Most couples feel that their relationship is an equal partnership. In many relationships, both the husband and the wife have full time jobs, share household chores and overall responsibilities. In some cases, the historical roles of each are actually reversed. Is this what God had intended for marriage? When I need to find the answers to questions that I have, I turn to Scripture. And like always, Scriptures show us what our roles are to be in marriage.
Today it’s hard for women to understand their role in marriage as God intended it. I get it, women view themselves as self-sufficient, self-reliant and capable. But we are talking about marriage here and each partner has a role designed specifically for them by the Master of creation. In a lot of cases, having the opinion that the roles of husband and wife are the same will not lead to a blissful marriage. So then, what does Ephesians 5:22-24 really mean? First let’s take a look at the verses:
Remember, when we read scriptures, we have to read them in context and in conjunction with the Bible as a whole. Verse 22 is clear. The Lord requires that wives submit to their husbands. I know that makes a lot of women cringe. But hear me out….Does that mean that a wife should be a doormat? No, not at all. Does that mean that a wife should not have a voice or an opinion? Again, no. But wives cannot be in obedience to Christ without yielding to their husbands. I hate to break it to you, but this is a command from God. To get the full picture, let’s go back to the creation of man.
In Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image to have dominion over everything on the earth. It was not until Genesis 2:18-23 where we see Adam’s helper created. God knew that man should not be alone so He “created a helper fit for him." God formed the woman out of the man’s rib. When Adam saw the woman he declared in verse 23 “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.”
Really, when you think about it, this story is beautiful. Look at it this way…there has never been a successful organization without a figure head; from the animal world to governments. This applies to the human family as well. God appointed the husband to be the head of the household, and to me, this is comforting. My husband is our family’s CEO...which makes me the COO, I guess!
Men have their roles, and we women have ours. And honestly, I will take my role as a wife over my husband’s role any day. I need my husband’s logical thinking and his level-headedness when it comes to making decisions. I need his physical strength for many things that I am too weak to accomplish. I need him to do the “manly” things that frankly, I don’t want to do. I’ve never really understood why this bothers some wives.
We are supposed to please our partners and serve them and when we do, the reward is immeasurable. I know for me, the appreciation that I get from my husband for doing the simplest of things, like making his favorite dinner, makes me feel so good and wanting to do more for him.
My favorite part of these scriptures In Ephesians 5 is verse 23 “…He is the Savior of the body.” Jesus is our Savior, our Protector, and Head of the church. And here, Paul is saying that in marriage, husbands should mirror Christ. Obviously, Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, and wives should know that their husbands will never come close to Jesus. Christ gave Himself to save us, practiced self-denial, and loves us beyond comprehension. How amazing that as women, we have been given the reward of having husbands that are commanded to do the same as Christ does.
Nothing is more sacred than having a husband to love, protect, comfort, and defend his wife, as Jesus does His church. For this reason, and for the good of our marriages, it is important to acknowledge our place when it comes to marriage.
In society, our laws view marriage as a civil contract; but God’s divine law holds marriage as a sacred institution. When we say our vows, we are committing to our spouse under this divine law. Now I want to make one thing perfectly clear….submission of wives to their husbands is in no way a reason for a husband to abuse his wife.
I think many woman are afraid of God’s command to “submit to your husband” for fear that their husbands will distort the true meaning of submission. These verses DO NOT indicate that it is the husband’s right to be abusive and for the wife to take it as such. It is actually quite the opposite. Marriage is intended to be a safe haven for women. A place of peace and serenity and knowing that they are safe, protected and loved by the one they have committed their life to.
What submission is NOT:
A reason for women to be fearful. Submission is giving of yourself freely as a wife and should never be out of fear of your husband.
Putting your husband's will before the will of Christ. The will of Jesus always comes first to a Christian wife.
Giving up your brain and your God-given will after saying "I Do". When a wife is a follower of Christ, that is her number one priority. For example, if her husband is straying from a righteous path, it is her job to pray for him, not follow him off the path.
Letting your husband stay the same. Everyone changes as time goes by, hopefully for the better. Submission by a wife to her husband should contribute to him changing in a positive manner. His love and affection will grow as his wife loves him unconditionally.
When we are living in God’s will and following His commands, the result is JOY. Recognizing our role in marriage and living it as intended is no exception. Women are the nurturing ones, the gentle ones, the loving ones, and ones who get things done; those qualities are inherent in each of us. When we begin to understand our godly role in marriage and actually live it out, the reward is far greater than we could ever imagine. For me, it has been a long road not only to be in submission, but to honestly understand God’s intent behind it. Trust me, I work on it every day.
I pray to be the wife that God intends for me to be and to honor my husband and his God-given role in our marriage. I am thankful that God opened my eyes so that I could see marriage from His perspective.
Do you want the same things for yourself and your marriage? Click here to join me for the Ephesians 5 Wife Bible Study.