An Ephesians Commentary: Does Ephesians 5:21-33 Really Order a Wife to Submit to Her Husband?

Post image for An Ephesians Commentary: Does Ephesians 5:21-33 Really Order a Wife to Submit to Her Husband?

by Joel & Kathy

We have been taught for at least the past 50 years that the bedrock of all marriage teaching, the rule that we should live our lives by, can be summed up by a single short passage — Ephesians 5:21-33.

We’re sure you know the passage we’re talking about, but here it is just in case…

Ephesians 5:21-33

Submitting to one another in the fear of God.

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

For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.  Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

This passage has been the foundation of teaching for those who believe that a wife is to submit to her husband’s authority; authority that this passage is believed to bestow.

A woman is taught that her husband is to be the final decision maker in the household.

Her job is to submit her desires, convictions and leadings to the desires, convictions and leadings of her husband.

We have been conditioned to view this passage by consistent and repeated reinforcements that slant it a certain way.

The years of conditioning make it almost impossible to read the passage without coming away with the idea that a woman’s submission to and respect of her husband are the key to happiness in marriage, God’s way.

Ephesians and the Dangerous “Doctrine of Authority…”

The church has taken these ideas that appear to address wives and built a doctrine of authority in the home that has brought harm to Christian marriages.

This doctrine of authority states:

– A husband is God’s “delegated authority” over his wife (her head).

– A wife is to be subservient, secondary, and a “subject” in her husband’s kingdom. (Subject to her husband.) She is told that if she is not submissive to her husband, her rebellion is not to man but to God himself.

– If she disrespects her husband, she is actually disrespecting God’s order in the home.

This doctrine of authority is a sacred cow.

But here’s the startling truth, and why it may be destroying your marriage from the inside out…

Click here for the full story…

No TweetBacks yet. (Be the first to Tweet this post)

Leave a Comment

Anti-Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree

Previous post: Christian Marriage Advice-Should You Keep Low Expectations?

Next post: Genesis 3:16 and a Woman’s Desire for Her Husband