Friday, April 27, 2007


Ephesians 5:22

Paul writes, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” Remembering what we said about Christian submission, we apply it to this statement. Christian submission is voluntarily choosing to give up one’s will and rights for the benefit of another. In this case, Paul is telling the Christian wife that her submission is voluntary. Submission is something she offers willingly to her husband. Obviously, submission is not something that can be demanded or required so a husband does not have the right to demand or require his wife to submit to him!

Second, submission to her husband is an act of worship and submission to God on the part of the Christian wife. Paul says, “Submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” Often this has been misinterpreted to mean that the wife is to submit to her husband just like she would submit to the Lord! Paul does not mean that. He means that when a woman desires to submit herself to the Lord then she will offer her submission to her husband. It is an act of worship and reverence for God.

Third, the Christian wife’s submission is conditional. What do we mean by that? Do we mean that she just picks and chooses the situations in which she wants to offer her submission? No. It means that a Christian woman does not offer unthinking submission to her husband. If the husband were to ask the wife to do something that went against the word of God she would not do it. She cannot disobey God and blame it on her husband. The Christian woman first submits to God and then submits to her husband. Her submission is conditional because she must offer her first submission to God.

Fourth, the Christian wife’s submission is exclusive. In other words, the only man she offers her submission to is her husband. In some churches the leadership tries to put the women beneath all the men by using this verse. This verse cannot be interpreted to mean that all Christian women are to submit to all Christian men. Paul’s clear intent is to address Christian marriage, not gender roles in the church.

(This series is being simulposted at Bluecollar where most of the discussion is taking place. Please use the link in the sidebar.)


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