The Duties of Wives
Colossians 3:18
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

The apostle next proceeds to enjoin family duties, not in the spirit of those errorists, who imagined that such duties were vulgar and inconsistent with the contemplative aspect of the Christian life. His first practical exhortation is to wives, and is summed up in the single duty - "submit yourselves."

I. THE DUTY OF SUBMISSION. "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands." This duty includes:

1. Honour. They must honour their husbands as their head (1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Peter 3:6).

2. Truthfulness. (Proverbs 2:17.)

3. Obedience. (Ephesians 5:23; 1 Corinthians 7:34.)

4. Cooperation with their husbands in all family affairs. They must "guide the house with discretion" (Titus 2:5).

5. They must not assume authority over their husbands, either in ecclesiastical or in domestic affairs (1 Timothy 2:14).

II. REASONS FOR THIS DUTY. "As it is fit in the Lord." In Oriental countries, woman was the slave rather than the companion of man, but in the Grecized communities of Asia Minor, woman held a higher position, and her new position under the gospel may have led her to carry her freedom to the point of licence. It was, therefore, necessary to define her position accurately. Her subjection to man is "fit in the Lord" on several grounds.

1. From man's priority of creation. (1 Timothy 2:13.)

2. The woman was made for man, not the man for the woman. (1 Corinthians 2:9.)

3. The woman's priority in the original transgression. (1 Timothy 2:14.)

4. The man's headship over the woman. (1 Corinthians 11:3.)

5. Her weakness. She is "the weaker vessel" (1 Peter 3:7), and therefore stands in need of his greater strength and protection.

6. The subjection to man is placed on the same basis as the subjection of the Church to Christ. (Ephesians 5:22-24.)

7. But the apostle's language in the text implies a limitation upon her submission; for she is to be subject to him "in the Lord." Both husband and wife must have a due consideration for each other's position, because they are "heirs of the grace of life," and they must see that "their prayers are not hindered" (1 Peter 3:7). - T. C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

WEB: Wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

The Christian View of Family Life
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