As we began to examine the values of a woman, we saw that virtue requires submission to a standard of what is right. Pride chooses its own standards; so pride prevents submission to the standards of another. We need to recognize that God has established the valuing of a woman by setting the standard of submission to her position as that which is right.
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” (Ephesians 5:22-24)
Primarily, we note that the woman’s position of submission is “as unto the Lord.” The simple reason for a woman to be submitted to the headship of her husband is that God has commanded it. Nowhere does the Bible promise a blessing for those who live in disobedience to God’s command. So failure to submit actually prevents the woman from receiving the blessings of God. But she need not grudgingly submit to her husband if she sees her act “as unto the Lord.” She can have joy in her position.
Secondly, the position of submission is of value to the woman because she forms the body of her husband as her head. As the body, she in entitled to be nourished and cherished as expressions of her husband’s love (Ephesians 5:28-29). He has the responsibility to provide, protect, and pamper his wife, just as Christ does His Bride. Because he is the saviour of the body, the husband has to sacrifice himself in order to meet the needs of his wife.
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” (1 Peter 3:1-6).
A virtuous woman, having a meek and quiet spirit, is “of great price” in the sight of God. In her position of submission, she is an asset to the Lord. Her submitting role becomes a saving role as she becomes an example of true Godliness to those around her. It was previously stated that Ruth had to learn what virtuous living mean before she could live it. A virtuous woman will teach others what virtue is and so give them a desire for virtue.
Sarah called Abraham “lord.” She trusted in God and was in subjection to her husband. She committed herself to God by submitting herself to her God-appointed head. Through the example of Sarah’s life, she has left a legacy for her daughters to follow as being holy women. A virtuous woman will use her position for the Kingdom of God’s sake, drawing others to the Lord by her manner of living.
However, the natural, carnal inclination is to disdain any form of submission in an attempt to assert independence. Due to this rebellious nature, it is probably more difficult for a woman to be in subjection. It takes the grace of God to instill a new nature, giving both the desire and the power to submit (Philippians 2:13). The woman must recognize her position as being appointed by God and want to be profitable to Him.
“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” (1 Timothy 2:11-12)
The position of a woman ranking under her husband has been shown to provide benefits to her as his body. Pride will threaten to deprive her of these blessings. She must be assured that her husband is her head, not her boss. She has every opportunity to deny his headship and live in disobedience to God’s command. But just as a human body disconnected from the brain is useless, a woman without a head cannot function in service to the Lord – her submission is her service.
A woman’s meek and quiet spirit proves to be of value to herself in the recognition of her husband as the authority. Marriage is a partnership; and every partnership has a head that functions as the highest authority. God has given this position of authority to the man because he is created in God’s image and exercises dominion over creation. A virtuous woman recognizes God’s order for her as being beneficial to her, and she submits to her husband’s authority.