A few days ago I introduced this series of articles. You can read the introduction here.
Read Ephesians 5:15-33
Submission is one of the important words in this passage concerning marriage. In fact, it is the theme of the section that begins in verse twenty one and it includes three different sections. Submission is one of the keys in marriage, specifically wives towards their husbands. It is also one of the keys in the relationship of children to their parents (6:1-4) and in the relationship of servants to masters (6:5-9).
Simply put, submission means to be “under the mission of another”. It also means to “arrange under authority.” God has designed marriage as an institution that has differing roles and responsibilities. The husband is to love his wife and lead her and his home. The wife is to follow her husband, arranging herself under his leadership and direction.
Submission includes lessons for men. Men are to be the “head” of the wife (v. 23). Being the head is not a matter of position as much as it is a matter of practice. In other words, a husband who is not spiritually leading his wife and his home is a rebel in relation to the commands he has received from God.
Submission has multiple lessons for wives. Wives are to submit to their husbands (vv. 22, 24). They are to look to him, lean toward him (as opposed to leaning away in disgust and resistance), and labor for him and with him in the home. Wives are to model subjection. 1 Timothy 2:9-15 is a parallel passage concerning submission. In that passage Paul instructs women to model submission through their dress by being modest (orderly) and shamefaced (modest) with sobriety (deliberate consideration) (v. 9). He further instructs women to model submission through their works because doing so models true Christlikeness (v. 10). Finally, he instructs them to model submission through child-bearing (v. 15). As old fashioned and out-dated as it sounds, submission still has to do with everything from the way a wife dresses, to the way she behaves, and to the children that she brings into the family and helps to raise for Christ.
Submission is so powerful in a marriage that God promises that it can actually be a tool to help a wayward husband to “get on the right track.” 1 Peter 3:1-6 especially deals with this matter. Peter teaches that as a woman is in subjection to a husband who does not obey the word, her behavior may be the very matter that God will use to work in his heart!
Can you see how important this matter is? It really is one of the most powerful truths in this passage and each of us should spend considerable time examining our hearts concerning this matter.
Let’s do an evaluation:
- As a husband, am I rebelling against God by refusing to submit to his command for me to love my wife and to lead my home?
- As a husband, am I leading the home as God instructs me to do?
- As a wife, am I practicing a spirit of submission toward my husband?
- As a wife, does my dress declare that I am a submissive Christian wife?
- As a wife, am I modest and shamefaced?
- As a wife, do I think carefully and wisely about how I dress?
- As a wife, do my works declare that I am submissive?
- As a wife, am I happy about bearing children and training them for Christ?
- As a wife, am I willing to submit to my husband even if he isn’t everything he ought to be?
Submission is an important key in a marriage!
Thanks for reading.
Your sincere friend,