We submit as men as husbands we teach our wives to also submit to us. This is God’s order (Eph 5:21-24). If a we fail to teach our wives to submit, we are still in submission, but in submission to our wives rather than to the Lord. A husband is commanded to love his wife as Christ loved the Church giving himself up for her sanctifying her, cleansing her making her holly by the washing and watering of the word.
To water is to nurture her, to do so with the word is to provide the nutrients for her spiritual growth. To cleanse her is to remove the dirt of the world – that is to use the word to remove sin in her life. And what is sin but the want of conformity unto or transgression of the Word of God. SO the husband uses the Word to reprove, correct and for instruction in righteousness, that his wife may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. But she needs to know what constitutes good works and how can she know unless she is taught the Word. So a husband is to bring the word to bear in his marriage on all matters including the sin of insubordination in his wife.
Wise husbands will disciple the heart of his wife, not just the outward actions. Actions manifest the sin of the heart as the proverb says Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” A sure sign when a wife’s heart is in rebellion is when she chafes at correction, or threatens peace and love in the home or coldness toward intimacy. In the later the husband should patiently instruct his wife in 1 Cor 7:3-5. Many may argue that will not put her in the mood. Again this is evidence of a heart of rebellion. That rebellion puts her desires (moods and feeling) in a position of primacy over the Word of God.
A husband who is submitting to the Word, will instruct his on what the Bible defines as her role toward her own husband and against the wife’s rebellion against that role. A husband that fails to correct the insubordination of his wife does not love her like Christ loves the Church. Christ rebukes sin and teaches obedience. When a husband refuses to teach his wife to submit so that his wife stays happy or for peace in the home, he is in submission, not to God’s word, but to his wife. This is a want of conformity to the Word for the idols of peace in the home, his wife’s “happiness” and his own flesh. Just as the husband is to love his wife as his own flesh, and will study the word to bring its power to bear and bring repentance in himself, so also must he do for his wife. Failure to do just that is submission; it is just not submission to the Lord.
A man is to love his wife as Christ is to the Church. Christ does that as prophet, priest and king. As a prophet he brings the Word, as a priest he makes intercession and as a king he rule. Husband are to bring the word, make intersession and rule his own household (1 Tim 3:5, Gen 3:16).
When a husband allows his wife to be disobedient he repeats the sin of Adam and fails to keep her from rebellion against the Word of God. The sin of wives who do not obey their husbands is called a blasphemy against the Word (Titus 2:5). If you love your wife you will not allow her to blaspheme the Word without warning her to stop. So great is this tendency for women to rebel against God’s order that the husband requires older women in the church to help teach his wife to repent of her evil desire and submit to Christ by submitting to her own husband in contentment and without fear. So husbands I admonish you to serve the Lord and submit to His Word and every lawful authority over you. This will create a positive example for your wife to emulate in her own estate. A condition of your submission is to water your wife with the Word; to nurture her into greater holiness, and intercede for her in your prayers. In these ways a husband will serve the Lord, as he rules his household for the glory of god, repents of his own fleshly desires for peace without holiness and holiness without obedience.
But some object because Matt 7 tells the husband to get the log out of his own eye before he tries to remove the speck from the eye of his wife. There are two problems with this objection. ONE: Jesus does not tell those in authority to be derelict in the execution of their duty simply because they also sin. Imagine if we applied this objection to other areas of authority, police could not stop a rapist because the police man lusted in his heart, or the elders of the church could not rebuke a heretic because they ate too much the night before. It is silly to use Matt 7 to keep God-ordained authorities from performing their duty. It is correct to say that those who are in authority should always be working to repent of sin. And speaking of sin that lead into TWO: If a man cannot confront the sin of his wife because he is sinning, and he is commanded to wash her in the word then his adds to his sin by disobeying the duty to confront his wife. Thus by not confronting her sin he is in sin and because he is in sin he cannot confront his wife’s sin, but he is commanded to wash her by the Word, but he cannot because he has a log in his eye, but the log in his eye is his want of conformity to the Word, namely the command to teach her all things God has commanded including submission, but he cannot teach that because in not teaching it, he has sinned and having sinned he cannot ask her to repent ……. And the wheel goes round and round. In order for a man to submit to God he must teach his wife submission and admonish her when she disobeys.