Updated: Jan 10, 2020
For many modern women, “submission” has become a cuss word.
How are the women of the 21st century expected to be so independent out in the world, yet so submissive in our homes??
This seems to be one of the most pressing concerns among women desiring to one day become married. As a proactive, single, Christian woman entering her 30’s, I decided to compile (what I believe) to be the best tips I’ve used for preparing to submit to my husband while still single.
1. Practice with God.
First, you must learn to submit to God and his Word. If you can’t master submission in your relationship with Him, then you’re definitely going to struggle in your marriage. If your husband is suppose to love you like Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25), then that requires the “church” to be obedient to Christ. Jesus says, “If you love me, you’ll accept my commands” (John 14:15).
Submitting to God in your singleness builds trust because you realize that He knows best. As wives, we have to trust our husbands- the head of our homes- to know what’s best. And in the instances when they don’t (because sometimes, they won’t), you can rely on your trust in God- the trust that you’ve established back in your singleness- to lead him in the right way.
2. Forgive your exes.
We have a tendency to drag our past experiences into our current situations. Resentment and bitterness makes it nearly impossible to master submission in marriage. If you haven’t truly forgiven your ex (or even yourself) for what happened in your relationship, then that means you’re still carrying those things with you.
As much as you want to think you’re over it, you may have just buried those things in the background of your heart and mind. And it could very well stay in the background, until you get into a situation that causes it to rear its ugly head. This situation is most likely going to be your next relationship. If you don’t let go of those things now in your singleness, then you’ll treat your husband like you would treat your ex, which will definitely cause him to become your ex!
3. Be selective.
I can’t stress how important it is to determine the type of man you want to marry while you’re still single. Take some time to understand what you need from your husband. What type of person do you need him to be?
We may have to submit to our husbands, but we also get the privilege to choose who we marry. Clearly define the type of person you wouldn’t mind submitting to. If not, it will feel like a chore or a punishment. Make sure that you equip yourself with the ability to choose a man that you can take pride and joy in submitting to.
4. Find your balance.
Mastering this will definitely come in handy as a wife! Submission isn’t meant for you to lose your voice or relinquish your opinions, but there is a right way to do things. This “right way” will depend on your unique personality and perspective.
Keep your antennas up for opportunities in your singleness to perfect the balance of respecting authority while still being able to make your voice heard. Many times, we can be all-or-nothing when it comes to this- either we bite our tongues, too afraid to rub someone the wrong way. Or we let it all fly with no regard as to how our candor may be received.
You should feel confident articulating your thoughts and concerns while considering the thoughts and concerns of others. And you should be able to do this in a way that communicates care and respect while setting the expectation that you are to be respected as well. You teach people how to treat you, and this is true for your husband as well. Practicing this balance will cause him to feel confident about seeking your wisdom and valuing your opinion in your marriage. This makes the marriage feel more like a partnership and less like a dictatorship.
The more you deny your flesh, the stronger your Spirit can become, increasing your ability to do what the Word commands you to do. In Galatians 5:17, Paul talks about how his flesh wars against his spirit. The more we feed our flesh, it’s going to make spiritual things seem unnatural, unfulfilling, and undesirable. Fasting is a way to feed your Spirit, which casts down your flesh, increasing your desire to please God over having what you want, when you want it, in the way you want to have it. I want to do what pleases Him more than having my way because I truly love Him with my whole heart and I want my marriage to be a reflection of that. I also want God’s blessing over my marriage, so I understand that this requires me to be obedient to Him.
I personally fast from eating one day a week, unless I’m seriously seeking God on a matter. I fast from 12 midnight to either 12 noon or 4 pm- it depends on how “fleshy” I feel. During this time, I allow myself one cup of tea, but I drink only water, and I pray or read scripture during the times I would normally eat. I’m not suggesting that you adopt my fasting habits- this is simply an example. If fasting is new to you, I would suggest doing some research on it first and even reading some scriptures or a book on the subject.
I think we’ve been looking at submission all wrong. I think it’s actually a good thing- a relief. It’s nice to know that you have someone to cover you- someone that loves, respects, and values you. As a single woman, the solo struggle gets real sometimes. Being able to submit to an amazing man can actually be something we can look forward to.