The Scope Of The Wifes Submission
The submission of women is addressed in two general contexts in the New Testament. The first is the submission of women to men in the context of the church which is corporately gathered. This is the basis for Pauls instructions to women in 1 Timothy chapter 2 and in 1 Corinthians chapter 14. The second context for the submission of the woman is that of marriage. This is the context for the submission which Paul calls for in our text in Ephesians chapter 5.
In our next lesson, we will address the subject of the submission of the husband as the head of his wife. In this lesson, we are dealing with the submission of the wife to her husband as her head in marriage. This text does not require a general submission of all women to all men. It requires the submission of a wife to her own husband.
The woman is to put herself under the headship of her husband, her own husband. This word own indicates that while there may be other expressions of submission which are necessary and appropriate for a wife to evidence in her relationships with others, there is a special submission which is required in relationship to her husband. The same exclusiveness can be seen in the practice of love. We are to love everyone, including our enemy, our neighbor, and our brothers in Christ. But the love of a woman for her husband is special and unique. Her love for others is of the same essence, but not the same expression.
If My Husband Is Truly Loving Me Sacrificially Does That Mean He Wont Do Anything With Which I Disagree
No. While a healthy marriage includes consideration of each spouses thoughts and feelings as much as possible, sometimes a decision must be made where there is not complete agreementand the husband has the final say. As long as the decision does not go against Scripture, it is important to remember to pray for your husband, give your input respectfully, and then rest in Gods sovereignty regarding the outcome.
If your husband goes against your advice or preferences and his decision is a poor one in retrospect, you should resist the urge to say, I told you so. Hopefully, he will be more likely to consider your respectfully given counsel in the future.
God Is Offended When His Daughters Are Mistreated Or Bullied
Men, did you know that one of the few behaviors the Bible lists as something that will actually hinder your prayers is being harsh with your wife ? The tone of your words will shape the tone of your marriage. God is giving us husbands a clear mandate to treat our wives with tenderness, respect, support and encouragement.
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What Does It Mean To Be A Submissive Wife
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do 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. Ephesians 5:22-24
This verse often gets a bad rap. And for good reason. Its easy to interpret this verse to mean that a wife is to suppress her own thoughts and desires. That husbands are basically granted permission to be tyrants, to only care about their own needs.
However we know that is does align with the totality of scripture that actually honors women. It also does not align with Gods character that loves and protects women.
So what does this actually mean? And how does this translate into everyday practice? How should you submit to your husband in a way that honors your role as a wife and believer?
Here are some guidelines:
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A The Fact Of The Husbands Headship Means That There Are Gender
While there is a sense in which all believers submit to one another , there is another sense in which wives submit to their husbands, but husbands do not submit to their wives. It is significant that whenever the New Testament addresses the subject of Christian marriage, it always commands the wife to be subject to her husband, using the same verb as here. But it never commands the husband to be subject to his wife . The verb means to put oneself in rank under another.
Also, all of the New Testament commands for wives to submit to their husbands are addressed to the wives, not to the husbands. The Bible never commands a husband to command his wife to submit. Rather, the headship of the husband is a fact and the wife is to respond to the Lord, who designed marriage in this way, by willingly submitting to her husband.
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What Does The Bible Say About Loving Married Women
1 Timothy 2:11-15 11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing-if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.
Women And Men Are Also Inherently Different
To deny there are significant and consequential differences in male and female is to deny the basic nature of humanity and how we fashion our common life together. This is true in both the family and the larger community. ~ Is There a Universal Male and Female Nature?
Here, too, much more could be said. Still, when it comes to submission, generally speaking, the sexes have different needs for love and respect: Men need to feel respected by their wives, and women need to feel loved by their husbands.
This explains why Paul specifically tells husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands . A lot simply has to do with the unique natures of male and female.
Of course, God wants both husbands and wives to treat their spouses with love and respect. When the Bible says that wives should respect their husbands, it assumes such respect will be based on love. When it tells husbands to love their wives, it takes for granted that a disrespectful love isnt love at all.
Scripture is clear about Gods design for marriage in the fact that men and women have different roles. Yet it never suggests that one spouse is more important than the other.
Instead, when a Christian husband and wife learn how God has wired them to complement each other in mutual submission, they reflect the love that exists between Christ and His Bride.
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Should A Man Submit To His Wife
Ephesians 5:22 reads Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. But the verse that comes right before it says, Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. That verse is addressed to all Christians. This means a husband should submit to his wifes preferences, goals, and desires.
Are Wives Supposed To Obey Their Husbands
Some of you have gotten VERY upset when you found out that I teach women to obey their husbands. Most women feel repulsion to this message. I teach Christian women who desire to obey God and His Word, because the Bible commands that older women teach young women to love and obey their husbands . God created women in the first place to be a help meet to their husband . Recently I shared a post of all of the verses that God wrote about a wifes relationship to her husband.
In every institution, there is a leader. We have a President as our leader in America. There are Governors as leaders over every state. There are Mayors over every city: police chiefs over policemen, teachers over students, employers over employees, parents over children, etc. Why would it be ANY different in marriage?
Two leaders never work. Many Christians believe in mutual submission. The Bible never commands that a husband submit to his wife. As women that I mentor understand this principle, their marriages become healed. There is no more arguing and fighting since there is only one leader in their home. Yes, please voice your opinions and desires to your husband but then allow him to lead and decide.
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church..
To Submit Biblically To Your Husband You Must Be In Submission To The Lord
Ephesians 5:22, Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. The verb is in italics because it is not in the Greek text, but is carried over from verse 21. In the context, being subject to one another in the fear of Christ is a result of being filled with or controlled by the Holy Spirit. As to the Lord does not mean that a wife must submit to her husband in exactly the same way that she submits to the Lord. The Lord is perfect, whereas every husband is far from perfect . Rather, Paul means that submission to your husband is a part of obedience to the Lord. If you are fighting against the idea of being subject to your husband, your attitude reflects that you are really fighting against the Lord, who ordained this order in marriage. So you must begin by yielding to the Lord and His inspired Word.
Seeking The Will Of God
What we often don’t realize is that there are many blessings to be found in biblical submission.
I had to learn this by hard experience. When I was married thirty-nine years ago, there was no pre-marital counseling, nor were there the numerous books and courses on Christian marriage that we have today. My father had died when I was seven, so I was not accustomed to male authority.
When Fred and I married, I really didn’t think much about this submission stuff. It took nine years of stubbornness on my part and determination on my husband’s before the Lord penetrated my self-will with His Word. My husband and I were at an impasse. I wanted to do something that he refused to have done. I was reading Ephesians 5 one day, and the Lord clearly spoke to me from the written page. “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife . . .”
But Lord, what if I’m right and he’s wrong? What will happen if we don’t do something about this problem right away? My imagination projected all kinds of terrible consequences if we didn’t do things my way. But the Lord kept up the pressure, and finally I said, “Lord, I am Your child and this is Your Word which I must obey. I want Your will for my life more than I want my own way. I am willing for my husband to be an instrument in Your hands to show me Your will. And I will trust You to give him the right decisions.”
“Like changing Ted’s mind.”
Helen shook her head and smiled. “Come on, let’s pray anyway.”
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The Structure Of The Text
in the fear of Christ.
Wives, be subject
the wives ought to be
to their husbands in everything.
as the church is subject to Christ,
For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
and let the wife see to it
that she respect her husband.
Of the 13 verses which constitute our text, only 3 1/2 verses are directed to the wives, while the remaining verses are directed toward the husbands. The verses which address the wives manifest a certain pattern or structure, which I have attempted to demonstrate above.134 Submission is called for in the first column the focus of that submission is indicated in the second column, and then the standard is recorded in the third column. While there are many who do not like what Paul has to say to wives in these verses, there is little doubt as to what he has written. He begins with the general command in verse 21, and then applies it to wives in verses 22-24 and 33b. He repeats his instructions three times, each time giving more detail as to what is required of the godly Christian wife is she is to be in submission to her husband.
Man And Woman Were Different And Had Different Responsibilities Before The Fall
The argument that the husbands role before the fall was not authoritative fails on several counts:
Adamnot Evewas given the responsibility to keep Gods command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In Genesis 2:16-17, God made a conditional covenant with Adam to test his fidelity to his Creator. Eve had not been created at the time God commanded Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam was the covenant head who represented all of humanity, and by his disobedience he brought condemnation on himself and all his posterity. Similarly, Jesus was the covenant head who, by his fully obedient life and perfect sacrificial death, secured salvation and eternal life for all who trust in him .
Adam exercised authority over the animals by naming them . He also called the helper God gave to him Woman . , showing his faith in Gods promise to provide a Savior for mankind.)
Even though Eve sinned first, God placed the fault on Adam as he was the one who bore the responsibility to keep Gods command in Genesis 2:16-17.
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The Command: Be Subject135
The difficulty with understanding Pauls command to wives to be subject to their own husbands is that our grasp of the meaning of the word submit is too narrow. Generally speaking, we think that the word submit is synonymous with the word obey. We are inclined to restrict submission to refer only to our response to those who are in authority over us. Very often, this is the casebut not always. Pauls instruction in verse 21 is directed to every believer. Christians, without exception, are to be subject to one another, without any exceptions. Submission, then, must not only work upward , but also downward. And so it is that submission is called for on the part of husbands to their wives , fathers to their children , and masters to their slaves .
Delling, in his article on the Greek word underlying the term submit, writes as follows: In the first instance, then, hupatassomai does not mean so much to obeythough this may result from self-subordinationor to do the will of someone but rather to lose or surrender ones own rights or will.136 In the NT the verb does not immediately carry with it the thought of obedience 137
1 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself but as it is written, The reproaches of those who reproached Thee fell upon Me .
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