If you are studying the Bible, you will find numerous teachings on marriage and Christian living. In regard to the teachings on marriage, there are some passages that may result in confusion or moral tension between you and your spouse.

For example, the apostle Paul wrote in Galatians that “…you are all one in Christ Jesus,” yet, in other instances Paul wrote that everyone must submit to the governing authorities and that wives in particular are to submit to their husbands in everything. The apostle Peter even goes so far as to instruct slaves to submit to their masters.

Given that we now live in a time where slavery is condemned and the concept of “submission” is often viewed contentiously between husbands and wives—how can you and your spouse reconcile such passages in the Bible to the life of your marriage?

Because husbands and wives live in two different worlds, moral tension is to be expected whether you study the Bible’s teachings or not. Simply, men and women are physiologically and emotionally very different. Yet, despite the physical and emotional differences that exist between males and females, both are equal heirs and citizens of the Kingdom of God in heaven and upon the earth.

If you and your spouse have experienced conflict over differing views on the Biblical scriptures that reference marriage, one action that can help ease this tension in your marriage is for both you and your spouse to commit to pursuing positions that foster peace.

In Matthew 5:9, Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Paul reinforces this wisdom teaching of Jesus’ when he is writing to the Romans. He writes, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” And, even the writer of Hebrews wrote, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men, and to be holy…”

There is no need for chaos within a marriage where a Christian brother and sister of equal standing in Christ are attempting to establish a meaningful marriage within the context of their culture, their expectations of one another, and their attempt to be faithful to biblical teachings.

At the end of the day, the ultimate goal in marriage should be peace and not dominance. Mutual submission in the pursuit of peace is an exhibition of humility, love, respect, and obedience, thus mutual submission between a husband and wife should be embraced and not feared.

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Some things to do for the week

Day 2: Reflect on the message and scripture reading; journal if you like
Day 3: Pray for or meditate on what you think you need
Day 4: Discuss the message and scripture with your spouse
Day 5: Plan how you can best respond to the message
Day 6: Rest; don’t think about the message or the scripture; listen in the stillness
Day 7: Recommit yourself to your marriage

Applicable scripture listed under Discussion References.