Must a 21st Century Wife Submit to Her Husband?

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 5:22-24

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

TODAY’S MESSAGE:

Modern Christian women have difficulty with Paul’s words to the Ephesians. Peter also wrote, “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behaviour.” (1 Peter 3: 1-2)

But if you read between the lines, Paul doesn’t say that the husband is to be the sole decision maker or handle the family finances. 

Paul was addressing the church at Ephesus, which was dealing with false teachers, and its women were threatening the social order with their abuse of the freedom Christianity had given to them. He wrote his letter to the Ephesians in Greek. When the Bible was translated, some of Paul’s context was changed. The word Paul used for “submissive” also meant “loyal.”

He goes on to tell husbands to love their wives, shocking words in a culture where men had few obligations to their families. In verse 21, he writes that husbands are to submit to their wives by loving them sacrificially and serving them,  mirroring Christ as He loved and served the church, giving up His own life for her sake.The Greek word for “head” can mean an authority figure—as we so often interpret it—but it is also the word for the one who goes first into battle, in other words, willing to die for his wife and children. 

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