by Darlene Sala
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Women, do you hate that verse? Well, maybe hate is too strong a word. But do you wish God had not put that verse in the Bible?
A friend asked me, “How do I submit to my husband as to the Lord while ensuring that I do not lose my individuality nor end up with the personality of a doormat?” It’s a fair question. No woman wants to end up feeling like a slave to her husband, or as my friend put it, “a doormat” for him to wipe his feet on.
Marriage was never meant to be an arrangement where the husband is the slave master and the wife is the servant. God used marriage as a picture of His relationship with us as believers—an intimate love relationship where He wants nothing to come between us and Him. It’s just as if you’re going to have a parade of, say, two cars; one of them has to go first. And that’s where God puts husbands—in front, leading the way, taking the responsibility for provision and safety in the relationship. And wives are to follow their leadership in what God intended to be a relationship of love.
But God doesn’t give instruction only to wives. Three verses later in the same chapter, you find a command for husbands: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25 NKJV). If a man truly loves his wife, he will want the best for her and be willing to sacrifice for her. He will want her to develop and use her talents and abilities. He will want her to feel loved and cared for. I could go on and on.
Don’t miss the summary at the end of the chapter: “Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). Love and respect—the perfect balance in a marriage.
The problem comes when we “read each other’s mail,” so to speak. The wife says, “You’re supposed to love me like Christ loved the church.” And the husband says, “Shut up and submit!” Wrong! Let’s each concentrate on unselfishly fulfilling our part of the agreement, keeping love supreme.
Taken from Journey into Grace by Darlene Sala, Bonnie Sala, and Luisa Reyes-Ampil with permission of Barbour Publishing.
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