“Wives, submit to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything” – Ephesians 5:22-24
You probably might find it rather interesting that I decided to start this morning with the one verse that has probably made every woman cringe at one point after reading it. I remember when I first read it, I struggled so much to understand how this could possibly be love. As a wife one day, I will have to submit to my husband? That is love? Submission? Allow me to go a little deeper into this passage, which I have now found to be one of the most beautiful in the Bible.
Let’s just take a look at the word alone: Submission. Now let’s break it down: “Sub-“ “-mission”. What is a mission? It is a task, a path set out for us, a calling. What is man’s mission? To be like Christ. To serve, to love and to give his life. Anytime we use the prefix “sub-“ it means under. If we have something under, it doesn’t mean that it is lower, it means that it is supporting something. If we have a main goal and then sub goals, it doesn’t mean that the sub goals are of lower meaning than the main goal. It simply means that the sub goals are needed in order to support the fulfillment of the main goal. We cannot reach the main goal without the sub goals. Now let’s bring the word back together: Sub-mission. Supporting a man’s mission to be like Christ.
To my dear ladies, this passage is not asking us to be lower than men and submit to their every needs, it is asking us to support a man’s mission to be like Christ. To allow him to serve us and love us and give his life for us as Christ did for the church. This is reinforced when we keep reading to the next verse: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27). THIS is the mission that we are to be “under” and “supporting”. This is exactly what it means for us to be submissive. To support THIS EXACT mission that has been given to men to be LIKE CHRIST. This is that life-giving, sacrificial true love and this in turn becomes our mission as women.
Women are different than men, and it’s a beautiful difference. With those differences, come different roles and a different mission. A woman’s mission is not lower or lesser than that of a man’s. They work together in unison and only together can they both reach that ultimate destination, which is Heaven!
Ladies, be SUB-MISSIVE and help our men grow in their journey and mission to be more like CHRIST.
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