Remember, however, before we look at those verses, the idea of submission has already been introduced in relation to one another. The word “submission” is not in the Greek of verse 22, but it is supplied from the previous sentence (verse). There is a mutual submission of the wife to her husband and the husband to the wife. The husband is to submit to the wife by leading her. How is the husband to lead the wife?
- Because the wife is to submit to her husband “as to the Lord,” it stands to reason that the husband is to lead his wife in the way that the Lord leads the church.
- How does the Lord lead the church? While the Lord does have authority over the church, he exercises that authority for the church’s benefit. Likewise, Christian husbands will exercise their authority/headship for their wife’s benefit. Notice the how Jesus’ headship benefits the church:
- Jesus loved the church—he demonstrated that love in his actions. Christian husbands will love their wives and demonstrate that love in their actions.
- Jesus demonstrated his actions in sacrifice for the church—he gave himself up for her. Christian husbands will sacrifice themselves for their wives (e.g., energy, resources, even their own lives).
- Jesus did this for the church’s own good—that he might sanctify, cleanse her, and present her to himself as a glorious church. Therefore, Christian husbands will exercise their headship for their wife’s good, never for their own good.
- Notice that more is written in this passage about a husband’s leadership than a wife’s submission. There is FAR more responsibility placed upon the man than on the woman. It is my belief that it would be easier to be a woman than a man with these requirements!