Friday, 29 November 2013

The Infamous “S” Word

“21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord” Ephesians 5:21-22

Thank you Jennifer Kring for calling my attention to Andy Stanley’s outstanding series entitled the “Future Family”.  In the second of the series  Andy adds clarity to Ephesians 5:22 which causes much consternation on the part of some women.   The reality is that there are any number of verses in Scripture that if taken out of context could make the reader uncomfortable.  Ephesians 5:22 is perhaps one of those verses.

I’ve always fancied myself as being good with numbers which would lead me to believe that if there is a verse 5: 22 there is most likely a verse 5:21.   Verse five, twenty-one tells us that we, i.e. all Christians, are to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  This is a powerful, overriding verse.  Thus out of our deep gratitude and appreciation for what Christ has done for us we are to leverage all that we have and all that we are for one another.  Romans 5:6 provides the anchor for why we should willingly submit.  It says, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”

Ah, there is probably another term that many of us find offensive.  Who are you calling “ungodly”?  That would be you and me.  As sinners, saved by grace, we are the beneficiaries of Christ’s sacrificial, unconditional love. He gave us his all and we are to do likewise for our brothers and sisters in Christ. 

If that is the case, and it is, then in a way verse 5:22 is somewhat redundant. This assumes of course that the husband and wife are both Christians. Andy would go on to expand the definition of mutual submission to mean that we should be willing to leverage our time, talents and assets for the benefit of one another.

Perhaps if that were the end of this section of Scripture it would still be a little unsettling since it appears that God is telling the woman to submit not only once but twice.  Ephesians 5:23 through 5:33 adds further clarity to the Biblical role of husbands and wives. As the servant leader, protector and provider the husband is to love his wife as much as he loves himself and if the bar isn’t high enough the husband is to love his wife as much as Christ loves you and me.

All I know is that if I am submitting to my wife out of reverence for Christ and if I am attempting to love her as much as Christ loves his bride, the church, most likely my wife will have no problem submitting to me.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout-out! It's a fantastic series...hopefully the audience here will take a listen! It's amazing verses that are read over and over and over again during people's wedding vowels can be so overlooked and thrown out because we think the word "submit" is such a bad word. I thought Andy's explanation of the text was so necessary for many of us to hear! Hoping many of your readers take a listen!


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