Session 23

Why submit to my husband?

From 1 Corinthians: A 35-Day Devotional

Paul instructs the church at Corinth on what’s proper in a worship service, specific to their culture — i.e. women wearing a head covering. He also makes what’s now a controversial statement, “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). Just as Jesus is subject to God, a wife is subject to her husband, and her husband to Jesus.

These teachings weren’t to stifle women in worship or marriage, but to demonstrate the order of authority God created. It’s helpful to remember the Gospel elevates women from the low place they held in the world at that time, and puts them equal to men in worth and value: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

We are equal, but Scripture explains the different roles men and women play. Paul elaborates in Ephesians 5:22-23, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 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.” However, the next passage is crucial to understanding the structure of marriage, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).

Wives are commanded to submit to their husbands, but husbands are commanded to give themselves up for their wives. Jesus died for the Church — that’s how Paul is telling husbands to love their wives. Wives can trust their husband’s authority because they can trust Jesus’ work in him, and husbands can lead their wives well by submitting first to Christ.


  • Husbands: Are you loving your wife the way Jesus loves the Church? What’s one step you need to take today to love and lead her well?
  • Wives: Is there an area of your marriage where you are not respecting your husband, and/or are rebelling against his leadership? Is there anything you need to start or stop doing today to show him respect and trust Jesus’ work in him?
  • Singles: What is one step you can take today to prepare your heart for your role in marriage?

23 of 35

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

Do we all have spiritual gifts?

If we’re willing to admit it, most of us who follow Jesus have wondered if we have a spiritual gift. Just like any other type of compari...

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Session 2

What it means to be united

Let’s be honest: the Church isn’t exactly famous for its unity. We quarrel over worship styles, specific preachers, and which Bible ...

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Session 3

The one time boasting is OK

When we think of who we were before Jesus, can’t help boasting about what He has done. Jesus rescued us. He took us out of the muck and m...

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Session 4

Is it OK to question God?

These days, everyone is preaching something. For some, the perfect meal is a hamburger and fries. Others will give you a 10-point dissert...

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Session 5

What happens when the church comes together

Ever found yourself on the receiving end of one of these comments: “You saw 13 people get baptized last weekend! That’s great. Did I tel...

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Session 6

The church is bigger than a building

God is in the building business. He’s not so concerned about specific architecture styles or floor plans, but about constructi...

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Session 7

What your silent judgment says about you

There are many examples in our daily lives of ways we judge others. Maybe we have a conviction against alcohol, but we look down on other...

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Session 8

Do you do what you say you believe?

Growing up, it was common to hear kids say, “If you are going to talk the talk, you better be able to walk the walk.” On the...

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Session 9

What happens when sin goes unaddressed

God created the church to serve as light to the world. The church should be a place where love is abundant, God’s truth is displaye...

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Session 10

How to know when popular opinion is wrong

On TV, opinion-givers comment on other opinion-givers and call it news. Often, information’s value is determined by its effect on r...

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Session 11

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should

In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul says we are not our own. We were bought at a price. Having received our bodies as a gift from God, we are ...

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Session 12

God cares about your sex life

Watch any sitcom featuring a married couple talking about sex, and you will hear of husbands wanting sex, but not getting it, or wives wi...

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Session 13

God, please save my spouse

Differing beliefs can create tension in a marriage. For example, you might believe Clemson is the better university, while your spouse bl...

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Session 14

Change how you see instead of what you see

In a world full of Photoshop and instant gratification, it’s easy to buy the lie that if we don’t like something, we can and ...

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Session 15

Don’t tie the knot until

When we’re single, we think marriage will fix our problems. But could it just be the idea of marriage we love? Dreaming together is...

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Session 16

Why can’t I do what I want?

When we discuss hot button issues today, “food sacrificed to idols” is not at the top of our list. But in the early church in...

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Session 17

Why give time and money to the church?

It’s easy to hide in a big church. When hiding we may not fully appreciate the consequences of failing to fulfill our commitment to...

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Session 18

Do I have anything to offer?

Each of us has a unique ability. For instance, some are blessed with the ability to write. And within the field of writing, a special &ld...

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Session 19

Are you training to win?

You read your Bible, attend church, tithe, serve, pray and passionately love Jesus. You do all the right things and you’re living t...

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Session 20

Where to turn when life is more than you can bear

Ever heard the saying "God won't put more on you than you can handle"? If you’ve been in a situation where someone told you thi...

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Session 21

What are you going to chase today?

When we get married, we say yes to fully giving our lives to our spouses. There is no going back to our old life. We can’t have one...

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Session 22

The greatest responsiblity we have as Christians

Life changes when we receive Jesus as our Savior. When we surrender our lives to Jesus, we receive forgiveness, eternal life, and freedom...

Read Devotional

Session 23

Why submit to my husband?

Paul instructs the church at Corinth on what’s proper in a worship service, specific to their culture — i.e. women wearing a ...

Read Devotional

Session 24

Why searching your heart is a helpful practice for every day

If your smartphone’s autocorrect changes "I love you" into "I loathe you," it might lead to a rough evening for you and your signif...

Read Devotional

Session 25

You were made for this

God gives us the gifts of the Spirit to fulfill the purpose of the church — reaching people far from God and teaching them how to f...

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Session 26

Does church even need me?

Every Sunday, you have a choice. You can go to church, or you can take advantage of the last day of the weekend by sleeping in and relaxi...

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Session 27

Are you serving with the right motivation?

Walking into NewSpring, you are greeted by several people. Entering the auditorium, you receive a pen and notes, then are helped to a sea...

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Session 28

How to go from good to better to best

Seek the gifts that build up the church. That was Paul's answer to believers who wanted to see the Holy Spirit in their lives. Prayin...

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Session 29

Does structure limit the Holy Spirit?

When we wake up in the mornings, we do certain things to start our day.  When we go to sleep at night, we have another routine to he...

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Session 30

Are you going through the motions?

It’s easy to live life just going through the motions. We have all experienced moments when we drive to the grocery store, pick the...

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Session 31

Why does an empty tomb matter?

Miracles can be one of the difficult parts of Scripture to believe. The supernatural is rare, at times confusing, and by our understandin...

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Session 32

You are who you hang around

“You are known by the company you keep.” How many times have we heard that old saying? As a teenager, that might have sounde...

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Session 33

How to embrace the unknown

We hate the unknown. Everyone has to live with it, and we all have different ways of handling it. Most of us would not hand a car salesm...

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Session 34

You don’t need to fear death

What would you do for Jesus if you knew you couldn’t fail? Would you travel somewhere dangerous to spread the Gospel? Start that m...

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Session 35

How can I make a difference in the world?

Occasionally, in the midst of all the media’s doom and gloom, we hear a heartwarming story about radical love and generosity that touches...

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