“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” Ephesians 5:22-24
Submission, in the context of marriage, is actually a very empowering thing. Healthy submission involves absolutely NO dominance, but includes only the woman’s act of free will to choose to come under her husband’s covering. A man who feels the need to have dominance over his wife could have a potentially damaging covering. Just as we submit to God’s will not by force, but by our own free will, so does a woman choose her husband and along with him, his covering. If a husband is greedy, he covers his family with greed. If a husband is fearful, he covers his family with fear. If a man is prideful, he covers his family with pride.
Therefore, choose someone whose primary goal is to pursue love, thus pursuing God, and whose secondary goal is to pursue you.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27
Not one man is without sin, but I advise that you do not enter into covenant with someone who has a continuous sin that makes them stumble, because your family will stumble the same way. His pursuit of God will be through the lens of this sin, this principality, and so will his pursuit of you. The focus on purity is not over after marriage, the stakes only get higher cause your personal impurities are affecting so much more than yourself. We strive to pursue our spouses the same way God pursues us. Choose someone that you know you can trust will make every decision holistically(Considering first God, second their spouse, and third their children). Not every decision is right, not every decision is perfect but pure intentions mean everything. Pure intentions maintain a lifestyle of honor and a lifestyle of honor maintains your covenant with one another.
Lastly, in regard to submission in the context of marriage, be with someone who will protect you, not with someone protective. Protectiveness communicates a lack of trust and ultimately degradation of your spouse’s character(yes, women can be protective too). What is the difference between someone protecting vs someone protective? Protecting is an active verb, something done to or for someone. It is a selfless thing. Protective is an attribute. It’s not for something but from something. Protectiveness is out of something(e.g. your own personal fear, a need to feel powerful, etc.) not unto something(e.g. the actual safety of the person you’re protecting). Think of how God protects us not because he is “protective” but because he is loving and faithful. The protection we get from God is not an animal instinct, it is an intentional action of love. Someone who is protective covers his family in his own fear while someone protecting covers his family in love and security.
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So many of us have fought too hard for purity to have covenant with someone who will bring sin into our camp. I say this not to discriminate against the humanity of any potential partner, but understand where to draw the line in order to protect how you’ve consecrated yourself. It’s also important to perceive the difference between the illusion of holiness in a man and a man who earnestly seeks the Lord. If someone appears not to struggle, that is not necessarily a good sign; chances are there’s something looming in the darkness of their heart. Everyone has sin that they deal with, the important thing to notice is how they deal with it. Are they well acquainted with the unending grace and forgiveness offered to them by the cross? Have they experienced time and time again God’s faithfulness to deliver them? Are they faithful to bring it all back to the feet of Jesus?
In an age where companionship equates meaning or fulfillment or ultimate bliss, it is more important than ever to choose carefully who we share our lives with. The truth of the matter is that many have companionship but few have covenant. And to me, covenant is the only thing that is worthwhile. I long to see a movement of young women of God who have purposed in their heart not to settle for anything less than covenant, whose pride is not in their own purity, but in the purity bestowed upon them by a God who loves them, which they fight for with great strength and protect each and every day.
One by one, step by step, let us change the culture around us by being pillars of true purity.