Submission: a Hidden Treasure

May 21, 2019  - By Fernie Cosgrove

Well-Watered Women Blog | Submission: A Hidden Treasure

Submission: Good or Bad?

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” (Ephesians 5:22–24)

This passage is usually hard for wives to embrace. But before we let our hearts begin to struggle with the topic of submission, we need to stop our hearts and minds from bickering and remind ourselves that submission is a good thing for us.


Well, one, because God is the one who commands us to submit to our husbands. But two, because by being obedient and faithful in our submission, even when it’s hard or when it does not make sense, we are under God’s sovereign, holy, and gracious coverage.

Before I got married, my mom explained to me that when I obeyed my parents even if it didn’t make sense, I would stay under God’s umbrella of protection. This didn’t mean that nothing bad would ever happen to me, but that if it did or my parents made mistakes in their parenting, I would still be backed up in my actions by God because I was being obedient and faithful to His Word.

I am fully submitted to Christ when I submit to my husband, who is submitted to Christ.

Obedience and Blessing

Now, as a young wife, the same concept applies to following my husband. He is not always going to be right; he is not always going to guide me or our family in the best way; he will make mistakes and many times following him will not be easy and my heart will struggle to follow him. But this I know, that even if his leadership is not perfect, God will back me up for being faithful and obedient.

At the end of the day, I will give account for how I followed God by following my husband, how I lived my life rooted in Christ, and if I was a witness of the love of Christ to my family and the world.

So in this, my heart rests: that God is the head of my husband, as my husband is my head. My trust is fully set on Christ!

But I am not saying this naively. Honestly, submission is difficult for me as well. In our four years of marriage, my husband has not always made the right decisions, and at times has made mistakes in his leadership. But even through the trials and the tears, God is faithful. Even when following him is hard, I do. Not because I am Wonder Woman or have it all under control, but because I know that I am better off being obedient to Christ even when it does not make sense than to be disobedient. But here is that hope, sisters: even when it is hard and difficult, it is worth it! God has not left us alone; God has not stopped guiding us and comforting us. He is faithful! He has worked in my life and in my husband’s life and carried us through.

The Narrow Path

Let me encourage you, even if you are in a difficult season and following your husband seems hard. Trust that our Lord and Savior will sustain you both. Pray for your husband and love him, and if necessary, seek counsel from the pastors at your local church. We were so blessed, our marriage healed, and our hearts comforted by the love of our pastors who walked these seasons by our side.

I hope this encourages all our hearts and reminds us that at the end of the day our submission to our husbands is a reflection of our submission, trust, and dependence on the only One who can supply all our needs: our Lord Jesus Christ.

I love what Lisa Chan (co-author of You and Me Forever) says about submission: “When we submit, we are respectfully submitting to a God-given position, and not perfection. In other words, our husbands are going to make mistakes. They will not always ‘deserve’ to be the leader in our eyes, but God will always deserve our obedience to Him in this way. And since the command to submit comes from God, our submission is ultimately to Him.”

I pray that as we meditate on this today, we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in obedience to Him, trust in His purposes, and choose to follow wherever He leads us through the headship of our husbands.

Even through the trials and tears, God is faithful.

Ongoing Growth

I pray that through our submission we grow to love our husbands more, and that our love leads us to pray and intercede for them so they, like us, can be rooted in the Word, equipped for every good work, and faithful to lead their wives and families—not for our comfort but for the glory of Him who is seated above all: Jesus Christ!

I love my husband with all my heart. He is a humble, joyful, and wise leader of our home. Through the rough seasons I have learned to trust his judgment, confide in him, and follow him wholeheartedly. I can honestly say that this man has laid his life down for me and seeks to love me, guide me, and serve me like Christ loves His Church. He is a man devoted to learning God’s will for his life and focused on guiding and challenging me to devote my life to Christ and His mission. At the end this is the most important investment of our lives, and I choose to respect and follow him until the day we stand in the presence of our Savior.

Walking in obedience and faith,


Fernie and her husband live in Connecticut as he pursues Dental School. She is a social worker currently finishing her master’s in social work. Fernie is passionate about making her workplace a mission field, particularly as she works with children who have experienced much trauma. She finds joy in being able to serve the orphans, the poor, and those in need for the glory of Christ. Fernie is passionate about encouraging other women to live lives that reflect the calling of our salvation and rejoicing in the hope we have in Christ. She also loves reading, writing, and sharing meals with people. Find her on Instagram.

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  1. Jerissa says:

    Great article! Just a few things that I think would be helpful given the climate of our culture today.

    1) I think it’s important to include that there is a hierarchy to submission. We follow God first, then our husbands. When our husbands commit sinful acts/things that are contrary to what is commanded of us, we are not required to follow them but to submit to God’s will.

    2) “He is not always going to be right; he is not always going to guide me or our family in the best way; he will make mistakes and many times following him will not be easy and my heart will struggle to follow him. But this I know, that even if his leadership is not perfect, God will back me up for being faithful and obedient.” I believe this comes temptingly close to passive submission. Biblical marriage is a wonderful dance of accountability and encouraging each other to honor God and do what is best for the marriage. We are called to be meek (reserved strength – how amazing is that?) and gentle. So we must always do so with love and grace. But does not mean that we should allow our husbands to do things contrary to His will in the name of submission.

    3) It would be wise to preface this as for husband’s who are seeking God’s will and who love Jesus. And that this is for those in a loving, God portraying covenant. As some may read this who are in abusive relationships and take this to mean that they should be obedient and submit. This is not what we desire for those are are being mistreated. You do not need to submit to domestic violence.

    • Thank you for that insight, friend! We always want to affirm that women should be safe within their marriages. If there is abuse, neglect or a manipulation to sin against God, we encourage women to seek help and get out of that situation. My dad used to say, “If a house is burning down, you get out of the house, then put out the flames.” We so appreciate your feedback! -Bonnie

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