There are two basic principles, one, that wives must submit to their husbands, being both willing and intentional in that. Two, that husbands must be willing and intentional to give their own lives for their wives. Not just defending them if attacked by someone, but giving up their lives daily, considering her needs as more important than your own. Looking to provide what is best, growing in the knowledge and grace of Our Lord to be able to do that, to actually know what is best, so that what is wanted can be denied unless it is what is best in that moment, which you must be willing to give no matter the cost to you.
This is the pattern of Christ, submission and love. He showed us perfectly with His life on earth, and it is the pattern for marriage that He instructs us to live in. We submit ourselves to God and to one another by submitting to our God given roles (Ephesians 5:21ff.). It takes a man full of wisdom and grace to be able to give his whole life in service to his wife, and also to be able at the same time to say no, and to say it lovingly, and to say it with accuracy, and to know when to say it, when it is right to do so. It takes a woman full of mercy and grace to be able to submit even when their husband doesn’t have it all right yet.
For the woman the question isn’t, “Is he worthy?” the question is “Are you willing?” Not, “Is he right?” but “Are you ready?” For the man the question isn’t “Is she asking?” it is “Am I intentional?” Not, “Is she submitted?” but “Am I serving?” The man must serve his wife even when she isn’t submitted, and the wife must submit to the man even when he isn’t serving.
The opposite of this is when both man and woman are both just looking to say no to each other. She isn’t willing and he isn’t intentional. She is looking for excuses not to submit, and he is looking to avoid giving himself completely to her service. They don’t respect each other, they don’t respect their God given roles, and they don’t actually respect God’s Word. That isn’t a marriage where Christ is the center and you are a couple at war with the devil; that is a miserable existence where Christ is only a figurehead and you at war with each other.
It takes a marriage full of the Spirit of God to have a man and a woman submitting to one another within their God given roles. The man full of the Spirit is able to listen to his wife and cherish her and trust her and allow her input and realize when she is right and do what is right. The woman full of the Spirit is able to allow her husband to make mistakes, to not struggle to rule over her husband, to not try and get her way when he has said otherwise, to cherish him, and trust him, and trust God that Christ will make her husband right more often than not, and that she will abide nonetheless.
It isn’t just about leading it is about listening, about learning, and about loving. To put these principles in practice will glorify God, and enable the communication element, which is so vital to a marriage or any relationship, it will allow it to develop and to become more clear, and the other issues to become centered in a godly relationship built on trust, trust in each other, trust in God’s Word, and trust in God Himself.
We submit ourselves to God and to one another by submitting to our God given roles. Do you want a better marriage or a bitter marriage? Is Christ the figurehead for your union or the life of it? Repent, and know Him today as a couple, not simply a couple of individuals, but a union in Christ, with Jesus as the power in your marriage.