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  • Writer's pictureRICHARD DEAN BROOKS





21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

26to make her holy, o cleansinga her by the washing with water through the word,

27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

29After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church

30for we are members of his body.

31“ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

32This is a profound mystery but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

5: 21-22   Submitting to another person is an often-misunderstood concept. Though submission seems strange to modern attitudes, Christian marriages are held to a higher standard. Submission does not mean becoming a doormat. Christ— at whose name “every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2: 10)— submitted his will to the Father, and we honor Christ by following his example. When we submit to God, we become more willing to obey his command to submit to others— that is, to subordinate our rights to theirs. In a marriage, both husband and wife should mutually submit to each other. For the wife, this means willingly following her husband’s leadership in Christ. For the husband, it means putting aside his own interests in order to care for and serve his wife. Submission is rarely a problem in homes where both spouses have strong relationships with Christ and where each works for the well-being and happiness of the other.

5: 22-28   Why did Paul tell wives to submit and husbands to love? Perhaps Christian women, newly freed in Christ, found submission difficult; perhaps Christian men, used to the Roman custom of giving unlimited power to the head of the family, were not used to treating their wives with respect and love. Of course, both husbands and wives should submit to each other (5: 21), just as both should love each other.

5: 22-25   Although some people have distorted Paul’s teaching on submission by giving unlimited authority to husbands, we cannot get around these clear words in Scripture— though we must make every effort to understand them properly and in their context. One way to disarm the antagonism that the external culture may inject into marriage is to remember that while wives have to submit, husbands have to die. In other words, a Christian husband must kill his desire to put himself and his personal desires ahead of his wife’s. According to the Bible, the man is the responsible spiritual head of the family, and his wife should acknowledge his leadership. But real spiritual leadership involves loving service (a form of dying to oneself). Just as Christ served the disciples, even to the point of washing their feet, husbands should serve their wives. A wise and Christ-honoring husband will not take advantage of or abuse his leadership role, and a wise and Christ-honoring wife will not try to undermine her husband’s leadership. Either approach causes disunity and friction in marriage.

5: 22-24   In Paul’s day, women, children, and slaves were to submit to the head of the family: Slaves would submit until they were freed, male children until they grew up, and women and girls their whole lives. Paul emphasized the equality of all believers in Christ (Galatians 3: 28), but he did not suggest overthrowing Roman society to achieve it. Instead, he counseled all believers to submit to one another by choice— wives to husbands and also husbands to wives; slaves to masters and also masters to slaves; children to parents and also parents to children. This kind of mutual submission preserves order and harmony in families while it increases love and respect among family members. A wife can easily submit to her husband when she believes that he serves her, cares for her, and holds her needs above his own. When someone feels secure in a loving relationship, submitting is usually not a problem.

5: 25-33   Some Christians have thought that Paul was negative about marriage because of his counsel in 1   Corinthians 7: 32-38. These verses in Ephesians, however, show that he had a high view of marriage. Paul wanted Christians to show the world through Christian marriages that something new and good was taking place. He saw marriage not as a practical necessity or a cure for lust but as a picture of the relationship between Christ and his church. Why the apparent difference between these two passages? Paul’s message in 1   Corinthians was designed for a state of emergency during a time of persecution and crisis. Paul’s counsel to the Ephesians teaches the biblical ideal for marriage. Marriage, for Paul, was a holy union, a living symbol, a precious relationship needing tender, self-sacrificing care.

5: 25-30   Paul devotes twice as many words to telling husbands to love their wives as to telling wives to submit to their husbands. How should a man love his wife? He should be willing to (1)   sacrifice everything for her, (2)   make her well-being of primary importance, and (3)   care for her as he cares for his own body. No wife needs to fear or resist submitting to a man who treats her in this way.

5: 26-27   Christ’s death makes the church holy and clean. He cleanses us from the old ways of sin and sets us apart for his special, sacred service (1   Corinthians 1: 30; Hebrews 13: 12). Christ cleansed the church by the washing of baptism. Through baptism we are prepared for entrance into the church just as an ancient Middle Eastern bride would be prepared for marriage by a ceremonial bath. It is God’s Word that cleanses us (John 17: 17; Titus 3: 5).

5: 31-33   The union of husband and wife merges two persons in such a way that there isn’t much that can affect one without also affecting the other. Oneness in marriage does not mean losing your personality in the personality of the other. Instead, it means caring for your spouse as you care for yourself, learning to anticipate his or her needs, and helping the other person become all he or she can be. The Creation story tells of God’s plan that husband and wife should be one (Genesis 2: 24), and Jesus also referred to this plan (Matthew 19: 4-6).

Tyndale. NIV Life Application Study Bible

SORRY FOR SO LONG but this explains how CHRISTIAN marriages and families should be. If a man truly loves his wife and provides and takes care of all things then most women i have met would gladly submit or love her husband as they both should or could want to be loved!!!!!

ON THE WAY HOME WALK WITH JESUS in perfect submission to each other !!! by RICHARD DEAN BROOKS

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