One of the most misused verses in the entire Bible comes to us from the Book of Ephesians, Chapter 5:22-24…
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. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
For centuries, I believe these three short verses have been used to oppress the women of cultures all around the world. Even now, I can imagine the men reading this beginning to puff up their chests and grunt like “Tim the Toolman Taylor”. Likewise, I’m sure the women are already on the defensive. The fact is, I am 100% in support of these three short verses! Just as I am 100% in support of the seven (much longer) verses that follow… Ephesians 5:25-32…
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. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
By thoroughly examining these verses on several different occasions over the past four years, I have come to the following conclusions:
1. In these ten verses, the word “if” is never used.
It’s not “if” your wife submits to you “then” you should love her, or vice versa. These statements are not conditional… They are commands.
2. The Husband’s role is harder than that of the Wife.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church”… In order to accomplish this, husbands must be willing to die for their wives, regardless of whether or not their wives give a damn about them. Crazy? Perhaps. But that is what Jesus Christ did for the world… The Creator of the Universe came down from heaven, made Himself man, performed miracles, healed the sick, raised the dead, and then died and excruciating death on the cross in order to pay for our sins. And what did the world do in response? We turned our back on Him. We denied Him. We stood by and did nothing. And then what did Jesus do in response? He forgave us, again. Throughout history, the followers of Christ have failed Him and His commands and He has incessantly forgiven us all, over and over again. And not only had He forgiven us, but He also continues to provide for our every need, even though we continue to deny His ways… And in this same fashion, Husbands are called to love their Wives. Real Men love their Wives.
3. Submission is not a bad thing.
Most women freak out when they hear “Wives submit to your husbands”, but in all clarity, this is the greatest thing ever! Seriously, who wouldn’t want to submit to someone who had their best interest in mind and was willing to die for them? Not saying this is easy, but nothing in life worthwhile ever is.
4. Real Men love their Wives. Real Women submit to their Husbands. Real Men Attract Real Women. And vice versa.
If you want to attract a Wife who submits, you need to be a Husband who loves like Christ.