Ephesians 5.22-24

Sadly, many Bible passages are pulled out of context and bent out of shape to make a point that they were never intended to. I think Ephesians 5.22-24 is one of them:

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church (he himself being the savior of the body). But as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

(Ephesians 5.22-24, NET)

Coming out of a long and detailed section on sexual morality Paul now turns to talk about marriage. This is not an isolated statement to be wielded over our spouse, but an exhortation to show what you believe in your conduct at home. Flowing beautifully from the command of v.21 to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ we now read, specifically, how wives can do so (husbands are up tomorrow). 

Wives are counselled to submit to [their] husbands as to the Lord. This is not – and there is not in Scripture – a blanket call for all women to submit to all men. Within a Christian marriage there is a wonderful exchange of selfless love for submission: both parties hold the other as more important than themselves (vv.23-24) and both go out of their way to show it. For wives specifically, this is shown in a posture of submission.

To submit to someone who you don’t know or has not proven their love for you is a tall task. However, to submit to someone who you know will take care of you, to someone who has proven their love for you in the strongest way possible (v.24) is a much more doable task for most. 

Tomorrow we will see the other side of the coin (Husbands, love your wives…) but for more on Christian marriage, try this:

Marriage – In The Name Of…

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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