What I’ve Learned About Submission

What I've Learned About Biblical Submission

Guest contributor, Rosilind Jukic

With a great huff I drove to our local grocery store and bought a big bag of Tide and a bottle of fabric softener.

I felt like the biggest cheater in the blogosphere.

After all, I had blogged about and written a book of my own tried-and-true recipes for chemical-free cleaning products. I had Tweeted and Intagrammed my lovely homemade, 2-ingredient laundry detergent that was significantly less expensive than anything I could buy.

I felt like my creativity and frugality were highly insulted. And all because he wanted his clothes to smell like laundry detergent.


And then that little voice said something that both made sense….and irritated me.

Don’t you hate it when that voice makes sense….and still tells you that you’re wrong?

Yea, me too!

Because I really, really wanted to be right this time!

This is what the voice said:

It’s impossible to submit in the big things until you learn to submit in the small things.

The thing is this: its not about me, my blogging reputation or how creatively frugal I am. Because I can have all those things intact and live in a home where there is constant tension because I refuse to submit my right to be right.


I can submit my right to be right and assure my husband that his needs and wants are my greatest priority in the home.

And this is what I’ve been learning in 2015, as I’ve made a greater effort to be more present with my family.

I am learning that my husband’s wants and needs – no matter how trivial they may seem – need to come front and center.

Not because it’s a nice thing to do.

Not because he’s a really great guy who deserves it.

Not even because there are 100 reasons why I love him.

(and all of those things are very true, and they really are good reasons, but they are not the reason)

The reason is because the Bible says that a wife should be submitted to her husband:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. – Ephesians 5:22

In my mind I had always viewed submission as something a lot more spiritual than laundry detergent.

In my mind, I had divided the home into “his and her’s.” His being the car and garage, and her’s being the home and whatever makes it function – such as the laundry.

And I’ll be honest, I’m still not there yet. Next month we’ll celebrate 8 years of marriage and I feel like I’m only just now “getting” this idea of submission that has always seemed so nebulous and foggy.

I used to talk about it a lot as a single person, because without a husband requiring my submission it was black-and-white.

Suddenly I found myself married and someone telling me what to do!

The nerve!

Oh – and for the record, I’m also 2 years older than him. A fact I have brought up a time or two, lest he forget that bit of leverage I have.

Not that age factors into this very important biblical principle. God frankly doesn’t care if I’m younger, older, or much older.

So, I stopped talking about submission almost entirely, because I felt that until I had begun to comprehend this complex idea of submission, it was best that I just be quiet.

And yes, it is complex. It’s complex because it requires two people to lay down their rights and their lives. The Bible tells women to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord, and the husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church.

It doesn’t say that if our husbands don’t love us as Christ loves the church, then we can hang that over their heads as an excuse as to why we refuse to submit. The reality is that no man will ever reach that level of perfection.

See how complex this is?

It requires us to surrender our will and our right. It requires us to lay down our lives.

So, today as I pull a load of nice-smelling, chemical-laden clothes out of the washer and prep them to hang on the clothesline, I do it with great love and surrender.

Oh – and thanksgiving,  because there is peace in our home.

I have given up so little, and received so much!


Rosilind Jukic

RosilindRosilind, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her Bosnian hero. Together they live in the country with their 2 active boys where she enjoys fruity candles and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening.

She holds an Associates of Practical Theology and is passionate about discipling and encouraging women. Her passion for writing led her to author a number of books. She is the author of A Little R & R where she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. She can also be found at these other places on a regular basis. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.


  • Judith

    This is such an amazing post because I can relate to it so well!! Marriage isn’t perfect and submission isn’t always easy. It is the little things that can cause the biggest bumps and yet they prepare us for a smoother ride for the bigger things that come along when we make the choice to submit. Loved this Rosilind!!

  • Sue

    Submission in laundry soap? I never heard of such a thing (ha). I make my own soap and found we all hated the smell of Fels Naptha. I recently found ZOTE soap. It smells like regular laundry soap. AND, it is the same price, but is twice the size. One for the win! Submission is hard, even in the little things. I appreciate what you posted. But, secretly, you should try ZOTE.

    • Rosilind

      yes, we compromise a lot! But at the end of the day, if we can’t find middle ground, I’m learning to let him have the last word. That’s the hard part!

    • Julie

      I have to agree with you. She’s still submitting if the laundry has a scent to it, yet it’s not nearly so toxic as using Tide. You’re protecting your home and family from carcinogenic, hormone disrupting, infertility causing chemicals and you’re saving so much money! 🙂 You’d be a wife any man would be incredibly proud to have. 🙂

      • Rosilind

        Yes, we have compromised that I can dillute the detergent with washing soda, or my recipe that I make. This way we’re using les detergent, saving money, but his clothes smell like he wants. Compromise is a good thing!

  • Katie

    Love this! And it’s a great reminder that I needed today. My husband and I are at a very rocky point in our marriage and I’ve been trying really hard to be like the Proverbs 31 wife (as close as I can be, of course!), but the past couple of days I’ve been pretty snappy and snarky at times. Thank you for this reminder of the kind of wife God calls me to be!

    • Rosilind

      I am sorry that your marriage is at a ricky place right now. Being submissive and becoming like the Proverbs 31 woman is a day-by-day process…a molding of character. Its a marathon, not a sprint. I pray this encourages you today!

  • Sonya

    I have been married for almost 47 years I have found that submitting to our husbands is an ongoing battle. It changes the way we look at our husbands, ourselves and our God. I have the easiest going husband in the world, as long as I fix what he likes to eat , and he has clean and ironed workshirts. Everything he does in life is for me. Now if I could only see my way clear to stop making foods I know he probably won’t like just because I know it’s one of our granddaughters favorites ( she lives with us)!

    • Rosilind

      Your comment made me laugh out loud! I know that battle well. I have a picky eater (something I claimed MY kids would never be. LOL!), so I get that. But yes, it is a lifelong journey.

  • Sabra Penley

    Rosalind, I love this post. It’s amazing how we usually look at submission through a giant lens and forget it is often most visible in the smallest things. And if you’re seeing this just 8 years into marriage, you’re way ahead of where I was! I’ve been married 37 years and I’m still learning what it takes to be a submissive wife. Thanks for sharing from your heart.

    • Rosilind

      I think its a journey, much like sanctfication. Actually, I think it IS part of the sanctification process, because it is another way we die to self. And much like our Christian walk, its the little things that make or break us. Actually, I think the big things are only a product of small decisions made along the way. ?

  • Denise :)

    Great post! I’m leading a ladies’ Bible study that begins this Sunday on marriage, and of course, submission is a topic we’ll cover! The hardest thing to convey is that we don’t submit for *any* other reason than out of obedience to God and His word! I’d love to print and share this post with my gals — is there any problem with that? Thanks!! 🙂

  • Marquita Doctor

    Thanks for this post. It definitely hit home. Submission is a hard thing to do when your pride is in the way, but reading this help me to understand that it doesn’t hurt to be the first one to put my pride to the side and be submissive, for I know now being submissive will make my marriage, and life a little easier. Being stubborn is an emotion that hinders so many things in a marriage. Being Forgiving, Understanding, Patient, Kind, and loving is so much more than a emotion it is being Submissive unto the lord and unto thy marriage. Thank u again for this message Mrs. Rosalind ???

  • Rosemarie

    This is a fantastic, very readable article. So down to earth and honest! Submission is something that I think comes easily to me. Most days. 🙂 And I have a husband who truly loves me as Christ loves the church. He sacrifices and cares so much for our family. My heart goes out to women who are trying hard to submit to a husband who doesn’t appreciate that. Thanks so much for writing. I’m now a follower on Facebook!

    • Rosilind

      Thank you for your encouragement and for following on Facebook! Yes, that does make it much harder. Like you, I am so blessed to have a husband who loves sacrificially!

  • Mrs. Gryce

    “It doesn’t say that if our husbands don’t love us as Christ loves the church, then we can hang that over their heads as an excuse as to why we refuse to submit.” <—— This is it in a nutshell! Still learning and practicing this after almost 4 years. Another great blogger to follow who covers Biblical submission is Lori Alexander (at http://lorialexander.blogspot.ca).

  • Lori Alexander

    Fabulous post! Titus 2:5 commands older women to teach young women to be ‘obedient to their own husbands” and Eph. 5:24 commands wives to be subject to their husbands “in every thing”! So, yes, even the little things matter greatly to the Lord.

    • Rosilind

      Yes they do. I beleive they actually pave the way for the big things to happen. Big decisions are the product of smaller ones along the way.

  • Sheila Edeliant

    I had to laugh aloud. 🙂 The things we make battles over! My hubby and I have found that there is often an acceptable middle ground.

    To me, submission in matters that are truly not of conscience finally came down to trusting God enough to trust my husband even when I do not necessarily agree or understand. Funny thing is, even I am more at peace that way. Go figure, huh? 😉

    [By the way, I love your bio — so descriptive and inviting!]

  • Kelli Cauley

    I like the post and reading it does put some things into perspective. I, like the author, when I was single believed it was very black and white. I had to force the pastor that married us to place the vows into our ceremony. I like to believe that I submit graciously and greatfully to my husband and reap a multitude of benefits from doing so, a more peaceful happy household being the most important. I actually did the online Bible study last week about Proverbs 31 and read something that struck a cord with me about this subject. The definition of submit, according to the comment, was to make your mission less important than his, not to give up your mission. Sub (below) mit (mission). I loved this idea, one because I hadn’t ever heard it put that way, but spend much of my life doing this. I am an ambitious woman with activities, hobbies and dreams important to me. I put his first, but don’t give up on mine. Second, I liked it because it wasn’t about giving in on everything. I tried to have a conversation about this with my husband, which turned very quickly into an argument because his statement was…. Whatever you need to justify yourself with, I guess you can use. He feels that I do whatever I want to when we disagree. My issue is that, yes, I will do the opposite of his wishes sometimes, especially in regards to our son, because his reason for saying No is either not justified or based in being selfish. My husband is an only child, who always got 100% of the attention and 100% of what he wanted growing up. He worked hard for many things, but always got them. He is incredibly jealous of the attention I give our only child and almost as if rival siblings jealous when a toy is purchased or an activity or event planned for the child (soccer, museum, etc). He admits his jealousy, but doesn’t see it as a problem. I grew up as a middle child of 3 girls. My birth order has had significant influence on my interactions in our marriage. Our arguments and my opposition comes from his answer being based on selfishness and not on a real reason, like we can’t afford it, I don’t believe in it, etc. It is simply because he doesn’t think Ben deserves it or doesn’t want to participate in parental support of the activity. Note, I am not asking him for the money or the time to attend such things, but once the decision is made and Ben is enrolled, Dad always attends. I do, and will continue to struggle with submission when I believe that the reason is selfish and that my child would benefit from resulting activity. At what point do we not submit? at what point is it OK to put my wishes first? Ever? Or should I just learn to bow to his will in every situation no matter the motivation behind the will?

    • Rosilind

      Hi Kelli! Don’t you love those Good Morning Girls studies?

      As I read your comment yesterday, and pondered on it…prayed over it…the thing that keeps coming back to me is this: submission is an act of faith. Our husbands aren’t perfect and sometimes their responses to situations are heavily influenced by their own culture and upbringing, as are ours. That’s why the Bible didn’t give a caveat for submission.

      Anytime we choose to obey God’s Word, we are acting in faith. And our step of faith will be rewarded.

      My advice to you would be to submit to your husband no matter the motivation behind his decision. But, in your secret place (and I’d emphasize secret) pray. I truly believe that a submissive wife who prays can do more for her husband than anything else.

      If you haven’t read the book yet, I would recommend Power of a Praying Wife to learn how to pray for our husbands.

      I hope this helps

  • Kim

    Thank you! How refreshing to read about true biblical submission in marriage! I, too, have struggled in this area, and, like you, God showed me that submission is about honoring God and my husband. My obedience to God and my submission to my husband do not depend upon what my husband says or does. There is no “if your husband is treating you right…” I hope that other women who are struggling with submission will read this post and allow God to speak to them. More women need to hear the truth about this matter.

  • Olive

    I believe you have the wrong scripture about wives submitting to your hysband as I cannot locate it?

  • Rosilind

    Thank you, Sheila! ? Yes! Its the same for me. When I finally trust my husband to make a decsion for us, I have peace….and wonder why I didn’t do it sooner!

  • Kelsey Garcia

    So encouraging. I’ve been married almost 14 years and it does come easier the longer you live with someone to forget these simple truths and to, quite frankly, think of yourself more than the other person. Thanks Ros for this article:))

  • Hopeful

    I am just learning how to submit and to be a giver in the marriage to a husband that doesn’t trust me. Our marriage is in a very fragile spot right now

    Any ladies here have a testimony where God restored their marriage?

    I love Tide and Downey☺

  • Stacy

    Ugh!!! God’s talking to me and I had better listen. I thought I was submissive, but recently learned, through the Holy Spirit, that I’m really not. I’ve been praying for my marriage and here’s the answer. I’m the problem. Thank you for the encouragement and being used of God to reach others.

    • Rosilind

      Oh – it’s not easy admitting that we are the problem. Is it? But that is the first step to strengthening our marriage and taking it from good to great!!

  • Denise

    We have been married 42 years and submitting is still an on going learning thing. I find the submission is so hard when my husband makes a decision that I know is not right. About the laundry soap….if you use your homemade and add a few drops of essential oil of your choice you will get a nice scent and still not be using all those harmful chemicals.

    • Rosilind

      That does make submission hard….and an act of faith, as we trust in the Lord to work all things for our good and His glory, even though we would do things differently. I have learned that in those times when I insisted we do things my way, because I was convinced I was right ( and sometimes I was, in fact right), I ended up regretting it. Most times, my way added stress to the family or failed to circumvent unforseen circumstances that arose later. Had I submitted my right to be right, things may have turned out differently, even though his way seemed completely wrong at the time.

  • Kitty

    Although say that you are submitting in the matter of what he wants his clothes washed in, I get the impression that you do feel just a little bit resentful. Marriage contains two people with different needs and likes. Instead of thinking “Gee whizz I have to do what he wants because it’s my job to submit. Grumble, grumble.” how about thinking that this small act will make the person that you love happy? You could wash his clothes as requested in the commercial stuff and wash everything else in your own concoction. Just a thought. Cheers.

    • Rosilind

      Hi Kitty – I can see how you drew that conclusion because of the style I chose with which to write this article. I wanted it to be real and I wanted women to relate to my initial reaction – because, yes, my initial reaction wasn’t very submissive. However, if you read the final sentence you see that my first step to submit was joined by a heart of joy.

      And sometimes that’s the way it is. Sometimes we obey the Lord, even when we don’t feel like it. But the feeling comes along later. So no, I am not resentful at all. We’ve found a compromise and we’re both very happy about it now. 🙂

  • Jean

    Please don’t delete me. Please don’t get offended and take it personal when women say that you all write too many articles to women about submitting, while you write noneteaching female girls and vulnerable women about how to keep themselves an their children safe, how not allow males to touchy oh I appropriately, how not to make your self esteem dependent on your dad, how not to ignore your mother and all the things she does for you. How not to have sex with your boyfriend who you owe nothing to. The list goes on.
    I am a real human being with real questions about why we scold women to ignore the scripture the fact that they should not bow down to their husbands and recognize that husbands should not be mean and dominant and arrogant against anyone and also wives. This is not submission. It is so obvious that no one is out there writing to tell how husbands should be giving their lives. These are real questions from women all over the world.

    Seems there is too much talk about submission. Where are the discussions that tell husbands to lay down their lives or give their lives for their wives.

    No wonder women rebel. Men are sinners too. Look at the condition of the world. Tell me who rapes and molests and produces naked woman porn where only the woman is naked and doing degrading acts for men. Tell me which parent also tries to dominant their daughters and think they are more important than the daughters’ mothers. Submission is not the only topic.

    • Darlene Schacht

      Jean, than you for your thoughts. This blog is written by a women for women. There are many, many other blogs written for men that ask them to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it. Men are called to a huge responsibility in their marriage, and all people–men and women are instructed to submit one to another.

      I often refer people to Matthew L. Jacobson who is a blogger for men. He’s wonderful. I do hope that men are reading it and that they are loving their wives according to scripture.