A note from our pastor:
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.Ephesians 5:22
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
First, please note our study verse this week begins a series of verses which focus on the institution of marriage and the relationship between husbands and wives. The verses necessarily build on one another, and, thus, the meaning of the verses should be considered individually and within the larger context and meaning.
This week we are presented with a dilemma. How is the practical implication of this verse to be handled while not taking away from the larger spiritual meaning? It is precisely this topic which we want to deal with in this writing.
After giving the general instruction to submit yourselves one to another, the Apostle now moves to particular institutions and more focused instruction. In addressing the relationship of marriage, the Apostle instructs wives to submit to their own husbands. In considering this, let us first take note of the focused instruction. The Apostle does not tell women to submit to all men in this verse. This is relationship focused and modeled after how women should submit themselves to the Lord. To apply this in general to how women interact with men is to not only misapply the instruction but also to damage the larger teaching.
The model for all submission in scripture is the relationship we have with Jesus Christ. The submission we owe Christ is founded on two factors. First, Christ loved us and sacrificed himself for us. Our submission to Christ is not based on blind obedience but rather on a track record of proven love and willingness to provide for our needs. Second, our submission (service) to Christ is based on his first serving us. Take the feet washing which happened shortly before his death. His very instruction there, rephrased, was if I your Lord and master have submitted to you then ye also ought to submit to one another.
Thus, when this model is considered, the instruction to wives is to submit to your husbands if they have first proven their willingness to love and sacrifice for you and second if they have shown a willingness to serve you first. When a husband is not willing to follow this pattern then greater instruction is needed in Godly living before submission happens.
The ultimate instruction from the Apostle in this verse is for marriages to reflect the basic instructions to disciples of love, forgiveness, and mercy.
Our Prayers are with you daily,