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Read Introduction to Ephesians

 

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

 

The phrase “as to the Lord” describes how the wife is to submit to her husband.

as

The word “as” is an adverb of comparison: “even as.” The wife’s relationship to her husband is to correspond to the Lord. There is an inexact analogy to submission to Christ for the wife. The wife is to submit to her husband as she would to the Lord.

The Lord is watching the marriage. The wife is like a little church and the husband like a little Christ.

to the Lord.

The wife is to submit to her husband as a service to the Lord (Co 3:18). Her submission to the husband is not to the same kind or degree as it is to the Lord. Her submission is not the same as though he were the Lord. Her husband is a means of honoring the Lord.

PRINCIPLE:

The wife serves her Lord by accepting her role in marriage.

APPLICATION:

“Submit” does not imply inferiority or servility. The husband does not have the right to exploit or oppress his wife. Authority is not synonymous with tyranny or intimating that the wife is inferior in any way.

The Bible does not classify women below men. They are both equal in God’s sight. All Christians have the same salvation and standing before God.

Ga 3: 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Christian feminists appeal to Galatians 3:28 to establish that men do not have authority over their wives. They take this verse out of the context of the argument of Galatians. Women are equal to men in intellect, personality, spirituality, and in many other ways. Women are superior to men in some ways. Individual women are more intelligent than some men. Some are greater athletes than men.

The issue of role has nothing to do with personhood but with order for unity purposes. A private may have greater capacity than his officer, but it is vital that the private follow the authority of the officer. Certain men may have greater capacity than the leaders in a congregation, but it is biblically crucial that those men accept the authority of local church leadership. Women might be better speakers and even have better understanding of the Bible than the pastor, but that has nothing to do with role and order in the local church.

The status of women in Christianity was revolutionary to first-century society. Status and role are two different things. Male and female have the same worth and privilege but they have different roles. Civil leaders have authority over the population. Business leaders have authority over their employees. Military leaders have authority over those of lesser rank. For the home to function properly, God put the husband in hierarchy over the wife and children. This hierarchy does not violate the fact that she is his companion. The wife is bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh (Ge 2:22-23).

There is a proclivity for some men to put women under their feet and there is a tendency in women to usurp the role of her husband. God’s plan for both of them is mutuality, each meeting the fundamental need of masculinity and femininity. No society can function properly without order where every person is resolved to do his own will.

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