17, 2019 Fellowship/Scriptural Reflection
address this opening to men males because many seem to have the greatest
confusion on this topic from Scripture. Your wife doesn’t have to do anything
you tell her to do. If your wife refuses to agree with you or obey you, there
is nothing you can do about it. In countries where men have legal authority
over their wives, they can execute them for being disobedient, but they still
can’t make them do anything. Authority can only punish; it can’t make anybody
do anything. Giving in to fear is not the willing submission of love.
Authority and submission are two completely
different things. In the Biblical sense, submission
is notauthority. Even a brief examination of the Bible clearly shows us
God prefers love over authority. Authority has only fear of punishment as a tool,
whereas submission has love as its tool. Studying
the New Testament demonstrates the theme of love over authority throughout its
pages. However, simply reading the New Testament is an
invitation to confusion due to misinterpretation. Let’s briefly unpack Ephesians 5:22.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the
23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is
head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so
let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
22Wives, offer your love, not obedience, to your own husband – not to
all men and
not to another wife’s husband. Wives, offer your love to your God – not someone else’s god(s).
23For the husband is head (head
meaning the ultimate leadership (Christ Jesus was a servant
leader, not a dictator) of the wife (of does
not mean over). [A]s also Christ is head (leading, not forcing) of
the church ; (which is “His body”) [A]nd
He is the Savior of the body. (commentary:
Therefore a man shall leave his father
and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh (v.31). The husband becomes “head” of the
“one body.” This is the same as Christ Jesus being “head” of the church which
is “His body.” The “head” can direct but it cannot “force.”)
just as the church ( “body of Christ”) is subject (submitting) to Christ, so
let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. (meaning submitting-out of love
and not fear).
The first instance of God's ordained
equality between man and woman can
be found in the Book of Genesis.
From the Book of Genesis, “Then God
said, “Let us make man (man
is used throughout the Bible and is not gender-specific) in Our image, according
to Our likeness; let them
(notice this is plural and
not singular) have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of
the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing
that creeps on the earth.” (notice
it never says dominion over one another) 27 So God created man in His own
image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue
it (meaning from original Hebrew text “kabash” to bring into bondage, and
“radah” to rule over or dominate); have dominion (having
power) over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over
every living thing that moves on the earth.” (notice it never
says dominion over one another). (Genesis 1:26-28, NKJV).
Here are the seldom read, or
over-looked verses by men males.
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ
also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might
sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27that
He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle
or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28So
husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his
wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but
nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30For
we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
Continuing to v. 33, “Nevertheless let each
one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see
that she respects her husband.” (NKJV)
Christ freely and willingly
sacrificed His own life, out of pure love, for others. Using the ESV as my
source — God never commands a husband to submit to his wife, but He does
say that a husband must give
himself up for her. This was the example Christ Jesus demonstrated – He gave Himself up for the church. A
husband is bound by love to ensure that his wife finds their marriage a source
of rich fulfillment and joyful service to the LORD, not to the husband but to
the LORD. Husbands are to love their wives in a self-sacrificial manner if they in-fact are true followers of
Christ Jesus. We are given this wisdom from Scripture in order to model our
human marriage, as is the relationship between the bride of Christ (the church)
and Christ Himself, the Son of God. True Believers define their life through
love and not authority.