The Bible says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). Women, do you hate that verse? Well, maybe “hate” is too strong a word. But do you wish God had not put that verse in the Bible about submission?
A friend asked me, “How do I submit to my husband as to the Lord while ensuring that I don’t end up with the personality of a doormat?” It’s a fair question. No woman wants to feel like a slave to her husband.
Marriage was never meant to be that kind of arrangement. God used marriage as a picture of His intimate love relationship with us as believers, where He wants nothing to come between us and Him. It’s just that if you’re going to have a parade of, say, two cars, one of them has to go first. And that’s where God puts husbands--in front, leading the way, taking the responsibility for provision and safety in the relationship. And wives are to follow their leadership in what God intended to be a relationship of love.
But God doesn’t give instruction only to wives. Three verses later, you find a command for husbands: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25). He will want her to develop and use her talents and abilities.
The problem comes when we “read each other’s mail,” so to speak. The wife says, “You’re supposed to love me like Christ loved the church.” And the husband says, “Shut up and submit!” Wrong! Let’s each concentrate on fulfilling our part of the agreement, keeping love supreme. If a wife respects her husband’s leadership and her husband wants her to feel loved and cared for, they will both fulfill their roles in the relationship.
God, help us to communicate lovingly as we work out our differences.