Mutual submission leads families to happiness

What can I do for you?

It is a simple question that can make a huge difference to your family. Are you willing to take the initiative and begin asking this question of each member of your household?

Whenever someone asks the question of another member of the family, the relational dynamic changes dramatically.

Ephesians 5:21 calls us to, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

This passage teaches the principle of “mutual” submission. The two primary reasons we might hesitate to ask the question are fear and selfishness. We are afraid that if we ask the question, someone is going to take advantage of us. And the second reason we don’t do it is because we are selfish. Selfishness often keeps us from being fully invested in our family.

Happiness, especially in a family, comes from mutual submission. It is about being willing to invest your total self in everybody else. This question forces you to lean into your family rather than pull away from them.

Sometimes men are the ones who have the hardest time leaning into their family on this level. The unfortunate thing is that our wives try to get us to give our family the time and attention it deserves. Our wives and kids are afraid to ask us anything because they don’t want to hear what they know they will hear if they ask for your help (too busy, not right now, maybe later, etc.). They live their lives orbiting around the man who is large and in charge yet distant and unconnected.

God has called husbands and fathers to be the head of the home. We are called to be the head of the home the same way Jesus is the head of the church. Jesus was a servant leader. We get to follow the example of Christ every day in our home as we submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Jesus gave himself up for the sake of everybody in the church. Jesus is the model. He is our example.

Dad, what if you decided to lead the way in asking this question: “What can I do to help?” in your family? What if you were intentional about leaning into your family rather than away from them and into every other thing life throws your way? Can you imagine what might happen if families really bought into this?

This really is about loving your family on a deep and personal level.

You can read Steve Greene’s blog at or you can email him at

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