“Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:24
In reading this passage for about the hundredth time this morning, more spiritual truth permeated my heart and mind. I understand now that the problem that most women have with this particular passage is that they attempt to apply it to a context outside of marriage, which was not how it was intended, thereby undermining its purpose.
“The point here is that a woman isn’t called to submit herself to the whims of any man simply because he’s a man and she’s a woman. That’s not true biblical submission. In order for submission to retain its true power and beauty, in order for it to remain a reflection of our relationship with Jesus, its proper place needs to be kept straight. It needs to be recognized as something specifically and uniquely reserved for those who have entered into the sacred bond of marriage.” [Active Word Daily Devotional, Day 146]
It’s not a man vs. woman thing; man trying to hold women down, and keep them oppressed. Nor is the desire to outlaw same-sex marriage because Christians like injustice and inequality. It’s not about that, and for the Christians who make it appear that way, remember that we all meet the same fate, and justice awaits us all. [Ecclesiastes 2:12-16] It’s about (and always has been about) serving God; being a worshipful and reverent people, continually giving God the praise and glory he deserves as our savior. And that means keeping his commands, to love one another, and to abide by his word; it means living by His will for our lives, according to scripture. Not oppressing non-believers, but leading them to the truth by our actions. Marriage is the biggest and best illustration of Christ’s love for the church when lived according to scripture. It presents us the opportunity to put on display for the rest of the world the sacrificial love that Christ has for all of mankind by placing the needs of our spouses before ourselves, and by placing the service of God before our spouses.
That’s how it was intended from the beginning, and that’s how it should be now. The mark of sin has warped and twisted mankind’s view on so many things that sometimes it is difficult to determine what is right, what is true… But the thing we all have to remember is that the Bible was written to guide us through the “gray” areas. And to those of you who would say that the Bible is outdated, and contradictory, I have but one word for you- Context. If you read the Bible, cover to cover in its proper context, you see an amazing story about God’s unyielding love and compassion for a sinful world unfold, and the picture of salvation is painted through Christ’s ultimate sacrifice.
I used to have a big problem with Ephesians 5:22-24… That was before I understood that it doesn’t apply to random men who don’t have your best interest and service to the Lord at heart. It is specific to one’s husband. It’s not about catering to your husband’s every desire; it’s about obeying God, and trusting the Lord to lead you through your husband.