A submissive wife is one who makes a choice not to resist her husband's will. That is not to say that she cannot disagree with him or that she cannot express an opinion. Indeed the submissive wife is, by definition, a strong woman and will usually therefore have her own opinions and these may often be different to the opinions of her husband. Can she express them? Of course she can, and indeed it might often be wrong for her not to express them since she is, after all, supposed to be her husband's helper, not his slave or doormat. Expressing her opinions and giving advice and suggestions will often be a valuable part of the help that she gives her husband.
Let us see how this works in life by using an analogy of a road for life and junctions in the road for each of life's decision points of choices. The married man and woman set off walking along the road of life and at each junction they choose which road to take next. Sooner or later they will arrive at a junction where they each desire to take a different road and hence there is a disagreement:
In the disharmonious family there is a quarrel, there is cajoling or bullying, there is intimidation and bitter words. The quarrel might last for the rest of their lives with neither giving ground and thus they never move on or, finally, either the husband and wife continue along one road together with one of them feeling resentful and both of them feeling bruised and wary of the other, or if they could not even obtain an unpleasant agreement then the marriage might simply fall apart and they separate, each taking a different road. None of these outcomes is pleasant or desirable.
When a submissive woman finds that her wishes conflict with those of her husband she has little or nothing to fear. If her husband is respectful then they will discuss the matter together agreeable, frankly and cheerfully and through the discussion they might reach either a compromise or one of them might change their mind completely and accept the other person's wishes. If this happens then they can then continue along the road they have now agreed upon with no sense of bitterness and without having expressed any angry words.
However agreement might not be reached so then what? If they cannot reach agreement then the submissive wife needs only to obey her husband and accept his wishes graciously. Having done this there are now only a few possible outcomes, all of which have positive aspects and none of which is particularly terrible. In the first possible outcome they will take the road the husband selects and, in due course they will discover that they have chosen a good route through life and both will be happy. In the second possible outcome they will take the road the husband selects but, in due course, they discover that it was not such a good choice after all.
All they do is turn around, go back to the junction and take a different road; there has been no need for argument, nobody has felt disrespected or belittled and they have not bruised one another. Although the husband's choice turned out to be a bad one, they have discovered the mistake together, discovered it quickly, and swiftly got back onto a better road and, in the process, they have strengthened their bond by having been able to disagree with dignity and mutual respect. They are not stuck in a perpetual argument at the junction, they have not separated and the process of finding a mutually acceptable road has not weakened their marriage.
If the submissive woman has a husband who is not respectful and who is inclined to abuse her gift of submissive then still she has little to fear. The worst possible outcome is that they will travel a bad road together until the next junction. Although the road might be bad it is good to remember the positive aspects of the situation: They have still remained together, they have kept alive the possibility of improving their relationship as they make their way through the troubles of life, they have not wasted time and damaged one another in a bitter quarrel and they are not still standing at the junction locked in argument. They have moved on, and therefore given themselves the hope of another choice later. This, remember, is the worst possible outcome. Even with a selfish husband it is still possible that he will acknowledge that the road is bad and that they will turn back to take another route.
I have mentioned this example of a road journey to try and illustrate that submission can bring real and worthwhile benefits to a marriage. The scripture also indicates that the act of submission by a woman is able to influence a bad man to change his ways but even if he doesn't change, her choice of submission will still allow her to avoid the worst of the possible problems that a bad marriage and husband might bring.
May the Lord help and guide each and every Godly woman as mentioned at Proverbs 31~ with the wisdom to be a great helper, a mighty woman at home and let their life shine for God's glory, In Jesus' mighty name , I prayed, AMEN.
Posted by Cassandra Lai Fun Tze.