In the Epistle to the Ephesians, Paul tells us that wives should “submit to their own husbands.” This, however, is not a license to subjugate women to the whims of men. In fact, teaching this is a misuse of the word of God and requires that we ignore the context of this passage.
At the risk of being accused of taking scripture out of context, I’m only including a small portion of this passage. You can however, view the section here, to see whether I’m looking at all of it.
Wives, submit to your husbands as 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.
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.
Here’s the thing, though. While I’ve known for some time that this prescription for marriage relationship was much more beautiful than a man saying “do this,” I’ve never had a good understanding of how to explain it.
Enter Pastor Barbie Loflin (Twitter, Facebook, Blogger). She presented the most beautiful picture of submission and surrender in the context of a marriage that I have ever heard. Of the holy embrace of husband and wife as they work out their relationship, endeavoring to become one flesh.
There’s no way I can do her message justice. You should check out the whole thing here.
The rest of the chapter is key to understanding why marriage is so critical to understanding Christiantiy:
Eph 5:28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Eph 5:29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
Eph 5:30 because we are members of his body.
Eph 5:31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
Eph 5:32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
The point here is that Christian marriage preaches the Gospel because it is an image of the Gospel. The better spouse you are to Jesus, the better spouse you will be to the one your wife (or husband in your wife's case).
Eph 5:33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Interesting that what I want most from my wife is commanded of her in Scripture, and what my wife wants most from me is commanded of me in this verse as well.
Thanks Paul. You are absolutely correct. Apparently God knows best :-)
Thank you, Bryan. Your endorsement means more than you know.
Absolutely. It was my pleasure to share a wonderful truth and the beautiful picture you painted.