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Devotionals by Dr. Dobson

The Submission Debate

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” 
Ephesians 5:22

There’s no quicker way to disrupt a festive gathering of Christian women than to bring up the topic of submission. Before you know it, friends start facing off to launch passionate discourses on all sides of the issue. Either that or they laugh contemptuously. Yet God’s direction on the subject is clear: “The head of every man is Christ, and the head of every woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3).

Each of us submits to a higher authority. Consider the boss at work or the IRS agent at tax time. They are our equals as people, yet we submit to them because they have authority over us when they assume certain roles. A wife submits to her husband in the same manner. You both are equally valued, equally important partners—yet your roles are different. Furthermore, submission cannot be understood or appreciated apart from the other half of the prescription found in Ephesians 5:25, which requires a husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church, to the point of giving up his life for her. There is no room for inconsiderateness, oppression, or domination here!

As a wife, you are asked to submit to the leadership of your husband. As a husband, you are told to sacrificially love and cherish your wife. It is the divine plan for marriage and family.

Just between us . . .

• How do we define a wife’s duty to submit to her husband?
• (wife) How well do you think I follow God’s direction in this area? How can we help each other with submission as defined by God?

(wife) Father, I admit, submission doesn’t always come easily to me. But I accept Your wonderful plan for our marriage. Today I look for Your abundant blessing as I wholeheartedly support my husband as the head of our marriage. Amen.

Listen to today's broadcast of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk at  For more from Dr. Dobson, visit the resource center at

This devotional is taken from Night Light for Couples. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.

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About Family Talk Weekends

Family Talk is a Christian non-profit organization located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Founded in 2010 by Dr. James Dobson, the ministry promotes and teaches biblical principles that support marriage, family, and child-development. Since its inception, Family Talk has served millions of families with broadcasts, monthly newsletters, feature articles, videos, blogs, books and other resources available on demand via its website, mobile apps, and social media platforms.


About Dr. Dobson

Dr. James Dobson is the Founder and President of Family Talk, a nonprofit organization that produces his radio program, "Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk." He is the author of more than 30 books dedicated to the preservation of the family, including The New Dare to Discipline, Love for a Lifetime, Life on the Edge, Love Must Be Tough, The New Strong-Willed Child, When God Doesn't Make Sense, Bringing Up Boys, Marriage Under Fire, Bringing Up Girls, Head Over Heels and, most recently, Your Legacy: The Greatest Gift. 

Dr. Dobson served as an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children's Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. He has been active in governmental affairs and has advised five U.S. presidents on family matters. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (1967) in the field of child development. He holds 17 honorary doctoral degrees, and was inducted in 2008 into The National Radio Hall of Fame. Dr. Dobson recently received the following awards: Winston Churchill Lifetime Achievement Award from the Faith & Freedom Coalition (2017), Daniel Award from AZ Christian University (2016), and the Defender of Life Award from the Justice Foundation (2015). 

Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley and they have two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and two grandchildren. The Dobsons reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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