We live in a society that encourages, yea thrives on independence. We admonish our daughters to never find themselves dependent on any man. We applaud women who have led the charge in matters of equality, whether it be in the workplace or otherwise. We discipline our boys to ‘man up’, to suck it up, be a man and take charge. While these are definitely good things, I believe they are also the suggestive products of the ‘ill’ we have seen over the years because of men, and women who have taken the dictionary definition of submission too far. As a result of the terrible instances of abuse and other discriminatory actions we have witnessed, we ridicule women who are (as the dictionary definition of submission states) humble, compliant, and submitting to the authority or control of another (usually a man). At the same time we also belittle men who do not, in our opinion carry themselves as ‘take charge’, confident individuals.
I would like to suggest that the above has nothing at all to do with the featured text. The submission of a wife, and love of a husband spoke of in Ephesians is in direct relation to the love for, and submission to Christ. When adopted, the cyclical effect of the principles in these verses is extraordinarily powerful!
For those who struggle (as well as those who don’t) with what you have felt this verse means, I will leave you with the Message Bible version of this text. I love the way this concept is described in this version. I am sure that your understanding of this concept will be revised after reading. Couples, put these verses into practice in your marriage…you WILL see positive results!
Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage. (Ephesians 5:22-28 MSG)