Read Ephesians 5
Focus on verse 22-24
This past January there were two groups of women that marched the streets of Washington D.C. In an effort to make a statement. The first was staged the weekend of the presidential inauguration, protesting everything and anything that they imagined to be in opposition to the causes of feminism. According to the press coverage there were a million or two women there, as well as some rioters who were smashing windows and burning vehicles. This rally also included impassioned speeches by a few celebrities who used vulgar language and hateful threats to voice their displeasure regarding the conservative policies of the new president and his administration, demanding the right to free on demand abortions and contraception for women, among other things.
About a week later there was another march by a slightly smaller group of women, most of whom have staged a rally every year for the past several years to denounce the killing of unborn babies in abortion clinics owned and operated by an organization called Planned Parenthood which is largely funded by American tax dollars.
There were some notable differences between these two rallies. The first was marked by violence and vulgarity, and left behind a trail of garbage on the streets of the city. The second contained no violence, no vulgar speeches, and cleaned up after themselves.
In today’s reading we encounter one of the many verses in the Bible which the first group mentioned above would find absolutely unacceptable, because they would find it degrading to women.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 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. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. (v. 22-24)
If there is a trigger word that most feminists find offensive, it is the word “submission”. This is not surprising since the objective of the feminist movement seems to be the antithesis of submission. The new feminist movement appears to be interested in nothing less than the utter domination of men, which is, not surprising since this is what scripture tells us would become the objective of women as a result of choosing to abandon God’s directive back in Genesis chapter three. After Adam and Eve chose to break God’s command by eating the fruit of the tree in the center of the garden, God told them each what the consequences of this choice would be.
To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”(Genesis 3:16)
The second part of the statement to the woman is that she would desire the position of authority that God had given to the man, but that he would continue to rule over her. If this was where it ended it would be a sad state of affairs for humanity, but God graciously chose not to doom us to this struggle indefinitely, but offers us a path to redemption through Jesus Christ.
The life and death and resurrection of Christ broke the power of that curse, and offers us an opportunity to break free of the effects of sin.
As we (both men and women) choose to submit to Christ, He gives us the ability to submit to one another in a way that is not subservient, but respectful. When a man submits to Christ and fulfills the role of husband as described by Paul in this chapter, by loving her as Christ loves the church, it makes it possible for the wife to submit to willingly submit to the leadership of the husband out of respect and love for him. Neither role is easy, because the effects of sin are still with us and continue to affect us, however, both roles are possible in the power or the Holy Spirit. When it works – it’s a beautiful thing