Monday, August 24, 2009
"Wives Should Be Subordinate..."
“Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.” Why would an independent-minded woman like myself enjoy this scripture?
I happen to love this entire passage because it presents a view of a whole, holy family with two parents at the head who cherish and honor each other. Just as we should obey Christ because He loves us and wants what is best for us, we should obey our husbands who likewise receive a lofty charge. They are to act as Christ, loving their wives with their entire hearts and bodies, protecting them from all harm whether from themselves or from others.
This is quite an undertaking for a man to act as a man of God and yet let himself take on the tasks of being a man of the world, exposing himself to the dangers that he does not want his wife to take on for herself. The wife who can be humble enough to allow him to be his protector stands in a place of grace, innocent in mind and body, and able to concentrate on keeping her family “in the world, but not of the world”. She must be able to trust in her husband entirely, praying daily that God will give him whatever grace he needs to keep on with his duties.
Like a good king who loves his people, the man who cherishes his wife will not abuse his God-given authority. In most things he will ask her opinion and respect it. He will only “put his foot down” when he really thinks it is important. Family decisions will be made jointly, with him having the final say.
I often feel quite lucky in that I found a man who is likeminded with me, and we rarely have cause to disagree on anything. If life is properly prioritized, discord should be kept to a minimum. Any two people who love each other and have Christ as that “third strand” to make their rope strong, should be able to adhere to this Biblical passage and benefit from it.
Ephesians Chapter 5 (NAB)
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. 6
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body.
As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her
to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
So (also) husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church,
because we are members of his body.
"For this reason a man shall leave (his) father and (his) mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.
In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband.