God desires husbands and wives to become “one flesh.” We cannot accomplish this desire by lording over our wives and ignoring their input. In fact, Dr. John Gottman has discovered through his extensive research that husbands who accept influence from their wives live longer than husbands who do not accept influence.

Getting "You're Way" Is a Fast Way to Lose

Your marriage is not about getting your way. Your marriage is about recognizing areas where you can serve your mate and put her (or his) feelings and needs above your own. We are to be selfless - servants - that die to ourselves so we can meet the needs of those around us (i.e. our spouse).

I may not be a Greek scholar, but it seems that when we take Ephesians 5:22-23 in context, there’s an entirely different message. Which just so happens to be similar to one of Christ’s biggest messages – die to your self and be the biggest servant of all.  When you take this kind of attitude and apply it to your marriage, something beautiful occurs: You will be serving each other.

Often times spouses are resistant to this idea of being a servant because they fear the other spouse taking advantage of them. But this is a lie straight from the evil one himself! Just think back to a time when someone loved you unconditionally. Are you there? How did you respond to that person? Did you take advantage of him?  Probably not, because most people, when served by unconditional love, return the favor! In a healthy marriage, mutual submission feeds on itself and turns your marriage in to something truly special – the kind of marriage God wants. What could be better than that?

Submission is never a scary topic when you are submitting to each other. Submission only becomes a scary word when one mate takes advantage of the other by abusing the gift.


Michael Smalley and his wife Amy both earned a Master's Degree in clinical psychology from Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois. For the past ten years they have taught millions of people around the world how to better love God, others, and themselves through practical insights and hilarious illustrations. Michael is the founder and Executive Director of The Smalley Marriage and Family Center located in The Woodlands, Texas. His center offers Marriage Restoration Intensives - where couples from around the country fly in for intensive care on their marriage.

Michael and Amy have authored or coauthored relationship advice books like Communicating with Your Teen , the Men's Relational Toolbox, and Don't Date Naked , The DNA of Relationships, and their latest book More than a Match.

The Smalley's have three children, Cole, Reagan, and David.  They have been married for 12 years. Visit Michael's website and blog at www.gosmalley.com.