The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
-I Corinthians 7:4, KJV
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
-Ephesians 5:21-23, KJV
A Christian marriage is about mutual submission.
It is not a one way road according to what is record in Scripture. Husbands do not get complete say in a marriage nor do wives. However, Paul instructs us that both need to look towards differing to each other in godly submission.
I start with this point to frame a favorite “Cheater-ism:”
“You’re NOT the boss of me!”
Actually, this is a false statement when contrasted with Scripture. In a sense, our spouse is the boss of us. That is what we signed up for when we got married before God and His Church. We declared a commitment to forsake all others.
Here are a few examples where “You’re not the boss of me!” fail the godly submissiveness test:
A godly wife respects her husband’s request not to get drinks with a male colleague with whom she has already cheated. That is a reasonable request. To reject such a request is for her to fail to be submissive.
A godly husband respects his wife’s request to “unfriend” the woman he engaged with inappropriately. That is a reasonable request. To reject such a request is for him to fail to be submissive.
A godly husband or a godly wife respects their spouses’ requests to make their Facebook status “Married” thereby signalling electronically the truth of their unavailability for other partners. That is a reasonable request. To reject such a request is to fail to be submissive.
Ultimately, we need to first be submissive and obedient to God. That takes priority in any relationship as our relationship with God needs to be number one. A call to mutual submissiveness is not a call to passivity or enabling of unrighteousness.
However, I bring up mutual submissiveness today as I believe it is often very one-sided when dealing with a cheater. This is especially so when dealing with the “You’re not the boss of me!” tantrum.
Cheaters are quick to demand complete control of the faithful spouse (as well as the marriage narrative). They might try to hide it behind a Bible verse here and there. That does not fly here. I am exposing it for what it is:
Ungodliness and spiritual abuse.
It is yet another evidence of their unclean heart that they would not consider submitting to their spouse in a reasonable matter of fidelity.