In the news: Marriage vows

There has been quite a buzz in the local newspapers and its all about submission in marriage.

Writing in The Sydney Morning Herald, Peter Jensen explained why, he believed, a wife should 'submit' to her husband on their wedding day, sparking a fierce debate on blogs, Twitter and Facebook. . . . According to Jensen . . .  brides will promise to 'submit' to their husbands under a new marriage vow that the Anglican diocese of Sydney is expected to approve at its synod in October.

It requires the minister to ask of the bride: ''Will you honour and submit to him, as the church submits to Christ?'' and for her to pledge ''to love and submit'' to her husband -- and is already being used in some Sydney parishes. (source)

Comments have been scathing, 100's of people have responded across the on-line newspapers that ran this story, very few were from Christians (but some were) supporting this change of the wedding vows, most saw the word "submit" as going back to the dark ages and being "no different to Muslim extremists".  Even though Peter Jensen provided the Biblical explanation of submission (even quoting the bible verses), most saw this as outdated rubbish that makes a woman a slave or doormat to her husband. 

Most churches in Australia do not use the word submit or obey any more, it would only be included if requested by the couple. And even among Christians, I doubt the word submit is used much these days. Marriages are now seen as "equal" partnerships whilst submit and obey are seen as creating an un-equal partnership. Even though the Bible states that women "submit to their husbands", Christians see this as outdated and no longer relevant.  They cherry-pick what they see as relevant and alter the bits they disagree with. Its called modernizing the bible . . . they see it as "not going against the Word of God", just updating the bible to modern times . . . making it more "user friendly".  What it really does, is take us further and further away from what God has asked us to do in our lives.

Even though it received so much negative response in the media, it was interesting to read the comments and hear what many people thought of this issue. It does get people thinking and perhaps one or two might investigate it further and that is always positive.


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. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.

Ephesians 5:22-25


  1. Joluise, I don't think people really grasp the beauty of submitting to a godly man as Christ intended us to do... As in any form of submission, it can be abused, but in a truly Christian marriage, submission brings a peace to the relationship and a base. There cannot be two heads in any partnership. Headship of course takes the opinion of the other as something of worth and doesn't usurp its role! It doesn't see that other as inferior, which of course, she isn't! I don't think people understand this type of submission at all. Great post!

  2. amen to that..i agree with mrs glenys..i just post about marriage before i read this..God is a God of covenant..and marriage is one of his biggest prioritys...thanks for sharing this...

  3. Why do people pull this verse out of context?! The verse before reads And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. & a few verses later the husband is instructed to love the wife as Christ loves the church. Put like that the husband has the harder part ~ & it should never be left out when speaking of a wife's submission. No wonder there is such misunderstanding & there is so much division on this issue.

  4. I agree with all the above comments - but especially Ganeida - one of the problems is that people focus so much on the wife submitting that they forget the responsibility of the husband - who, if he truly loves her as Christ loves the Church, will treat her like she is a precious jewel, worth protecting, preferring and loving even to death. That's BIG. Really big - and I'm sure takes a lot of work, too.

    Very interesting issue for our modern times - rather surprised it's being introduced back into the Anglican Church.

  5. P.S. I meant to mention that if the husband treated the wife as he is exhorted to, it will be *easy* for the wife to submit - in fact, she will WANT to. ;)

  6. Clara - men do have a very big responsibility as a Christian husband, in particular this verse, it means they can't be selfish in any way and as you say, treat her as a precious jewel. Sadly this doesn't happen in so many marriages.

    "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."

  7. Yea, I read that article but not the comments. I thought he did a great job of explaining it all. And I must say I agree with all of the above comments!


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