Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)
Submission In Marriage
The death of Jesus is the greatest gift man will receive. Nothing man can do or say will detract from the magnitude of a sacrifice where God becomes man and dies on a cross for the sins of all men. Jesus willingly gave His life so that men could find salvation in the grace of His Father. Given all authority the Lord is King of Kings and the head of the church which is His body. As the King and head of the church His people are subject to Him because of His great love for them. Submitting to the will of the Father comes from those who love the Lord with all their hearts, souls and minds willingly offering their lives in service to the Savior Jesus Christ. There can never be a feeling of inferiority or degradation by submitting to the Father and His Son in the kingdom of God. As Paul illustrates the nature of the church and how important subjection to the Christ glorifies the Father, the apostle shows in the marriage bond the headship of the man is likened to that of Christ as head of the church. The wife submits to her husband as men must submit to the Lord. In the context of submission within the church there is no disagreement of the need of compliance or the purpose of that obedience. Speaking of the marriage relationship the wife is to be subject to her husband as she is submissive to the Lord. The role of submission is from the idea of coming under the influence of another or allowing the will of self to be governed by others. This is necessary for one to be faithful to the Lord as submission begins with God. Paul defines the role of the man as the head of woman and the woman is subject to the man. The people of God are subject to one another and in the case of congregational shepherds subject to the elders. Wives are to be in submission to the husband as their duty to the Lord.
Paul clearly shows the role of the husband to be one of sacrifice and love. Like Christ, he is willing to give his life for the bride. The submission of the wife to the husband comes because of her first love for God and the willingness to submit to His will. This is fitting in the Lord and the woman is to learn in quietness with all subjection according to the Holy Spirit. Peter would also affirm the role of the husband and wife admonishing the women to be subject to their husbands using Sarah as an example of a godly wife to Abraham. From the Garden of Eden the Lord had declared the desire of the woman would be to her husband and like the evidence of pain in childbirth (part of the penalty for woman being deceived) this same principle continues today. In a world given over to women’s rights and the dismantling of the home, many wives refuse to obey the word of God and will not submit to their husbands. They rebel against the divine arrangement and bring judgment upon their souls through human reason and carnal desire. This does not make her a person of inferiority or of lesser value. The husband is to cherish and nourish his wife as Christ the church so that her submission will be one of glory to God. Colly Caldwell writes, “Paul would say that the woman who willingly takes the role of a wife must understand both her duties and her relative position with regard to her husband (cf. Rom. 7:1-7) Now that should not be grievous or humiliating. It will not be so if she loves her husband and recognizes the Lord as her own Lord in matters spiritual. The known wish of the husband becomes the direction of the woman who truly loves her husband, just as the needs and desires of the wife become a driving force within the loving husband.”
Submission of the wife to the husband is the divine pattern of God for the happiness of the home. She was created to be a helper to the man as his needs were not met until God brought her to the man. Everything created by the will of the Father is beautiful when the purpose and design of God is followed. The home is best suited for the purpose of man and woman when the divine arrangement is created in the home. Woman was not taken from the foot of man so that he could abuse her. She was created from his side and from the rib the Lord formed the most beautiful creature man would ever see. Adam recognized the power of Eve in his life and every man must see the joy of God’s design in bringing the woman to the man. Every woman who abides by the will of the Lord submitting to the Biblical pattern of the home will find greater joy, happiness and fulfillment. In the final analysis the submission of the woman to the man is not an option but a command. Like all submission it is voluntary. No one is forced to submit to God but the consequences are severe. Refusing to submit to the man will bring about the same consequences. Everything God created was perfect and the marriage is perfected when the man and woman follow the pattern given by the Lord. Wives submitting to their husbands as is fitting in the Lord will find the greatest joy.