Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (NKJV)
For some reason this verse rubs many women up the wrong way. It gets the feminists up in arms and I hear women make statements like, “I will never let my husband tell me what to wear. Who does he think he is?”
So let us examine this verse and see what is really going on here. Our foundation is that we believe the entire Bible, we do not rip any pages out and that every verse is there for a reason, has a purpose and is inspired by God Himself. So this verse is not a mistake.
I had a look at the scripture in the Amplified Bible to get a little more depth and I found some gems.
Ephesians 5:22 (AMPC) Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.
I looked up the word subject in the dictionary and according to Merriam-Webster’s it means the following:
a : one that is placed under authority or control: such asa
b(1) : one subject to a monarch and governed by the monarch’s law
b(2) : one who lives in the territory of, enjoys the protection of, and owes allegiance to a sovereign power or state
So now obviously our husband’s are to monarchs but they are the head of our homes as placed their by God. So I got quite excited by b(2). I live in my husband’s territory, I enjoy his protection and I owe my allegiance to him. I quite like those conditions.
The Amplified Bible adds the words be submissive and adapt yourselves in brackets. So what is it to be submissive?
2 : to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another
Wow! That one is not so easy. I need to defer to and consent to abide by the opinion or authority of my husband. This is especially difficult if my husband is not born again, is not functioning as the head of my home or is behaving like a general idiot. The scripture does not add a condition for our submission. It just says to be submissive. Period. Let’s look a little further at the verse before we tackle quite how to make this part work.
Adapt yourselves. I like that expression. God made me as the help-mate to my husband. Genesis 2:18 Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. (AMPC) I am built, designed and created to adapt myself to my husband. Therefore it is part of who I am to adapt, to submit, to complement and to help him. Surely if my purpose is to be submissive and adaptable I have the wherewithal to do it and do it well. Why would God create me with a purpose and not equip me with the necessary skills and tools to accomplish the task He has set before me?
The verse has yet more on offer. as [a service] to the Lord. The Amplified adds that amazing little phrase in brackets; a service. This changed everything for me. Submit to my husband as a service to the Lord. I love God and my Lord with all my heart. My desperate desire is to draw close to Him, to serve Him and to please Him. He has directed me to submit to my husband and all that that entails and it is a service to Him. It honours Him and pleases Him. I will do anything God asks of me in order to please Him.
So now that I have settled in my heart that I am created to submit to my husband and that I know my Lord will have equipped me, I have chosen to do as directed. The next step is to look at exactly what submission looks like. We’ll investigate that in the next post.