Can you see the word that changes its meaning in this Martha Peace quote? Try to spot it:
Question asked to Martha Peace: I know the Bible teaches women to be submissive to their husbands, but what about a wife whose husband screams, cusses, and hits her?
Answer from Martha Peace: The Bible clearly teaches that wife is to submit herself to the authority of her husband (Ephesians 5:22; Titus 2:5; Colossians 3:18; I Peter 3:1). The Greek word for “be submissive to” is hupotasso. It is a military term that means to be ranked under in military order. Hupotasso in no way implies that the wife is inferior, but it does clearly mean that she has a different role. Her role has been given to her by God. Many women believe themselves to be submissive because as they have told me, “I would never sell our house without my husband’s permission!” However, they are sometimes only submissive in the big decisions but contend over less important matters. In contrast, the Lord expects us to be faithful to obey in the small things as well as the large. So, wives are to be submissive to their husbands with one exception – if he asks her to sin. In a case such as her husband asking her to sin, she would then have to obey God (who is the higher authority)… A wife whose husband is sinning should appeal to her husband. And if he does not repent, she should tell him what he is doing is not right (based on Scripture if he is a Christian). Either way, she would give a gentle, loving reproof (Galatians 6:1). If he does not repent, her further course would depend on whether he is a Christian or not. If he is a Christian, she should follow the steps of church discipline in Matthew 18:15-18 and if necessary call the police based on Romans 13:1. If he is an unbeliever, the church has no authority over him, but, of course, the police and courts do. [For a detailed explanation of resources to help a wife whose husband is sinning, see The Excellent Wife book, chapter fourteen.]
Peace reminds us of texts that say wives should submit (hupotasso). She applies that as a performance command to wives: Submit/ obey/ be submissive, whether he is right or not, whenever he does not ask you to sin. The submission command is not, in her teaching, also part of what the husband and all believers should do under Eph. 5:21, as she calls it a “different role”.
She also reminds us of Romans 13:1:Christians should submit (hupotasso) to authorities. She apply that as “you should tell authorities of your problem, and the authorities should help you!” Why the difference? Why is submission to husbands one thing, and submission to authorities nearly the opposite?
Where would she get her ideas from? Methinks it’s from a man-centered (man as in adult male, not as in human) church. And these men interpret “Christians, submit to authorities” as “the authorities owe us.” And these men she listens to interpret “wives, submit to husbands” as “the wives owe us.” This has nothing to do with good scripture exegesis, but with personal selfishness.