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Ephesians 5:23-24: The Husband is the Head of the Wife

Ephesians 5:23–24
[23] For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. [24] Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. (ESV)

Have you ever had a boss that valued you and treated you with the utmost of respect? Perhaps, they often called you into the office to get your opinion on things.  Maybe they periodically checked with you to see how they might better empower you to do your job.  You were treated fairly and generously with compensation.  If you have had an experience similar to that, did you find it difficult to submit to their leadership?  I imagine not.

In our passage today, we find that the husband is given a position of headship over the wife.  This means that his leadership is to provide, care for and support her in all aspects of life.  It is not only a God-ordained position, but it is even a picture of how Christ is also the head of the Church, His body. It is not a position that allows abuse, but rather it is one that leads by faithfully serving the other.

In verse 24 the Apostle Paul says that the church submits to Christ and wives submit to their husbands.  They are parallel in their picture of submission.  What exactly does that word "submit" mean?

“The verb hypotasso, “to submit,” occurs twenty-three times in Paul and denotes subordination to those considered worthy of respect, either because of their inherent qualities or more often because of the position they held.” 
- The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 11, page 75.

The biggest issue with submission in the marriage relationship is that far too many men do not behave in a way that is worthy of respect.  In fact, I believe that because the husband is given a position of headship there is more pressure on him to lead in a worthy manner than on the wife to submit.  The fact is that if men led their wives as Christ led the church no woman on the planet would have a problem submitting to their headship.

Men, submit yourself to the Lord.  Humble yourself so that you can be worthy of being followed. Women, pray that God would help your husband to lead you in a Godly way.


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