends!). He had a fabulous sense of humor and a laugh you could hear for blocks–I loved hearing his laugh. But he was also very intense, got angry easily, overreacted to situations, and was prone to yelling to make you see he was right. He insisted that I look at him when he talked to me, and respect was extremely important to him. If you wanted to be heard, you had to speak firmly and loudly. When I was a child and a young teen, he and I clashed, and I was rebellious. I didn’t realize until I was in my early twenties that we had clashed mostly because I am just like him in some ways: stubborn, want to be right, have a lot of words to say, and never want to lose an argument! But, when I was in my early teens, I didn’t know any of this, and I wasn’t sure if he loved me. Thankfully, he mellowed, I matured (and gave my life to Jesus Christ!), and our relationship improved tremendously over the years.

Our family went through many trials back when I was growing up (we had serious illnesses in our family: my sister died when I was 11, my brother also needed a kidney transplant, and my father donated a kidney to him when I was 15), I lost a loved one close to me every year from the time I was in 3rd grade until I was in 10th grade, and I can see now that my dad was under a tremendous amount of pressure at that time, but, of course, I couldn’t know that as a child. I just learned to vehemently stand my ground, argue, and not give in for love or money! (If you’d like to read more of my story, get “A 2020 Vision For Raising Godly Kids”.)

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It was truly a revelation for me that my dad and I clashed because we were so much alike. He’s been gone for 32 years. I’m so thankful that we grew very close over the years and had a very loving, respectful relationship after I became an adult, especially after becoming a Christian. 

I tend to be the same way as he was about someone looking at me when I’m talking to them. I will follow my husband around in order to get in front of him sometimes and tend to think you are not listening if you aren’t looking at me, but my husband is not this way! Though this was a way of showing respect for my father, it is not the way to show respect to my husband!

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My family on our trip to Italy in 2018

You are Submitting to Your Own Husband

Every person is uniquely created by God, for a unique purpose, and different than any other person on earth! This is one of the hallmark messages here at Your Home For God! Add to that, that each one of your children AND your husband has also been created uniquely by God, and you see that every family on earth is unique. Your marriage is unique! The Bible says to reverence your own husband, not someone else’s. That requires you to learn what your husband thinks of as respect, not someone else’s. Do it if he wants you to look at him when he speaks to you. If he likes you to agree with his ideas, or participate in his hobbies, do that.

It doesn’t matter what another husband or man likes. Free advice: Beware of showing your best and most enthusiastic smile, agreeable respect, and encouragement to another man! Don’t listen sympathetically to another man’s problems, either! That’s a bonus tip!

Is your husband perfect? No. Are you? No.

Is there a marriage on earth without problems? No. Two sinners never have a perfect marriage.

I ask you, though, why do you think you get to decide what constitutes a “perfect” marriage? That is God’s job.

A Life-Changing Example of Respect

I had an experience that will stay with me forever when my husband retired. I was invited to join him at his “farewell” luncheon on his last day of work. He had been in the same company for 27 years. That day, he gave me a “tour” around the warehouse and office, and at lunch, they had a small program for him. It wasn’t this that made an impact on me. During that day, one by one, dozens of his fellow employees, mostly men but some women, came up to my husband and me, one or two at a time, and expressed words of appreciation to him and congratulations. If you have never experienced men interacting who have a DEEP level of respect for one another, there is nothing quite like it. As each one came up, EVERY SINGLE PERSON displayed a level of RESPECT that you could almost reach out and touch, which I have never experienced in my life before or after. In EVERY SINGLE ONE of the interactions, and let me tell you, especially when MEN respect one another, it is literally AWE-INSPIRING. I still get chills thinking about it.

I’m grateful that I was there to experience the respect that my husband received from his colleagues that day.

And, quite honestly, ladies, it made me think, “In comparison, what level of respect does this man receive at home?”

Little Things That Show Submission

Here are some little ways that show respect and submission to a husband.

How to show respect and submission when you and your husband are talking:

  • look at him appreciatively
  • wear a pleasant expression on your face
  • lean slightly forward
  • be attentive
  • nod your head in agreement, and
  • don’t interrupt.

Listen to him. Don’t be distracted or thinking of what you’re going to make for dinner or who you need to text or call. Listen.

How to Show Respect and Submission

Are you too tired to give him any attention at all? What can you do about that? An important time to show him respect (and encourage your children to do this) is when he first comes home from work. Many men work from home these days, so you may need to adjust this or ask him to give you a heads-up about when he will be “finished with work” for the day and prepare for that.

If the end of the work day is hectic, could you change something to ensure you’re ready to welcome him home and give him your best when he comes home from work? Has he asked for or suggested how he would like things to be when he comes home? If so, make every effort to fulfill his wishes.

Maybe he wants to eat his evening meal at a certain time.

Has he complained that the house is a mess or that the kids are out of control when he gets home?

How can you show submission to his requests?

Pray about this, and God will give you insights. If he hasn’t told you any specifics, you can show submission by asking him when he would like to eat supper and then make every effort to have it ready.

I hear some of you saying, “What about me?!”

What about my needs? What about the fact that I’m tired, too?!

You may work outside the home or from home, or you may be exhausted taking care of the duties of a wife and mom inside the home!

I get it.

As I’m writing this, do you know what came to my mind? Jesus, on the night He was betrayed.

Jesus, knowing full well what would happen to Him, as our example, humbled Himself and served His disciples. He washed their dirty, stinky feet. The pressure that He was experiencing must have made Him totally exhausted. And, knowing who would betray Him, He also served them the last supper, including that one. He wasn’t focused on Himself. He wasn’t saying, “What about Me? Hey, don’t you know what I’m going through?” He could’ve. He definitely deserved to. It’s a humbling example to me.

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Ways to Prepare Ahead to Show Submission & Respect When he Comes Home From Work

  • Go to bed at night rather than trying to get one more thing done so you’re more rested
  • Catch a catnap earlier in the day, if necessary
  • Meal plan, take out meat the night before, and plan backward to help you have the meal ready when he wants it served
  • Have a regular time of decluttering and picking up the house with your children every day a half hour before he’s scheduled to come home. (I talk about this in this YouTube video on showing respect to Daddy.)

More Ways to be a Submissive Wife

Does your husband love a certain food or dessert? How often do you make it for him? Does he always ask you to go with him to a certain event or store, and you don’t really enjoy it, so you say no? Could you be a more submissive wife and go with him?

I know because I’ve been there and done that! Before we got married, we were happy to go anywhere with him! We happily went to Home Depot, or whatever his favorite store is! We just wanted to be with him!

Now, after years of marriage, things have changed. But should they have?

Do you smile at your husband? Do you communicate to him through your facial expression, body language, and tone of voice (your attitude) that he’s the best and you’re (still) glad you married him?

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Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow to do What’s Eternally Important

We think we have time. We’ll focus on our husband later, when our baby is older and not so needy. We’ll give him more attention when our church responsibilities lessen. We’ll spend more time with him after we get Homeschooling figured out. But tomorrow never comes. And, we find we have filled up our lives with what was urgent but not important and eternal.

Some couples have what they call “couch time.” They spend 15 minutes as soon as the husband comes home from work talking and catching up together. They’ve explained this to their children, who understand it is sacred time, and they must not interrupt. They are trained and prepared with something to do, and they must not bother mom and dad now.

I recently heard of a couple who don’t see each other much during the week because of work schedules, so they put the kids to bed early on the weekend in order to spend quality time together. They play games, talk, and eat a meal together by themselves. This seems to me to be a practice that will build their marriage up greatly over time.

Do these things demand sacrifice? Absolutely. Is your marriage worth it? Absolutely.

God Has Given Me “Submission Testimonies”

God Has Given Me Testimonies About Submission

If your husband makes a decision opposite to your heart’s desire, can you trust that God has something better for you? I have had to learn to trust God to lead through my husband when this has happened throughout my married life.

I have several personal testimonies regarding this subject. My husband and I are polar opposites and rarely have the same opinion about things. (The good news is that on really important things, we always agree:)

I can’t say going through these times was easy for me, but the resulting testimonies are powerful and remind me to trust God more.

Testimonies of Becoming a More Submissive Wife

One example is when my husband vehemently opposed going to look at a house for sale and even got angry (he never got angry!) with me for suggesting it because he thought, at first, that it was over our budget, and I said, “That’s fine, honey; I’ll cancel the showing.” 

I submitted to his request and didn’t fret, just prayed, and the next morning he called me from work to ask what time the appointment was because he wanted to go ahead with it and meet me at that house after work. We bought that house (which, by the way, has increased in value about 5 times!) where we have lived for 28 years. 

Another testimony is about how my husband said for years that we would never travel to Europe! I was crazy to even think about it! There was no way we could afford that. I prayed for years and saved travel miles on our credit card, and in 2018, God answered my prayers when we were extremely blessed to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, using our air miles to be able to not only go ourselves but take our son, daughter, and son-in-law with on a trip to Italy! I still can’t believe it! If God wants it to happen, it will, and if He doesn’t, then neither do you! And, the testimony in this is that God does things WAY BETTER than you can even imagine when you wait for HIS TIMING!

Before I Knew How to Be a Submissive Wife

I’m still learning, daily how to be a submissive wife. But, before I had a clue(!) about what submission was, I had a testimony of NOT waiting on the LORD and submitting to my husband. I began ripping wallpaper off the bathroom wall after my husband had told me, “NO, we’re not going to tackle that project now.” The fiasco that followed taught me a lesson I’ll never forget. Let me tell you about that.

Have you ever wanted something so badly, or has something bothered you a lot? I mean, A LOT, A LOT? When we moved into the house we’ve now lived in for 28 years, the wallpaper in the main bathroom was really ugly, and driving me crazy. I wanted to rip it off the wall so badly!

My husband and I have been married for almost 45 years and have lived in 3 houses. While many marriage counselors say never wallpaper together, something we COULD agree on and do together was remodeling projects. In our early days of marriage, we completely remodeled the bathroom of our first house and remodeled much of our present home. 

In our first home, we stripped the paint off of all the woodwork in a hallway with six doors and cabinets, remodeled a laundry room, took out carpeting, put in a new kitchen floor, and painted and wallpapered more rooms than I can count. And more. 

We are a very good team when it comes to working together on remodeling projects. We had plans to work on this, our third house, too, but my husband said, “Wait,” when I brought up the bathroom wallpaper I hated.

But, every day, I would go in there and see it, and I was impatient. And rebellious. I didn’t understand WHY I had to wait! 

“I’ve seen God change my husband’s mind more than once when it was important. God moved my husband in amazing ways when I gave my will and desires to Him. We have some powerful testimonies because of this!”

Wendy Gunn

Submission Means Accepting What God Gives

I’ve heard it said that yielding and submitting is having no will of my own. It can take some time to get your heart into that yielded state. Time in God’s Word and time in prayer. 

It takes time with the LORD for me to be happy if I get that thing I desire and fine if I don’t (and fine with how long I may have to wait for God to change my husband’s mind!) 

The truth is, if I get to that state of having no will of my own, waiting isn’t a problem because I tend to forget all about it. I give it over to God and leave it with Him. 

But it isn’t always easy to get to that place for me. Getting to a state where you’re totally submitted to God’s will means you are trusting that God is in control of your life, loves you, knows what you need, or knows what He wants to give you instead, as a wise, loving Heavenly Father and that it will be better than the thing you desire.

I hadn’t submitted this desire of mine to God at all. I don’t think I even prayed about it. I was headstrong and belligerent. I wanted what I wanted, and I wanted it now. I was acting like a toddler.

In this case, I wasn’t begging, cajoling, or trying to convince my husband. Oh, no! I was going ahead without his permission or approval! He had told me to wait! And I blatantly disobeyed.

“Focusing on the attention, respect, and submission God wants us to give our husbands can be put off to tomorrow until we realize it’s too late, and we have filled our lives with what was urgent, but not what was important and eternal.” Wendy Gunn

When You Give in, God is Free to Move

Whatever decision it is, when I give in and stop fighting, and trust God, with no will of my own, God is free to act. God begins to move. I think God often wants to know if I trust Him. He watches to see: Am I grateful for what He’s already given? Or do I want more and more and more? Have I given Him control of my life, or am I trying to manipulate Him to get what I want? (e.g., Is it my fault if that wallpaper is falling off the wall, and now we HAVE to fix it? When I actually helped that wallpaper come off the wall?)

One day I thought, “Look at that! There’s a piece of it coming loose! I wonder what would happen if I pulled at that little piece of wallpaper that’s loose?”

I began pulling, little piece by little piece until I had a mess. Not only didn’t it come off easily, but I’ve also never had a more difficult room to strip the wallpaper from in my life! And we’ve stripped a LOT of wallpaper!!! My husband was not happy with me, and it was memorably the worst project I’ve ever had to do. The project was a nightmare from start to finish.

My husband reminded me several times that he wished I had waited, as he’d asked, and told me that this was why.

In contrast was the later project in which I waited when he said, “Not now,” that I’ll share in more detail about in another post, but it was in stark contrast to this one, went so beautifully, and was a testimony of God’s provision to us, besides!

When I submitted to my husband saying “not now” this time around, I gave my desires to the LORD completely, God then allowed me to forget about it totally, and months later, when God put it on my husband’s heart, the speed at which the project went forward was amazing. It all happened so smoothly and beautifully! Not only that, we got much higher quality materials than originally planned, for a much cheaper price, because of a sale God provided at that specific time. 

It was obvious that when I waited for God’s timing and for my husband to lead, I was the one who benefited. This has been the story over and over in our marriage.

Submission is part of God's purpose for you as a wife. You'll achieve His goals for you if you obey. Get my course, Mastering Your Goals to find out how!

Why Aren’t we Wives More Submissive?

Because Christian wives don’t know their heavenly Father, the Sovereign God, and they don’t trust Him with their lives, they are oftentimes fearful and afraid, and take matters into their own hands, rather than acting in submission to their husbands, and trusting that God can and will take care of them.

We Struggle to be Submissive and Fear:

  • If I submit it, will something bad happen?

We have the false impression that we can avoid pain and suffering if we control our own lives! (How laughable is that?! Actually, there’re so many things wrong with that statement.) And we have a false belief and show our ignorance of Who God is that if we let Him have control of our lives, He will do something bad to us.

  • We have the impression that if we are submissive to our husband, God will let him make decisions that will make our lives miserable.

We are selfish, want our own way, and will do anything to get it! (Or maybe that’s just me.) James 4:2-3 describes this state of our hearts when it says,

Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain:
ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss,
that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

James 4:2-3
  • God can move the heart of a king, so he can definitely move the heart of a husband.

Over the years, God has taught me over and over that there is blessing when I wait for Him to move my husband’s heart. And, there is peace. Usually it’s lust, or covetousness, or pride that motivates me to feel unsettled, or anxious, or to be in a contentious state over something to which my husband has said, “No,” or “Wait.”

The fact is, you may never get that thing that you wanted. Do you trust God enough to accept that He has chosen the best for you?

Do you realize that God spared not His Own Son, but gave Him up for us all? Jesus, God’s Own Son, prayed and sweated blood, asking that “this cup be taken from Me,” and God said No. But, Jesus, in submission, said, “Nevertheless, not My will, but Thine be done.” He is again, our example. He also gives us the power and strength to do it, and totally understands what we go through!

Go to Him, ask Him for help being submissive! He knows how hard it is! He has been tempted in every way as we have, yet without sin.

Jesus knows it all, my friend. Everything you’re feeling and going through. He also knows your husband. And, He knows the blessing He wants to pour out upon your life when you submit and trust Him. He is All-powerful, All-wise, and All-loving, and you can trust Him with whatever is on your heart that keeps you fearful to submit. Trust Him.

When you leave it in God’s hands, if you get it you are grateful, and if you don’t get it, you are grateful, because God knows what you need and He is an amazing God. God can change the heart of a king, so he can certainly change the heart of a husband, if need be. Let’s encourage one another to be a more submissive wife, especially if we are opinionated:) Let’s trust God to work in our husband’s life and look forward to powerful testimonies of His working.

Have a Great Day Making Your Home For God!

Wendy Gunn at Your Home For God helps Christian women raise Godly kids, find & fulfill their purpose and achieve God's goals for their life.

I help Christian moms raise their kids according to Biblical principles, get organized to manage life, achieve their unique God-given goals and dreams, and fulfill God’s purpose for them to make a difference in the world through my workshops, courses, and coaching founded on Biblical principles. You are already successful in many areas. I can help you in those that you’re not. Dream big dreams, and see God transform and use your life in amazing ways! Let’s work together for your success!

In Your Home For God’s Store, discover resources to help you get organized, raise Godly kids, and have the support and encouragement to know who you are, know what God wants you to do to fulfill His purpose for your life, and achieve His unique goals for you!

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