The Serving Spouse

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
I have to admit, I'm writing this post out of "lessons learned" and not "knowledge of." Anymore, I find that most of the content on this blog originates from this place. This is especially true when it comes to parenting.

Lately, however, I’ve been thinking about marriage. A lot, in fact! Over the next month and a half I am responsible for performing 2 wedding ceremonies. Both couples are great. Both have very bright futures ahead together, I believe. I have had the opportunity to meet with both of them on a few occasions and they both have asked a question that, frankly, is the triillion-dollar question when it comes to marriage:

“How do we have a successful marriage?”

That’s a fair question in this day and age. With the divorce rate exceeding the marriage rate, it’s in the hearts and minds of every couple that sets out on this journey together. Lets be honest- no one walks down the isle on their wedding day and thinks to themselves, “I only want to be married for 5 or 8 years and then get divorced.” Or, “We’re getting married now, but I don’t see this lasting forever.” That would be crazy!

So, I answered their question with an answer that I’ve come to understand (and am still learning) after 14 years of marriage. I said, “Submission!”

Ouch! That’s kind of a four-letter word these days! Submission. Kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you say it. The reason why is that we, as a culture, have used that word as ammunition to get what we want, or worse, some husbands have used this as justification to make their wives do want ever they want them to do. Truthfully, in the past, when I’ve talked about this, it never fails- I either have husbands nodding at me smugly or wives shaking their heads as if to say, “Oh no, here we go. I’m going to get beat up!”

Fact is- both of those reactions mean one thing: there is a grave misunderstanding of what submission really means.

In Ephesians 5:22-24 the Apostle Paul says, “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.”

Again, could be taken as an ouch! Seems 1-sided and cold. Many times I’ve heard preachers and counselors reference this in marriage sermons or marriage counseling bluntly, using this verse as a weapon, placing cross-hairs on the woman, as if their lack of submission is the problem in the marriage. It’s unfair and inaccurate. Don’t get me wrong, this verse is truthful. But it’s not the only verse concerning submission that you find here.

If you read on in Verses 25-27 this is what you also find- “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

Wives- submit. Yep! But husbands, die. Absolutely! That’s what Paul is getting at in this verse. Submission is a 2-way street. The other verse that is often overlooked is Verse 21- “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” In other words, serve one another!

Now I realize that many of my readers might not subscribe to the Bible and that’s okay. Even if you took the “Jesus” or “church” out of this passage you would find this- “Submit to one another. Wives submit to your husbands. Husbands, love your wives, and be willing to give yourself up for her.”

Back to my life lessons for a moment. In 14 years being married, I’ve screwed this up royally as a husband. I’ve been selfish, arrogant, belligerent, un-loving and self-serving many many times over the years. I admit it, I’m far from perfect. I am forever growing and learning. But there’s one thing I’ve discovered as a husband, in particular: when I choose to serve my wife and put her needs above mine, I experience marital peace and fulfillment. When I don’t, we are at odds, and there’s restlessness. Same applies to her. Again, it’s a 2-way street.

So my answer to both couple’s trillion-dollar question was this- “Submit to one another. It’s not 1-sided. It’s a 2-way street. Put each other’s needs above your own. Choose to serve each other every single day and you will have marital success. It’s that simple!”  

Be a spouse that serves.

As a spouse are you putting this principle into practice? Are you actively submitting yourself to your husband or wife?= 

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.