There are few passages of scripture more frequently misinterpreted than those concerning marriage in Ephesians 5. Perhaps most contentious is Ephesians 5:22, “wives submit to your husbands”. But all scripture is God-breathed so we need never shy away from His Word. What we must do, however, is understand His Word in the correct context in order to rightly divide it. We must also study the Word in context of who we know God is (Love) so that we rightly divide the meaning of everything His Word says.
Right at the beginning, in the first book of Genesis, it says that God made men and women in His image to reflect His nature. If men and women are made to reflect the nature of God, then surely both men and women are precious creations and should be treated accordingly.
I love The Message interpretation of this Ephesians scripture:
“Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ.”
God has never intended for wives to be powerless, but He did intend for them to treat their husbands in a way that reflects how they support Christ in all that He is and has done in their lives.
In verse 25 it says “Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting.”
Husbands were never given license to dominate or just take/receive from their wives. Did Christ model that? Of course not, on the contrary, He loved, cherished, served and valued us. So it is with husbands; they are to be givers always of the advantage and never to take the advantage.
According to Ephesians 5:21 Biblical submission is a choice that a wife and husband makes to seek the best for one another as an act of worship to God. Biblical leadership, in this context, is a choice the husband makes to lead as Christ did: by serving.
In this light, these Ephesians scriptures are a beautiful call for spouses to cherish and serve one another in a way that honors each other and glorifies God.
Ephesians 5 19-28 | Genesis 1:25
Ephesians 5:25 “…a love marked by giving, not getting.”