An Army Wife's View of Submission

This 1-minute devotion explains an Army wife’s unique perspective on biblical submission.

After more than fifty years of marriage, I'm so grateful for the wisdom and protection submission provides (
Ephesians 5:22-24Colossians 3:18-19). I'd like to share my perspective on submission using a military analogy. 

My husband was a career soldier. Drafted in 1972, he became an officer in 1974 and served twenty-two years. 

In the military, there's a parallel ranking system: commissioned and enlisted/non-commissioned officers (NCOs). The lowest commissioned officer outranks the highest NCO. 

When my husband was a captain, having only four years' experience as an officer, he became a company commander in charge of one hundred men. 

The highest-ranking NCO in his company was his first sergeant, a twenty-year veteran soldier who was smart, experienced, and effective. But he worked for my husband. He had to obey my husband’s commands. 

Because my husband was a good officer, he valued his first sergeant's experience and advice. But, in the end, my husband made the decisions and took responsibility for the results. 

My husband was no more valuable to his company than his first sergeant, but he was in charge. 

I've always thought this military relationship, while not an exact fit, was a good analogy for submission in marriage. A good husband trusts his wife’s advice and involves her in decision-making. She has experience and perspective that he lacks, but she submits to his decisions. 

Submission isn’t about value or importance. It’s about order. 

None of us carry it off perfectly. But the more loving our relationship, the better it works.


Note: I realize that some of my readers are single and this devotion may not seem particularly relevant, but I hope it gives you a better understanding of how God's design brings order and blessing to our lives.

Helpful Resources for Understanding Submission

⮞Scriptures about submission:

"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. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." Ephesians 5:22-24

"Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them." 
Colossians 3:18-19

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This 1-minute devotion explains an Army wife’s unique perspective on biblical submission.

Bible Love Notes


  1. Those of us who are not currently army wives, but are married to former military men, also learn a view of the world of submission and authority in that unique way. It changed them, it changes us, and God uses them all.

  2. I think this is a great illustration of another way to understand submission in marriage. Thanks for sharing!

  3. What a great illustration of submission. While I'm not a military wife, my best friend was a career officer. Imagine her challenge as a Lt. Col married to a civilian?? In my world, I've often used the analogy of Nations and the UN. You do not relinquish your sovereignty, but rather choose to submit to leadership. Submission is always a choice.
    So glad I stopped by.
    God's peace and good to you.

    1. I like your illustration as well...always helpful to look at submission in light of other relationships that have value, yet different roles.

  4. I love this illustration! Thanks for sharing your heart:) Following along from the WLWW link up!

  5. My husband is also in the military and uses this analogy! I think it is a perfect example. Although, I must admit it is very hard to put yourself under anyone who you don't respect. Respect is what you need as a wife and it is hard to teach someone how to respect others especially when they are older. I have to work on it everyday. You really did a good job explaining this one. I love it and would be so grateful if you linked up at Mom's Library!

  6. A great example! Thanks for linking up with the Thrive @ Home community!

  7. This really captivated me. My reading slowed down as I thought about what you were sharing. I'm not a military wife, so I had to think through the ranks, lol, but nevertheless, this was an excellent example of submission. Thank you so much for linking up with WholeHearted Home Wednesdays over at Haven of Rest.

  8. What an excellent analogy! I think it is a pretty good one!