S (Scripture): Ephesians 5:21 and submit to each other out of respect for Christ. 22 For example, wives should submit to their husbands as if to the Lord. 23 A husband is the head of his wife like Christ is head of the church, that is, the savior of the body. 24 So wives submit to their husbands in everything like the church submits to Christ. 25 As for husbands, love your wives just like Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. 26 He did this to make her holy by washing her in a bath of water with the word. 27 He did this to present himself with a splendid church, one without any sort of stain or wrinkle on her clothes, but rather one that is holy and blameless. 28 That’s how husbands ought to love their wives—in the same way as they do their own bodies. Anyone who loves his wife loves himself. 29 No one ever hates his own body, but feeds it and takes care of it just like Christ does for the church 30 because we are parts of his body. 31 This is why a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two of them will be one body.32 Marriage is a significant allegory, and I’m applying it to Christ and the church. 33 In any case, as for you individually, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and wives should respect their husbands.
O (Observation) & A (Application): Paul, Paul, Paul… I love you, bro… but sometimes you make my life difficult.
I love the allegory. The patriarchal language? Not so much.
Some people like to point to this kind of language and use it to make women subservient to their husbands.
Some people like to point to marriage being male and female, due to texts like these.
Here’s the deal: in Christ, spouses submit to each other. This is true for ALL relationships, but especially for those who commit to spending their lives with one another.
The Church submits to Christ, and Christ does not abuse that submission. When someone submits to you, you don’t abuse that person. Submission takes trust and faith. We don’t take advantage of that trust and faith.
So, whoever you’re married to, respect that person, like Christ respects us. We can still correct and challenge one another, but we will always respect them.
And, unfortunately, when we fail to respect the other…or we see that the joy of loving one another cannot be brought back, then separation may be called for. And if that’s the best course of action…if a damaged relationship is beyond repair, know that you are doing the right thing.
Love ya, Paul, and I get what you’re saying. So yes, let us respect one another.
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to see that you are the norm for what relationship looks like. Amen.