I was reading the last part of Ephesians 5 today. For some, this is a stifling man verse, for others it’s quite confusing. I decided to share some thoughts on the subject using sola scriptura.
As this passage begins, we are encouraged to submit to each other out of reverence for Christ. This seems easy by itself. Thanks Paul…
But wait. There’s more to say. Paul talks about men and women and about how they relate to each other (men being the head of the women). It’s odd when Paul states that man is the head of the woman has to be modeled after Christ being the head of the Church. I know that Christ has been lifted the right hand of the Father, which means he’s pretty high up there in rank compared to the rest of us. The only reason (as seen in Phillipians 2) he has be raised is because he lowered himself. I would actually go on to give the interpretation that he can only stay lifted up if he keeps lowering himself.
So how did he lower himself. There are some common passages to look at. The first one is about Jesus and what His position as a leader looks like. Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45 portrays a servant leader. I do not mean someone who says he’s a servant leader but really acts as any other manager according to the world’s standards. This position is submissive and downright lowly. It makes sure that the other is served. Even when Jesus washes the disciples feet in John 13. The disciples have this deeply engrained sense that their teacher should not wash feet like a lowly, submissive servant. If there are no servants around, then the lowest of the students should probably do that job. But Jesus challenges them.
I think of the classic position of some Christian traditions and how the woman is to obey the husband. I understand that. I believe that be that is just as legitimate as my egalitarian view or the complimentarian view. But I know this, the Kingdom of heaven is no place for control. To seek to control in the Kingdom will eventually run against God.
Do you seek to control your significant other?
Or maybe you feel exhausted from trying to feel appreciated and honored?
Whatever the situation you are in, remember that the thing that brought the Fall of Adam and Eve in the first place was usurping control from God. And when that happens, it’s only a matter of time before you treat others that way. The curse is not simply the woman trying to wrench control from the husband. It’s constant struggle of both sexes and the man tends to dominate.
Original intent is love, community. Philippians 2 shows that Christ is full of the original intent. Remember, to go upward in God’s world, you must go down. If you try to climb up, you only fall away from the glory that God can give you.
Let’s live out the original intent.
Let’s live out Christ.
Whatever role you fill as a couple or any other relationship, turn it over on its head. Don’t let people simply tell you that this is how it is. Test it against what God has spoken and what Christ has done. Submission is for all God’s children.
I know it doesn’t make sense, but in the Kingdom of God, it works.
Grace and peace.