Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord.

~Ephesians 5:22~


            This verse in Ephesians must be one of the most hated and abused verses in the Bible!  Some hate the very idea of a wife submitting to her husband and argue every which way that this doesn’t apply today.  Others make this verse the defining characteristic of marriage and enforce a tyrannical and abusive rule.  In truth, this verse is no excuse for abuse nor does it give cover for controlling husbands.  God warns harsh husbands that they will find their prayers hindered.  On the other hand, this verse is most certainly for today as a part of God’s unchanging word.

            When a marriage is healthy, this verse is a beautiful thing.  If a husband loves his wife rightly and fulfills his high calling to labor and sacrifice for her good, then the wife can trust him.  When she is secure in his love and confident of his wisdom, she can rest in his care, protection, and provision.  In the best of marriages the submission of a wife is an act of rest and trust.  In marriages made of mortals, submission and love vary and the picture of Christ and his church is ever imperfect.  However, at its best, marriage reveals what it is to rest in Christ. 

            Christ loves us better than the best of husbands loves his wife.  We, as his people, are invited to trust him in this.  We are invited to trust his love and to cease from striving to earn it.  We are invited to trust his love and to rest in his good plans for us.  All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called by his name.  In the “all things” we can trust our loving Lord because we are confident in his love.  When we fear to follow him, we can trust his commands and directions because we rest in his love for us.  At its best, submission to the Lord is about trust and rest rather than merely suppressing our desires to follow him.  Even when we suppress wrong desires our motivation can be trust in the Lord’s good will for us expressed in his commandments. 

            As you think about submission look to marriage at its best.  Trust the one to whom all husbands point.  Trust his unchanging, perfect love.  Submit to his good will with hope.  Do not fear his plans because you know he loves better than any husband.  Rest in his love.

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