Wife, Submit to Your Husband?

Ephesians 5:22 says, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord."

"Whoa! Time out!" the egalitarian interrupts. "The verse right before it says, 'Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.' And verse 25 says, "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church." So a husband must submit, too!

Well, the fact is... that's correct.

"Wait, really?" Yes, really. A wife must submit to her husband, and a husband must also submit, but not to his wife.

The instruction, "Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ," is followed by three contexts of submission: wives to husbands, children to parents, and slaves to masters. But the text reminds husbands, fathers, and masters—all of whom are men, by the way—that they have a Master they must submit to, and He is the Lord Christ.

A wife submitting to her husband is to be a picture of the way the whole church submits to Christ. To submit is to yield to authority. Does Christ submit to the authority of the church? Of course not.

So a husband does not yield to the authority of his wife since God has given headship to the husband as Christ has headship over the church. But as an imitator of Jesus, the husband must love his wife "as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her."

Colossians 3:18-19 says, "Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them." Counter-cultural? You betcha. But as Galatians 1:10 says, if we were trying to please men, or women, we would not be servants of Christ, when we understand the text.


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