Submission in Ephesians 5 – More on Partnership

adam-and-eve-~-vmo0001Here is where we meet the fearful word “submit”.  Men for centuries looked at verse 21 and quoted to their wives, or sometimes to single women, “Wives submit to your husbands.”

I have two quick points.

1.  Submit is a general term.  The verb “to submit” is not found inverse 22, In the Greek language they would sometimes leave out word and you draw them down from the context.  The word submit is found in verse 21.  In the context of the Church as a whole, we are called to do some things, starting a verse 18.  Being filled with the spirit, speaking to each other in music, singing and making melody to God, giving thanks and submitting to one another…”

Submission is presented first as a general principle of Christian fellowship.  The church does not exist to submit to my needs and desires.  Copernicus in on the phone, and says that you are not the center of the universe!

In the church as a whole, submission is a way of life.  We look out for others and not just for ourselves.

2.  Submit is paired with Love.  Wives are called to submit to heir husbands, in the same way that submission is the expecting of Christian community at large.  Husbands are called to love their wives.

There are about 50 words in this passage addressed to Wives.  In Verse 22 she is called to “submit” which is the verse drawn from verse 21.  In verse 33, she is called to “respect”.  This word is actually in the text.

There are about 150 words in the s passage for Husbands.  Maybe it is because men are slow learners? Maybe it is because, if we understand this passage properly, men are being called to a greater sacrifice.  Wives are called to ‘respect” their husbands. Men are called to die for their wives.

I am a pastor. I tend to read the New Testament letters as pastoral words – word that are applied to real issues.  I think that women often have a hard time respecting their husbands – from what I sometimes hear women say in public, this remains an issue.  Men seem to have trouble with love – we do earning and watching sports, but love, real love is a challenge.

I have applied the word “Partner” to the marriage relationship.  If you are married, I encourage you to think of your spouse as a partner.  Respect him. Love her.  Work together.  Belong to each other.  Quit trying to win. If she wins then you do to. If he wins, you do too.

 

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