Few things get liberal minded people upset more than the topic of wives submitting to their husbands. While this thought is attacked as being outdated and unenlightened, it is anything but this. Submission is an idea that is greatly misunderstood by Christians and non-Christians alike.
While most people take the submission of wives out of context, Paul writes much more than what is commonly repeated in Ephesians 5:22-25.
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Many people fear that submission means that the wife quietly does as the husband says and has no say in the affairs of marriage or the family. This could not be further from the truth however. Lost in the repulsive idea of women submitting is verse 25 that calls for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church.
It is a far greater task for a husband to display the love of Christ than it is for a woman to submit to her husband. This is far more than saying “I love you” and displaying some affection for one’s wife. Christ gave all He had for the church, even to the point of sacrificing His life. This is the kind of love that husband are told to have for their wives.
This means that a husband is not self seeking in anything that he asks of his wife. Instead, everything that he does is for the good of his wife. He sacrifices his own preferences, pleasure, and even well being for his wife’s benefit.
With this is mind, the idea of submission does not sound nearly as bad. A truly loving husband is not going to request anything of his wife that will harm her in any way. Instead, what he requests is for his wife’s benefit.
When a husband has consistently shown that he is looking out for his wife, what he requests will not be hard to follow. Submission is easy when a wife trusts her husband and knows that it is for her good.