Ephesians 5:22-23,25 – Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…NKJV
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day! At least here in America. A day dedicated to the sweethearts of our lives. A day many couples can pinpoint as the day they became engaged and/or got married! A day filled with candy, flowers, stickers that say, “Be My Valentine”, and candle light dinners. A day filled with love! I trust your day was a happy day!
As I was pondering how to tie together, my topic of biblical imagery and Valentine’s Day, Ephesians 5 came to my mind. In this chapter, we find Paul writing about the responsibilities of a wife to her husband, and a husband to his wife.
Paul first addresses the topic of submission. Most women, in today’s society, including in the church, want nothing to do with submission. Submission has been fed to women, as if they are without a brain or have the ability to have a thought of their own. Wrong! And so, it is looked at with little or no interest from the viewpoint of a woman. For every point that a biblical scholar, pastor, or teacher can bring out, there are plenty of “liberated” women, who have a response for them about why that is not happening! It’s just the way that it is, and it is often removed from the wedding vows today.
On the Blue Letter Bible website, I found this explanation of submission. The Greek word for submission is “hypotasso” and it is a military word. Here is what I found:
This word was a Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.
When looked at in it’s original meaning, we can get a clearer understanding of what submission is. From this explanation, it shows that the troops were arranged in a way that they were under the command of a leader. If you have served in the armed forces, you have a real understanding of what Paul was writing.
Throughout Old Testament scripture, we see the children of Israel going to battle against their enemies. As they went forth, someone was always the leader. I think of David with his mighty men. They were all mighty men, but David was their commander. They weren’t weaklings, incapable of a coherent thought, or even figuring out how to fight, but they were under David’s command. As a wise leader, he held their respect.
I believe in the truth that wives are to submit to their own husbands. Some try to act like women are to submit to every man, they need to get over themselves! Clearly, they didn’t really read the verse! But in submitting to my husband, I have never felt like I was in servitude or less than a person, let alone, less than a woman. I don’t bow to him, but I respect him as the leader of our home, and when decisions have to be made, and we don’t agree, I submit voluntarily to that headship!
Jesus said that this picture of submission, of a wife to her husband, is the picture of the Church submitting to Him. He is Lord over our lives. He doesn’t force us into servitude that is demeaning, or harsh, but He lovingly leads and guides us to all that He has for us. Under His leadership, He expects us to submit our wills to His will. Not to belittle us, or to insinuate that we can’t think, or make decisions, but because the safest place for every believer is in His will!
Most of us are not in the military, and some have never served. If you were acquainted with the military, you would understand that true submission demonstrates great strength. It also demonstrates great trust. When you train with people, and your lives, or the success of the mission, depends on everyone doing what they are asked without question, you learn there is safety in submission.
The problem women have with submitting to a man, is that they feel like the man isn’t worthy of that type of “devotion” or obedience. I say to you, stay single until you find a man worthy of that type of respect and submission. It may seem like you are never going to meet him, or like it’s taking forever, but the wrong man can make your life a living horror story.
Husbands, Paul didn’t forget you, and neither will I. He encouraged you to love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her. When He could give nothing greater, He demonstrated His love to us by dying for us! Now, a dead husband is no good to a wife, so we aren’t asking you to die for us. But when a man loves a woman, more than he loves himself, and to the point that no sacrifice is too great a sacrifice, he is demonstrating Christ’s love to his wife. My friends call me spoiled, and I say thank you! If they look at our marriage and see my husband spoiling me, then they are seeing Christ and how He spoils His church! And that’s a great thing!
I look at young men today, and I am grateful to be an “old married woman”. Truly! All too often, I see men who love themselves so much, it’s impossible to see them loving anyone else. But then I imagine if they loved a woman like that, she would be “rotten”! Unfortunately, I know that I am witnessing, selfishness, more than I am witnessing a pre-cursor to Christ-like love for a woman. Women beware! Men, hold off on that proposal until she becomes more important to you, than you are to yourself! You’ll both be glad that you did!
Children need to see that their father loves their mother, and their mother, respects their father. Something I know that our daughters have seen through the years. When they grow up with this imagery of Christ and the Church, they understand their role before the Savior as believers, and their role in the home as a wife.
Weddings are beautiful! The pageantry that we put on to celebrate a bride and the groom pales to other celebrations in life! So will the wedding be when our Groom comes back to make His Church, His Bride! Everything that we have witnessed and experienced prior to that moment will pale in comparison! I anticipate that day! But until it comes, we have a responsibility to continue being His example to the world, to our children, and to younger believers in the faith! The mystery is revealed in us, so make it good! Happy belated Valentine’s Day! Wonderful Jesus!