First Things First
It’s important to understand that these verses don’t stand alone, but derive their meaning in the broader context in which they are found. Specifically, they are a continuation of VS18-21 where Christ-Followers are instructed to be Filled with The Spirit and where Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ, is held as an indicator of Spirit-fullness.
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:22 – 6:9
Paul used the word hupotassō, meaning to voluntarily give oneself over to the authority of another.
It’s a position of humility where one who is EQUAL, chooses to take a position of coming under the direction/authority of another.
The Military offers us a good example:
Taking the oath of service is voluntary, once in, submission is mandatory.
· NCO’s are required to submit to the authority of the Officers placed over them
· CO’s are required to submit to those set over them and to submit to the responsibility that comes with leading those under them.
According to Paul, it’s no different in Marriage or The Church…
· both have their specific headship, which is required to submit to the responsibilities of that position…
· both have specific followership who are required to submit to those who have been given headship.
It’s NOT an issue of superior~vs~inferior, but of EQUALS… one called to take the lead, the other called to support that lead.
Women are NOT called to submit to “men” in general, but if married, to their own husbands.
The call to Christian wives is to give themselves fully to the support role, helping their husbands lead the marriage and family well.
Women you know this, Men need help! Genesis 2:18
God’s plan is for a men & women to…
· find one another,
· commit to one another,
· move through life together, each fulfilling their own unique role to accomplish God’s will for them.
Ephesians 5:22-33 define those unique roles…
· wives are to submit “come under” the headship of her husband, to be his helper…
· husbands are to love their wives, recognizing the unique gift and contribution they make to completing them, giving them ability to accomplish God’s calling on them.
To insure no ambiguity, an example of what submission looks like is provided.
VS23: The husband’s headship with the wife is to be like Jesus’s headship with the church.
VS24: The wife’s submission to her husband is to be in the likeness of the church’s submission to Jesus.
Men… to practice headship with your wife in any other fashion other than as Christ practices headship with the church, is to walk in sin.
Women… to NOT practice submission, or to practice it in any other way than how the church submits to Jesus, is to walk in sin
Truth Point: when men and women choose to walk in sin (the flesh) rather than in The Spirit, they find themselves at odds with Christ and thus do not experience the rich blessing He intends to give
In matters of the home the call goes out to Christ-Following husbands and wives to practice headship in the likeness of Jesus, and submission in the likeness of The Church.
How far does this go? To what extent is a wife to practice submission to her husband?
Paul responds… In everything!
So if my husband tells me to rob a bank, I am to submit and do it? - If he tells me to knowingly falsify our tax return, I am to submit and do it?
NO! – Everything doesn’t mean “everything” in that manner of speaking. It means that in matters of the normal, God blessed course of life, wives do not have the latitude to pick and choose where they will submit and where they will go their own way.
In all of the matters of life… finances, church, community, parenting, bedroom, work, leisure… all matters of God ordained life…
· Husbands are to provided headship like Jesus…
· Wives, are to respond with submission like the church.
TRUTH POINT: If and when the husband goes “off the rails” demanding something that God does not command or even permit, the wife’s duty is to lovingly decline submission, pointing the husband to Christ as his example.
Only By The Spirit
Weather it’s the wife submitting to her husband as the church submits to Christ, or the husband loving his wife as Christ loves the church, or children obeying their parents, fathers not provoking their children, or employees and employers responding to one another according to God’s directives.
None of it is sustainable apart from the indwelling
presence and power of God’s Holy Spirit.
Those who are NOT “born-again” are left to the mercy of the flesh in such matters.
Those who ARE “born-again,” yet DO NOT yield to The Spirit in their lives, they also are left to the mercy of the flesh in these things.
Those who ARE “born-again” and daily seek to walk in the power and authority of The Spirit, they will not be perfect in this life, but they will continually find themselves making progress in becoming more and more what Jesus saved them to be.
Conformed To His Image
Learning to Submit
Learning To Love
Learning to be like Jesus in all areas of life