Wives Submit. As a wife, these are probably two of the hardest words to write. Just what does it mean for wives to submit to their husbands in this, the 21st century. Was this just a cultural mandate given to the early church, or is this still a command for us to obey today?
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Ephesians 5:22-24, NKJV
As a wife, wives submit are probably two of the hardest words to write. Just what does it mean for wives to submit to their husbands in this, the 21st century. Was this just a cultural mandate given to the early church, or is this still a command for us to obey today?
Before going any further, let's finish the thought begun by Paul in verse 22. "As to the Lord." Now, that makes all the difference! Christ is the head of the church. Every single believer is to submit to Christ. This is a command that never diminishes or goes away.
We may say, "Well it is easy to submit to Christ because He is perfect. My husband, however, is far from perfect." And, you would be correct! Christ is perfect, but does that make it easy for us to submit to Him? No! You see, the problem does not lie in the one to whom we are to submit. The problem lies in us. We are all very selfish creatures who have difficulty believing that the world does not revolve around us.
So, the difficulty is not in our imperfect husbands but in our pride which does not want to submit to anything or anyone. To think through this properly, let us look at the entire passage shown above.
Paul is speaking of the church. Christ is the head of the church, under that Head He has placed our husbands, and under our husbands, He has placed us, the wives. Granted, that is not a popular sentiment in this, the 21st century. After all, we women have been liberated, have we not?
Let us look at Paul's commandments in Ephesians 5 in a little different way. As believers, Christ is an umbrella over us. He protects us, He guides us, and He keeps us from evil. Under this umbrella, He has placed a smaller umbrella (our husbands). They protect us, they guide us, and they keep us moving in the right direction.
I have found that to be a wonderful place as a wife. Granted, I have a Godly husband who loves the Lord. It has taken me years (and I still have a long way to go) to learn to lean upon the guidance my husband gives rather than to fight his authority, but what a happier home life we have when I do submit to him.
What about those who do not have Christian husbands, or even if they are Christians, they do not necessarily follow the Bible faithfully? Does this command, then, become extinct? No! We are to submit to our husbands in the Lord. As long as the guidance our husbands give us is in agreement with God's Word, we are to cheerfully submit to their leadership. In areas where our husbands suggest or even command that we disobey the Lord, we have allegiance to Christ first, and must respectfully disobey our husbands.
These are not easy matters to deal with, and I most certainly have not followed them as faithfully as I should. However, to the degree that we obey God's Word, even in this area, God will bless our lives. If our husband is not a believer, our submission to him may be the very thing God will use to convict him and bring him to Christ.
So, this day, I encourage
you to follow the guidance given to us in God's Word. Though it may not
be a culturally popular idea, let us, as women of God, cheerfully
submit to our husbands. As we consider the command, wives submit, let us find ourselves to be obedient to Christ.
May God richly bless you this day!