Submitting to an Ungracious Husband

Hail Mary, full of Grace….I wonder if the majority of women could honestly say they are ‘full of grace’. Specifically, I want to consider what a wife who is ‘full of grace’ looks like in regards to submitting to an ungracious husband. Just as Husbands imitate Christ in their authority over their wives, so wives should imitate Christ in his submission to the Father. 


Mapping out our journey, Ephesians 5:22-24 will be our guide in determining the four graces to help in wives submitting to her husband.


Four Graces to Help in a Wife’s Submission

  1. Humility
  2. Sincerity
  3. Cheerfulness
  4. Constancy




Being puffed up with pride will always result in a lack of humility. When a wife exhibits humility, she will not think of herself higher than she ought to think. She will recognize that her husband is her authority and will yield herself to him. As the Church is humble before her Lord, Christ, so a wife should be humble. Pride, humility’s contrary, will always encourage a wife to rebel, disobey, and to become disloyal to her spouse. A plain scriptural proof text for this is found in Proverbs 13:11, “Arrogance [or pride] leads to nothing but strife…”



Take an example of a wife, who, on the outside obeys her husband, but inwardly curses and heaps up bitterness. Is she truly submitting to her husband? There is a measure of submission, but true submission, I say no. I myself have had the most difficult struggle with being sincere in my submission. There are times I submit on the outside, but on the inside, I have a tendency to heap up bitterness. My husband does not always see my lack of submission, but my Heavenly Father looks at my heart.


Be the “sweet perfume that sends forth a good savor into Christ’s nostrils and makes the things we do pleasant and acceptable to Him” -Gouge




The outward testimony of a sincere wife says something! As I watch my young daughter grow up, I am more aware of how much she mimics me. She is a sponge. I recently was calling loudly for my husband who was out of earshot when my little girl started yelling and screaming his name too! She had never done that before and it took me by surprise. It was another reminder to me how important it is for me to be cheerful. God loves a cheerful giver: not just with giving outwardly, but in all the good that we do for the glory of the Lord.

Attitudes go a long way. Cheerful wives will be all the more ready and willing to complete their tasks. A sullen wife is like sour milk to her husband. Pouting, muttering under the breath causes grief to husband, and by not being cheerful, a wife is passively complaining.




This is the ultimate: Faithfulness. Well done to the good and faithful servant of the Lord. This is a life change…not a diet that lasts one week, but a lifetime of change. Wives, let us not be faithful occasionally, but be the picture of a wife who is constant.


It matters not if a husband is ungracious. Our Lord does not say to submit only if the husband is gracious. The Bible teaches to submit in all things (except that which goes against Scripture). Let us bring joy to our husbands and present an example to our daughters. Let us be like Mary; full of grace.




For Further Discussion:

John MacArthur discusses Wives, Marriage, and Submission


About Nicole Leaman

Nicole Leaman is a wife and mother of two daughters. With a degree in Criminal Justice, she actively blogs about social matters regarding women and culture.