Many Christians are familiar with the Bible commanding wives to submit to their husbands.
And while this is good and Biblical, many Christians forget to mention the role of husbands – who are literally called to die for their wives.
So just what does it mean for a husband to lay down his life? And how does it relate to a wife submitting to her husband?
To start – let’s look at what God’s Word actually says.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
In the same way husbands should love their 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 Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” – Ephesians 5:22-33
While this verse commands wives to submit to their husbands as onto the Lord – submission isn’t meant to be done begrudgingly – or to be abused as a power-play.
A wife is to joyfully submit to her husband, and in doing so, she shows her reverence to God.
By submitting to her husband, a wife is obeying the Lord.
And while wives are called to submit, the command for husbands is even higher.
Notice that this passage is calling for husbands to love their wives sacrificially as Christ loved the church.
And how did Jesus love His church?
He DIED for her.
This is the ultimate sacrifice, and God’s command for husbands is to love his wife with a pure love – and lead her to purity.
The same love Jesus demonstrated when He laid down His life.
Talk about a tall order for husbands to follow!
Oftentimes, in Christian circles, Biblical submission is misunderstood and even abused.
While the man is the head of the household…
… his authority comes from God – and it’s only with God’s help can he love her with a pure and sanctifying love.
God calls husbands to love their wives as he – the husband – loves himself…
… knowing that we are all prone to self-love.
The goal of a husband is to elevate his wife – and put her first.
Ideally – when both a husband and wife love God first, they have the supernatural strength to live out these commands – with mutual love and respect for each other.
But while all family roles can shift, God’s perfect design for a husband and wife does not change.
Wives are to submit to their husbands, as onto the Lord, and husbands are to love their wives, like Christ loved the church.
To those who are married, continue to pray God will help you live out your Biblical role in marriage.
And to those who are single – pray God will continue to develop you into the man or woman He has called you to be.
What are your thoughts on Biblical submission?
Do you understand how submission and sacrifice work together?
You can post your answers to our Facebook page and join in the conversation with other believers from all around the world.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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