Thursday, April 09, 2009

Ephesians 5 - Wives and husbands; submission and sacrifice

A discussion on the IMDB forum for the movie Fireproof inspired me to share this.

What does "submit" actually mean? Briefly, it means to yield authority. Is that really such a bad thing?

Now let's look at what the Bible says about wives in Ephesians 5 (the text that's at the center of all this business):

"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."

Three sentences. That's it. That's what all the fuss is about. Three measly little sentences. The way the Christian-bashers talk, you'd think there was a whole book of the Bible devoted to putting wives in their place.

Okay, so now what about husbands?

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

Holy cow! That's quite a lot more, isn't it? And look what's expected of the husbands: they are to love their wives the way Christ loved the church. CHRIST SACRIFICED EVERYTHING INCLUDING HIS LIFE FOR THE CHURCH! This means that husbands are to sacrifice as much as they can - up to and including their very lives - for their wives.

So tell me, who has the better deal: wives, who merely have to submit authority to their husbands, or husbands, who have to sacrifice everything for their wives? (I'll give you a hint: it's a trick question and the answer probably isn't as obvious as you might think.)