Monday, November 17, 2008

Subject as the Church is to Christ

"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." (Ephesians 5:22-24)

"Shes my wife and she has to do what I say." I wonder how many times I've heard comments like this, often accompanied with a quote of the first sentence above. "She is to treat me as her Lord, because verse 33 says she is to reverence her husband."

It is not hard to understand why many women rebel against such an attitude. Even many who appear to go along are frustrated with the way they are treated. we ought to look more closely at this passage to understand what it actually says.

The husband's relationship to his wife is be the same as Christ's is to the Church. He is the saviour of the body. Christ died for us, (the Church), while we were his enemies. "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life,"(Romans 5:10).

Husbands are to love their wives the same way. Ephesians 5:24 instructs "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it;" Most husbands do not appear to be willing to go that far in todays society.

Many husbands accuse their wife of not submitting because she doesn't do everything he says. Note that the wife is to be in subjection to her husband like the Church is to Christ. Many times, even a rebellious wife is still more in subjection than the husband is to Christ.

Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. A husband who does not go to church has no right to complain of a wife who doesn't do what he tells her, because she is bing subject to him in the same way he is to the Lord. That is what the verse says. If he expects her to obey him, he needs to obey God.

Christ is the example. How often is he bossy, or abusive when we do not do his will? Every demanding husband is stepping beyond his authority, and is in sin.

Some teach that the woman is to worship her husband, using Ephesians 5:33 as their basis. The Bible is very clear that we are to worsip no one but God. That idea is idolatry. The Greek word translated reverence, 'phobeo', is a form of the word we get phobia from and means 'to fear, to be in awe of', i.e. to have respect for. It does not imply worship.

As verses 32 and 33 tell us, Paul is primarily teaching about the Church's relationship to Christ, but we are to apply these things in our daily life as well.

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