Are you submissive to your mate? Something about the word submissive stirs up a negative connotation in our Western culture, where we are conditioned to gain the upper hand in any relationship. However, submission is actually a positive concept. God’s design for females can be communicated through the acrostic: CUTE GIRLS MADE. When we examine the acronym, GIRLS, we see that our Creator desires these reflections of His heart in every woman.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul taught mutual submission in marriage: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:21-22). The Greek root for submit is hypotasso, meaning “to place under.” In essence, submission is humility.
Nowhere do we see greater humility than in Jesus Christ, God coming to earth as a man to live a perfect life, die history’s most horrific death as payment for our sin, and resurrect to conquer death and provide eternal life for anyone who believes (see Philippians 2:5-13). Jesus, who came as a suffering servant (see Mark 10:45), described Himself as “humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29). He submitted His will to the Father (see Matthew 26:39). His close disciple Peter taught that a wife’s submission actually draws her husband to Christ by shining a light on her purity and reverence (see 1 Peter 3:1-2).
Humility flows from the heart of our Heavenly Father. God called Moses to meet Him on Mount Sinai where He proclaimed the nature of His humble identity: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6). Gracious, the word selected by Bible translators for God’s attribute, is translated from the Hebrew root word chanan, meaning “to bend or stoop to one who is inferior.”
Jesus called the Holy Spirit: “The Helper” (John 14:26 NASB), a term the psalmists used to describe the Father (see Psalms 10:14, 27:9, 118:7). The only other person referenced as a helper in Scripture is a woman (see Genesis 2:18). When we submit to our spouses, we are in the company and character of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the most powerful, peaceful, and fulfilling place we can possibly be.
Ask your spouse if you exhibit a submissive spirit. Next, pray together, asking for these reflections of Christ to be visible in your marriage as you surrender to the Holy Spirit. Then Christ in you will be godly, investing, respectful, loving, and submissive to the One who can restore any heart.