There are many conflicting messages regarding what it means of wives being submissive to their husbands. Ephesians 5:21-33 helps to clear up this misconception. Women are not door mats for their husband. Instead husbands and wives are one in spirit. Men are to love their wives as he loves himself. Wives are to respect and give admiration to her husband. Together they should give glory and honor to the LORD God.Ephesians 5:21-33
Before we can talk about what it means to be submitting we need to know what the Greek word submitting means. According to Strong’s submitting means:
1) To arrange under, to subordinate
2) To subject, put in subjection
3) To subject one’s self, obey
4) To submit to one’s control
5) To yield to one’s admonition or advice
6) To obey, be subject
When we look at verse 21 it tells us to “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”Paul’s message in Ephesians is not one sided just telling woman to be submissive. It says to submit “yourselves”one to another in the fear of God. Mutual submission is a call to partnership with neither ruling over the other. When there is a loving marriage woman do not mind doing what their husbands ask them to do. Most women get married for the companionship and love of the man she has chosen to marry. If he asks her to do anything it is her pleasure to comply. Equally the husband should also do whatever the wife asks her husband to do. It is a union where two become one. It is not a dictatorship where the man becomes the supreme power. That is reserved for the LORD God to be the supreme power in the marriage.
Verse 22 says: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” The same way we surrender our lives to the Lord we should also surrender ourselves to our husbands. That is why it is so imperative that when a Christian woman is searching for her perfect husband she makes sure he is also a follower of Christ. It is because so many couples do not share the same belief that there can be problems in understanding what it means to “submit yourself unto your own husband.”
Verse 23 and 24 tells us: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” This is the instruction for the husbands regarding being the head of the wife. Just as Christ is the head of the church and is the Savior of the body of Christ husbands should also recognize that they are subject to Jesus Christ. They are responsible for their conduct and their treatment of their wives. Since it is a union where both husbands and wives have become one they also should be one with Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:8-9 is a reminder that: “ For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” Women are called to show this Godly yieldedness by submitting to their husband’s leadership. Men are called to show this Godly yieldedness by sacrificing their life for their wife and family, as Christ sacrificed his own life for the church.
I Peter 3:7-9 also helps us to understand that: “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” Once again the message is loud and clear that husbands and wives are one in the sight of the LORD God. They are to be of one mind having compassion for each other’s wishes, needs and desires. They are to be tenderhearted having compassion for each other. They are also to be courteous in their treatment of each other mutual respect and love.
We continue with verse 25 and 26 that makes the point: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.”This world we live in tries to teach our husbands that showing love to his wife is a “sissy”thing to do and should not be done if you are to be the “all powerful” man of society. This is contrary to what the Bible tells them. Husbands love your wives just like Jesus Christ loved the church. Jesus Christ has shown great love and gentleness to the church. Together the church members serve the Lord and together husbands and wives should serve each other as they serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 27 reads: “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Jesus wants to present Himself a glorious church as a body of Christians who are hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus wants to present a body of believers without moral blemish, wrinkles, or any such thing. Jesus wants to present His followers as holy and in His purity, majesty and glory.
Verse 28 is very firm and clear: “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” Men are to love their wives as they love their own bodies. They would not be violent to their own bodies, why would husbands be violent to their wives? Men would not speak cruelly to themselves; why would husbands speak cruelly to their wives? Men would not be ruthlessly or unkind to themselves; why would husband be ruthlessly or unkind to their wives?
Verse 29 also states: “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:” The world teaches men to do everything it takes to keep their bodies looking good and in good physical shape. The world fails to encourage husbands to nourish and cherish their wives as they do their own flesh. Husbands are to nourish and cherish their wives as the Lord nourishes and cherishes the church with tender love.
The reminder that verse 30 tells us is: “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” We are all members of the Body of Christ being of his flesh and of His bones. We are all members of the body of Christ and have united us all together. We have all been joined together and there should be no schism in the body and the members of the body should have the same care one for another. (1 Corinthians 12: 12-27). Husbands love your wives and wives love your husband’s according to the Word of God.
It becomes very clear in verse 31 that husband and wives are one flesh: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” It was the intent of the LORD God for man to have a help make and man will leave mother and father and cleave with the woman. It is the purpose of the LORD God for us to have an intimate relationship with Him and an intimate relationship between husbands and wives. Husbands and wives are to become one flesh physically, emotionally and spiritually giving honor and respect to each other equally. Marriage reflects the love of Christ for the church and we are to emulate this. Husbands and wives should leave all others and cleave to each other holding each other up in honesty and trust and in total commitment to each other in love in a bond that cannot and should not be torn apart.
Verse 32 tells us: “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” If we can understand the mystery between Christ and the church then we can understand the mystery between husbands and wives.
Verse 33 gives clearance to the great mystery concerning Christ and the church when it says: “ Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” Husbands are to love their wives as they love themselves, and wives are to give reverence to her husband. Some would have you believe that marriage is the wife gives 90% and husbands give 10% to the marriage. I tell you marriage is not give-and-take, but one must be able to give and give and give, all to the glory of the LORD God and that is how marriage should work. Each giving to the other to make sure they are cared for, happy and close to the LORD. It takes both giving over and over again to make the other one happy. That way it is not a measuring tool it is a giving. If you have a giving spirit then you encourage a giving spirit.
We cannot journey through life alone; we must walk it hand in hand with Jesus holding our hand securely in the hands of our chosen spouse. It is having a restoration of the soul that can lead to the abundant life in Christ which will bring us to spiritual freedom. The ideal is to have a relationship between husband and wife and the LORD God. This is a covenant between and it calls both man and woman to submits to yield their lives to the LORD God and to one another as a sign of the covenant bond. Being a wife it is not a matter of being a door mat to your husbands it is a matter of being a loving partner to him.
Cite Article Source
MLA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne “What it really means to be Submitting:.” Becker Bible Studies Library Oct 2014.<https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=1387,>.
APA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2014, October) “What it really means to be Submitting: .” Becker Bible Studies Library. Retrieved from https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=1387 ,
Chicago Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2014) “What it really means to be Submitting: .” Becker Bible Studies Library (October), https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=1387 , (accessed).