Ephesians 5:22

In Ephesians 5:22 Paul begins to tackle a topic that by the world’s attitude today, is taboo and just plain old fashioned and irrelevant. Paul describes God’s design for marriage and the family. Marriage is God’s idea. He created it in the Garden of Eden at Creation. Sex is God’s idea too. But in both cases, God has a design for what works and gives clear guidance in how we should live to experience the blessing God intends. Paul begins by addressing the responsibility of wives in a marriage, not because they are the bigger problem or because they need special focus or attention. He starts with wives because it involves submission which he just addressed when describing what it looks like to live a Spirit filled life.

People bristle quickly when they hear Paul’s words here: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” But before you get all worked up about the idea of a woman submitting to their husband, take a breath and consider God’s design. First it is critical to understand the definition of submission. It does not mean that a wife is a doormat or slave to their husband. Submission does not mean inferiority. Submission does not mean silence.To submit is to be under the authority and protection of someone else. The truth of the matter is that by submitting to her husband, the responsibility for her protection and for the family becomes that of her husband. Submission transfers that from a wife to her husband.

Guzik explains “Submission means “sub-mission.” There is a mission for the Christian marriage, and that mission is obeying and glorifying God. The wife says, “I’m going to put myself under that mission. That mission is more important than my individual desires. I’m not putting myself below my husband, I’m putting myself below the mission God has for our marriage, for my life.” It means you recognize that there is an order of authority in God’s plan and design for marriage and the family, and that you are part of a unit, a team focused on doing exactly that. You as an individual are not more important that the working of the unit or the team.

To be clear, the Bible never commands a general submission of women unto men in society. This order is commanded only in the spheres of the home and in the church. Paul makes clear that this submission needs to be done ‘as to the Lord’. That does not define the extent of a wife’s submission or the limit of a wife’s submission. It defines the motive of a wife’s submission. Guzik explains “as to the Lord means…

  • A wife’s submission to her husband is part of her Christian life and obedience.
  • When a wife doesn’t obey this word to submit to your own husband, as to the Lord, she isn’t only falling short as a wife. She is falling short as a follower of Jesus Christ.
  • This is completely out of the realm of the wife’s nature or personality.
  • This has nothing to do with a husband’s intelligence, giftedness, or capability. It has to do with honoring the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • This has nothing to do with whether or not the husband is right on a particular issue. It has to do with Jesus being right.
  • This means that a woman should take great care in how she chooses her husband. Instead of looking for an attractive man, instead of looking for a wealthy man, instead of looking for a romantic man, a woman should first look for a man she can respect. G. Campbell Morgan recalls the story of the older Christian woman who had never married, and she explained, “I never met a man who could master me.” She had the right idea.
  • If you want to please Jesus, if you want to honor Him, then submit to your own husband as to the Lord.”

Lloyd-Jones explains it this way: “There can be no more compelling motive for any action than this; and every Christian wife who is concerned above everything else to please the Lord Jesus Christ, will find no difficulty in this paragraph; indeed it will be her greatest delight to do what the Apostle tells us here.” The world will never see marriage God’s way. That would be too limiting and contrary to the way society thinks in many cases. But God didn’t make a mistake, and His design didn’t cease to be right. We need to trust God’s plan and follow it. Next, we will see what God says for husbands… ..

One response to this post.

  1. The wife also complements her husband, and she is his strong support. Yes, it is a team effort, and there can only be one leader in a team. Blessings 🍀


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