“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord” (Eph. 5:22). The preceding verse is one of the most misconstrued in the Holy Bible. Often the words are twisted to relegate the wife’s role to that of a mindless subjugated being. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like any verse, in most any book, without analysis of previous and subsequent content, the probability of contextual error is great. A closer look at a few passages reveals the matrimonial wisdom in the chapter of Ephesians 5.
Marriage is one of God’s gifts to humanity. As such, each party has a spousal role. Therefore, both husband and wife receive instruction in Ephesians. Remember, the wife is a help meet for the husband, and created from Adam’s rib. A rib is a supportive, upper-body bone. Hence, the implication is that the wife operates beside the husband and builds him up; she goes in the direction that he leads because, as the husband, he is the head. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and the savior of the body (Eph. 5:23). Indeed, since the husband exercises headship, he has authority on the basis that he is charged with greater responsibility. A husband is the wife’s lover, protector, and provider; he is to his help meet what Christ is to the Church. Ephesians 5:25 commands, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Christ died for the church. Likewise, a husband is called to place his needs and desires second to honor what is best for the wife, and his entire household in general. The husband is in the position of sacrifice while the wife occupies a status of grace.
Submission to a person who prioritizes one’s wellbeing is wise. Serving the individual as they endeavor for the greater good of both is noble. Just as children obey their parents and the faithful honor God, a wife’s submission to her husband aligns with the richness of salvation, and the blessings therein.
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