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How do I get my wife to submit to me and respect me like the Bible says is her duty? Are you one of those husbands that is concerned about this? If so, you are asking the wrong question. There is another question that you should be asking.

How can I become the husband who has a wife who will submit to me and obey me? You see, your first priority is to be the best “Man of God” you can possibly be. You cannot expect your wife to submit to you unless you understand and follow Ephesians. 5:23 (NIV): “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” 

Now, do not be one of those husbands who only look at and follow the first part of this passage and say “yes, I am the king.” OK, it does say that you are the head of the house, the CEO of the family. Yes, your word is to be followed. You are to lead your family.

But, look at the next phrase: “as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” Then look at Ephesians 5:25 (NIV) “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her “

Look at these two passages very closely. What do they mean for you? What do you have to do to qualify to be the head of the family? OK, what did Christ do for the Church? He died for His Church. He sacrificed his life on the cross for His Church.

The question then becomes: “what am I willing to sacrifice for my family?” It doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your physical life for your wife. However, it does mean that you have to put your wife first in your life. Where are your priorities? Are they to make sure that your needs are met? Or are they to make sure that your wife’s needs are met.

Head of the Family

You, as the head of the family, bring the power of God into your family. You represent God in your family. Your children will accept who God is by looking at who you are. If you do not reflect the image of God, what image are you reflecting? What type of image of God are you presenting to them?

You are also representing God to your wife. You cannot expect your wife to respect someone who is presenting a false image of God. No, you are not God, but people, especially your wife, expect to see what God is like through you.

You are to bring the love of God into your family. You are to love your wife in the same way that Jesus loves His Church. That is, you are to help her become the best wife that she can possibly be. You are to create an atmosphere that represents the presence of God. You are to bring the presence of God into your family.

You Set the Values for Your Family

You, as the husband and father, set the values for your family. You determine what is important and what must be followed. What is your attitude toward church attendance and Bible Study? What movies do you watch? What kind of language do you use? Yes, God does hold husbands and fathers responsible for what they teach in their families. This includes not only the words they use, but the actions they exhibit.

You must become a “Man of God.” This means that you give your life to Jesus Christ and commit yourself to follow Him. The only way to be able to do this is through Bible Study and Prayer. You must walk with God 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks every year. You cannot be the head of your wife unless Christ is your head. You cannot expect your wife to submit to you unless you submit to Jesus Christ.

Your Wife is Your Companion

God created Eve so Adam would have a companion. Is your wife your companion? Or is she just someone you keep around to satisfy your basic needs and keep your house for you? When you married her, you and your wife became a very unique creature. Remember Genesis 2:24 (NIV): “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” You are spiritually connected to her in a very unique way. She is your partner, a part of your very being. You are no longer a single person.

Men often refer to their wives as their “better half.” There is more truth to this than most men realize. Through marriage, half of who you are is your wife. This is why Ephesians 5:28 (NIV) says: “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” You are no longer responsible for just yourself. You are responsible for your other half, your wife.

Man of God

There is one other point that husbands need to realize. God gave your wife some very special jobs. One of the most important is that she is to help you be the Man of God that God wants you to be. If she is trying to help you, listen to her. Work together. Yes, you, as the husband, have the responsibility to make the final decisions for the family. But your wife has the responsibility to help you make those decisions.

If your wife is not doing this, encourage her to do so. If she is not a Christian, your first priority is to help her to commit her life to Christ. And your example of being a Man of God will be your best tool to help her make that commitment.

As a husband, you have the responsibility to lead your family in their walk with God. If you fulfill that responsibility, you will find that God will reward you with wonderful blessings.