FOR BETTER OR WORSE ◽ MARRIAGE
Everyone has heard the verse in the Bible that says, “As the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:24) For some reason, this seems to be a point of contention among many Christian women. Why should we have to submit to our husbands? It’s not fair that they get to do whatever they want and make all the decisions, while we just have to sit back and do whatever they say.
But these complaints stem from a lack of full context. Whenever this verse is quoted, people seem to forget about the verse that follows it. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Verse 28 goes on to say that “husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.”
Now that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? I don’t know why this second part gets lost while the first verse is highly recognized. They’re supposed to be an inseparable pair – a system that works together seamlessly.
God didn’t design marriage to be a dictatorship with the man in control, and He didn’t create women to be doormats. Yes, He tells us that the husband has authority, but He also instructs husbands to use their authority to love, cherish and lead their wives humbly and gently. It’s not about women being subjected to the power of men. It’s not about being bossed around or oppressed. It’s actually a loving design intended to honor women.
Personally, I find it liberating to depend on my husband – to be protected and provided for and cherished. I can’t imagine how burdensome it must be to have the responsibility of being the head of the family, but I’m so grateful that God gave men that duty. He equipped and designed them to carry out that responsibility, but they have to walk with Him in order to do it well.
In the same way, He equipped and designed me to carry out the responsibility of respecting and submitting to my husband. That means honoring the fact that God made him the leader of my home. If you still think that’s unfair, look at the verses again. Husbands are supposed to love their wives as they love themselves. If a husband is following these God-given instructions, then he won’t be bossing his wife around or looking down on her. He will cherish her and hold her in high regard. He will value her opinion and make her feel treasured and loved. He will be willing to give himself up for her sake, just like Jesus did for all of us.
Being a submissive wife was never supposed to be a heated issue or an offensive suggestion. It was supposed to be a role of honor within the home. Obviously, there are times when husbands fail their wives, and there are also times when wives fail their husbands. None of us are perfect, but God’s design definitely is. Submissive wives and loving husbands are exactly what He had in mind when He created the covenant of marriage. And that’s something we should all strive to obtain.