The “S” Word

In my first semester teaching a world religion course at a secular university, I learned the vast number of worldviews that could be prevalent in one location. As I taught through different religions’ teachings, many students would show their disbelief or disapproval of certain ideas. Once we got to Christianity, one of the selected texts was concerning marriage relationships in the New Testament.

One very independent young lady in the back raised her hand and asked, “You don’t believe that women are still supposed to submit to their husbands, do you?” Not too surprisingly, I had everyone’s attention in the class at that moment.

I followed by asking her if she had ever seen The Passion of the Christ movie. She had, and I asked her to describe her feelings about the movie. “It was overwhelming to watch. Seeing what Jesus did for mankind was breathtaking. My favorite moment was when he literally crawled back to the cross. Watching Jesus’ love in that movie devastated me for days.”

I then proceeded to tell the class that a woman’s submission to her husband is directly related to his sacrificial love for her that is an imitation of Christ’s love for us on the cross. It tells husbands to love their wives “just as also Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Eph. 5:25).

The main illustration in the Bible God provides for how Jesus loved the church is to watch how husbands love their wives. It’s a humbling realization to acknowledge that one of the main purposes of my marriage is to show a dying world what Jesus’ love looks like. As I sacrifice and give tirelessly for my bride, I can have an example to show someone who cannot imagine a sacrificial, unconditional love of Jesus Christ.


Husbands, this is our job. When someone asks me how to comprehend the love of Jesus, I should be able to say, “Look at the way I love my wife.”

At the end of class that day, I asked that young lady, “If you had a man who would give of himself and love you sacrificially in the same manner at the love Jesus displayed on the cross, would you ever resist following that man’s lead?”

With tears in her eyes, she replied, “No, I would not.” Husbands, before demanding your wives submit to you, make sure she has someone loving her at the level Jesus loved us on the cross.

4 thoughts on “The “S” Word”

  1. Trav, I used this illustration with my girls all summer at camp when I spoke about marriage to my Varsity Girls’ Track. Love those analogies!

  2. Travis, this is a wonderful explanation to being submissive. I wish I could have been in this class. I would love the privilege of changing our roles of teacher and student.
    God bless you and all parts of your ministry.
    Love and prayers,

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