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May 14, 2023
Rocking the Roles – Part 1
Pastor Philip De Courcy
Time:
Ephesians 5: 22 - 33
Scripture: 

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This powerful series will challenge you to understand your role in the body of Christ. Through the book of Ephesians, Pastor Philip will remind us of the joy and blessings God intends for believers to experience in the church as they live as a united family in Christ.

More From This Series

Transcript

I invite you to take your Bible and turn to Ephesians Chapter five. We are in a series of expositions on Ephesians five. And I want to speak to the ladies today on submitting to your husband. Just happens to fall on Mother’s Day, this is just providence. It’s God’s gracious plan that here we are in Ephesians 5:22 for Mother’s Day. Keep your Bible open and we’ll read verses 22, 23 and 24, and then verse 33. I’ve called the message Rocking the Roles. See, God has given a husband a role and a wife a role and we need to rock it. We need to do it well. This is part one of Rocking the Roles, the role of the wife in submission. Then part two is Rocking the Roles which is the role of the husband in sacrificial leadership.
Follow along in your copy of God’s word, “Wives submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church and He is the savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” Look at verse 33, “Nevertheless, let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” I want to begin this morning in my exposition on Ephesians 5:22-24, by reading something that I find in a 1955 magazine called Good Housekeeping. It’s what’s called the Good Wife’s Guide. The men are going to love this, the women not so much. Here’s what it said 1955, concerning your husband coming home from work and your role in the home. “Have dinner ready, plan ahead, even the night before to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return.
This is a way of letting him know that you are thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Here’s another piece of advice. Prepare yourself, take 15 minutes to rest so that you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking.” Amen. Okay, all the men said amen and all the women booed. I get it. All right, we’re going to keep going. This is 1955, this is the Good Housekeeping magazine. “Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up the school books, toys, paper and run a dust cloth over all the tables. In the cooler months here’s what you want to do. You want to prepare a nice fur for him though and wine beside, your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and will feel lifted up by your doing that.
Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces, comb their hair and if necessary, change their clothes. They’re little treasures and he would like to see them playing their part. Minimize all noise at the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise. Turn off the washer, the dryer and the vacuum.” That’s if you know what those things are by the way. All right, here, keep going, keep going. We’re going to keep going because the guys are going to get it next week. I can assure you. Here’s what it says, “Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile. Show him sincerity in your desire to please him. Don’t greet him with complaints and problems. Make him comfortable. Have him lie back or lean back on a comfortable chair. Arrange the pillow and offer to take off his shoes.” Amen.
“Speak low, soothing, pleasant voices.” Okay, here’s the last thought that grabbed my attention. “A good wife always knows her place.” Now girls, you’d be happy to know I’m not endorsing everything that was said there. In fact, this may be more of a traditional view of marriage that belongs in 1955, not a biblical view of marriage that belongs to all the ages. So I just want to put you at rest. Nevertheless, I do love that thought. I think that’s a good thought, a good wife always knows her place. Now we’re not talking about servile oppression, we’re not talking about 1955 house rules but a good wife knows her place. She knows her place under the Lordship of Jesus Christ as His disciple and His servant. And she knows her place under the leadership of her husband because according to the text we’re about to look at, I know it’s out of fashion, some would say outdated, nevertheless, we believe it to be the eternal word of God. Heaven and earth will pass away, but not God’s word.
It’s forever settled in heaven and here’s what it says, “Wives submit to your own husband as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife and a good wife knows her place under the lordship of Jesus as a disciple and under the leadership of her husband as a wife.” This passage cuts across the grain of our culture. Most people around us would mock this message, but I want to tell you how and why it cuts across the grain of our culture. Number one, because this passage roots marriage in a God designed eternal purpose. Marriage is not a human invention. Marriage is not the dream of a man. Marriage is a divine institution that God ordered from the beginning to be a reflection of the love between Christ and His bride, the church. Your marriage and my marriage is a divine institution with an eternal purpose to be a reflection, a mirror, a projection of the love of Christ for His bride. We see that in verse 32, speaking of marriage, it’s a great mystery concerning Christ and His church.
Number two, the reason this passage cuts across the grain of the culture is because it defines marriage as an exclusive heterosexual relationship between a man and a woman, based on a covenant made between them, preceded by the leaving of one’s parents, consummated in a sexual union, bringing about a life-enhancing mutual partnership and normally crowned by having children. It’s all there in Ephesians five and six. That’s what’s being described. And you know what? Jesus endorsed that model in Matthew 19 and Paul is preaching it here in Ephesians five. It’s timeless. It’s true. And by the way, it’s applicable to every culture, Christian and non-Christian because marriage as God defined it and God designed it, is honorable among all men. It’s a creation ordinance for the good of man and human flourishing. Every society should measure themselves against this.
Number three, it preaches the binary nature of gender. There’s a man and a woman, there’s a husband and a wife and the wife is able to bear children. There’s a binary nature to the gender assignments here. There’s a complimentary nature to the role of husband and wife. The role of the wife is to joyfully submit to her husband, verses 22 to 24, and the role of the husband is to lovingly lead his wife at a cost to himself, verses 25 to 31. While this is anathema to the culture, this is celebrated by the church and by the Christian. What does Psalm 119:32 say, “I am happy to run in the path of God’s commands.” 1 John 5:3, we’re told that God’s commands are not burdensome, they’re a benefit.
Wasn’t it Warren Wiersbe who rightly said, “God gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him.” So let’s begin to look at Rocking the Roles part one, the role of the wife in submission toward her husband. Let me just quickly put the text in its context so that indeed we might pick up in verse 22 where we have left off in verse 21 and what preceded. I would say this in terms of context, what we’re about to hear in terms of a wife’s role and a husband’s role is an amplification of walking in love and not as the pagan culture. If you go back to chapter 4:17, we’re told that we ought not to walk according to the Gentiles as we once did. See, once you get saved, you don’t conform to the culture, you submit to the authority of Scripture and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 5:32 we’re told to walk in love.
So what we’ve got going on here in Ephesians 5:22-33, is this is what it means to walk in love in your home. This is what it means to not walk according to the Gentile culture because marriage is not defined by the culture. The culture doesn’t get to redefine marriage. Marriage is God-ordained. It is God-designed and it is eternal in its purpose. Number two, this is what it looks like to be filled by the spirit. We’ve been told to be filled by the spirit in verse 18, what does that look like? It looks like giving thanks. It looks like singing, speaking to one another, submitting to one another. And here’s a prime example, the wife submitting to her husband. Number three, this is a preview to the world, a Christian marriage where the husband leads and the wife submits, where the husband is head and the wife is the helper. That’s a preview to the world of what is coming when Jesus comes.
What do I mean by that? Go back to chapter 1:10, it tells us this, “In the fullness of the dispensation of time, at the end of history when prophecy has been fulfilled and the church has been glorified and the marriage supper of the Lamb has taken place between the bride and the bridegroom, Christ and the church, and the church is submitted to Christ for all of eternity perfectly in a glorified state, that indeed is where history is going to end and any reflection of that night is telling the world that’s what’s going to happen.” Ephesians 1:10 tells us that in the fullness of the dispensation of times, all things will be brought under Christ. So when a husband submits to the Lordship of Christ and leads His wife lovingly, and when a wife submits to the leadership of her husband as to the Lord, they’re showing where history is going to end under the Lordship of Jesus.
So let’s jump into the text. We’ve got four things, the summons, the stimulus, the spirit, the scope. Let’s deal with the summons. Can’t be any clearer, verse 22, submit, subject yourself to your husband. This is in the middle voice. This is something the woman must voluntarily do, willingly do herself. She will voluntarily submit to her husband because that’s what Jesus asks of her, just as he submitted to his father, the wife is happy to submit to her husband. This isn’t an isolated text. If you go to Colossians 3:18, go to 1st Peter 3:1, and that’s in the context of a disobedient husband, maybe a nonbeliever. You go to Titus 2:4-5, that thought of submission is being reinforced, it’s clear, it’s commanding. You can go to marriage seminars today, you can read Christian books, bestsellers even on marriage, on relationships and the word submission will be omitted and yet it’s so clear in the text of God’s word. The culture is adding it out. The church is going soft on this.
Now, let me underscore that the wife is to be subject to her husband. The husband is not to be subject to his wife, but you say, “Well, pastor in verse 21 it says we’re subject to each other.” And I’ve heard that line from a lot of circles that you know what, it’s mutual submission. Just as the wife submits to the husband, so the husband submits to the wife. No, it’s not what the text is teaching. Having talked about submitting to one another, Paul goes on to explain what that looks like. You submit to the God-given authority and the wife is not a God-given authority over the man. The man doesn’t submit to his wife because he’s the head, the wife submits to the husband because he’s the God-given authority. The child submits to the parent because they’re the God-given authority. Parents don’t submit to children.
If you’re going to take this mutual submission idea in verse 22, then you’re going to argue for parents submitting to their children. No, you submit to the God-given authority and indeed that line is outlined here. In fact, Harold Hoehner, a wonderful expositor on Ephesians from Dallas Seminary gives three reasons to reject the mutual submission idea. Number one, if you go to the parallel passage in Colossians three, there is no mention of mutual submission. The wives are just told the submit. Number two, if the model is Christ’s love for the church, Christ never submits to the church. Christ is the head of the church, the church submits to Him, parallel, husband head of the wife, the wife submits to him. He doesn’t submit to the wife. Let me just put it in there. I think you’re smart enough to know what I’m about to say. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t listen, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t get to speak. But we’re talking about authority, functional authority, functional leadership, that resides in the husband.
And number three, Ephesians 5:22-69, we’ve already kind of touched on this. When you have these relationships of submission, husband and wife, child and parent and master and servant, in each case one person is asked to submit not the other. So we reject this idea of mutual submission. Now, let me say this again by way of qualification, the husband is not a law unto himself. While he doesn’t submit to his wife, he submits to her Lord and he seeks to pattern his leadership after Jesus Christ in the cross. He’s under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 and the Lord Jesus 5:24, he is called to sacrificial headship. That’s why the old Puritan Matthew Henry said this about the fact that a woman came from man, “And God took a rib from Adam and from it he made a woman. The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam, not made out of his head to rule over him nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected and near his heart.”
So here we have the summons. Now, lets for a few minutes, what is it and what is it not? What is it and what is it not? In fact, let’s do what is it not first and then what it is. Let’s state it in the negative and then let’s study it in the positive. I think it’s important to remove some myths and misunderstandings. If we’re going to sow the seed of this precious text into our hearts and homes, we’ve got to remove some stones, some rubble, some bad thinking, some bad application of this very text. Let me tell you ladies what this does not mean, does not mean that man is superior to woman. The woman is a man’s equal. 1st Peter 3:7, “There heirs together of life.” She came from man, she was his counterpart, his equal, Genesis 2:18. It’s not a matter of mere superiority, it’s a matter of divine order.
Number two, it’s not to be given to all men. You’ll notice verse 22, “Wives submit to your own husbands.” Not every husband, not every man. Number three, it doesn’t rule out creative delegation. The husband is head, can sit down with his wife and together they can work out a division of labor. There’s a lot of liberty in the Bible on this. Primarily the man is the breadwinner. He’s certainly the head of the home. Primarily the woman is the homekeeper, but there’s a lot of margin in between those statements for creativity and delegation. Where a woman is strong, she should be allowed to exercise that strength, that giftedness, that creativity in the home under her husband. It does not mean the wife cannot shine. It doesn’t mean that she lives her life under the shadow of her husband. She’s just adjunct to him.
Now Proverbs 31:28, “The woman shines and her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband trusts in her and his reputation at the city gate is stronger because of her strengths.” One commentator I read, a British expositor said, “You know what? Not every captain of the team is the star.” That’s true. Not every captain of the team is the star. And while the husband is the captain of the team, often his wife is the star and a good man knows that. And a good husband understands that, she shines under his leadership and she’d be allowed to shine under his leadership. Here’s another one, it’s not a call to passivity. Submission is not passivity. It doesn’t mean you give up your ideas, your wisdom, your thoughts. Again, look at the woman of Proverbs 31, she’s anything but passive. Look at some of the heroines of the Bible, they’re anything but passive. They shine. They’re strong. They bring something to the equation.
Here’s another thought. It is not an excuse for accepting sin. Submission to your husband doesn’t open the door to abuse or sin. Your obedience to your husband is up until his disobedience to the Lord. And there are times when there is disruption and a breakdown in a marriage that the church needs to be called in, and in some cases of physical violence the police need to be called in. That’s our position here at Kindred. It’s not accepting sin. It doesn’t equate to silence. 1st Peter 3:1, I think is a text that’s being used wrongly, “Win your husband without a word.” But there’s a context to that. The implication seems to be that the woman shared the word, preached the gospel, called her husband to repentance because he’s a man who doesn’t obey the word. He may be a disobedient disciple, he may be an unbeliever, but she has shared the word and it’s getting nowhere.
And Peter says, “You know what? At this point, let your godly character be the sermon. Let your quiet, submissive spirit convict him.” But you can’t use that verse to speak of silence. In fact, this woman has tried to persuade him. She has not been silent. And by the way, finally it does not mean no independence. Psalm storms is helpful here. Submission does not mean that everything a woman does must be directly dependent upon or connected to her husband. Submission does not mean the wife can never do anything for her own benefit or for the benefit of others, or that she should never become involved in activities or ministries outside the home. It simply means that nothing she does should bring harm to her husband or undermine his responsibility within the home. I hope that helps because there’s a lot of myths. There’s a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to leadership on the part of man and submission on the part of women.
We’ve stated it negatively, let’s study it positively. What is it? Well, the word submit here means to come under rank. It carries a kind of military tone to it. It’s the private knows where he is in the ranks, but we don’t want to carry that too far. This isn’t an encouragement. The implication of the word is not you can run your home, sir, like a sergeant major because remember the kind of relationship it is determines the kind of submission given. Not all submission is equal. The submission of a child to the parent is not the same kind of submission of a wife to the husband. She doesn’t simply obey her husband without reflection and thought and interaction with him. The submission of a citizen to the government’s not the same kind of submission of a wife to her husband. While it is a military term, we don’t want to carry that too far.
Just generally the idea is this, take your place in the created order because there are all kinds of passages. Demons are subject to Christ and as apostles, subjects are subject to the government, servants are subject to their masters, children are subject to their parents and wives are subject to their husbands. There’s levels of authority, spheres of authority that God has established for human flourishing. And all this text is asking, is it the woman understands her place in the created order? We’re back to the one thing I did like about the 1955 article, the last one, a good wife understands her place. A good wife understands her place in God’s created order. God has done all things in decency and in order and so functionally speaking, God in his love and great wisdom has created the man to be the head of the woman. Verse 23, The man was created first
Genesis two verse 18, “The woman comes from man, she’s his counterpart, his equal but her function is to assist and help.” Genesis two 18. This is not an issue of man being superior to women. This is an issue of God’s wisdom being superior to ours. And God said, it’s for our good. We are happy to run in the path of His commandments. They are not burdensome. I think it was Adrian Rogers who said a body with no head is a corpse. A body with two heads is abnormality. It’s funny to me that the feminist, the career woman is happy to go into an office and have men serve her and submit to her as the authority in that business sphere. But somehow she box at the idea that she would submit to her husband in the home sphere, seems rather unequal.
They’re happy to take it when it’s given to them, but they’re not happy to give it when God commands it. Just a little aside, in fact in his book on marriage, Gary Inrig’s really helpful here. I think this is a good analogy. He talks about a display that intrigued him for many years, it was to be found in the San Diego Zoo. It was a two-headed snake and when it was in its kind of the box that it was in, there was a description that said this, “Animals with two heads lack the intelligence to cooperate with themselves and will die at an early age.” A body without a head is a corpse and a body with two heads is an abnormality. You can’t have two heads in a home. God has chosen which one is the head, and if you believe in the love of God, the sovereignty of God, the kindness of God and the wisdom of God, then wives submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. It’s His design, His desire.
Now before leaving the point, I do want to remind you that this is submission to a loving, sacrificial leader. The husband is not called to submit, but he is called to love and exercise that love towards his wife, which indeed doesn’t abuse her submission. It’s interesting by the way ladies, right down Titus 2:4-5, that the wife in Titus 2:4-5 is told one to love her husband and two to submit to him or obey him. I would suggest to you that while they’re not synonymous, they are closely tied together because submitting is what? It’s giving up your rights for the good of another or for a bigger purpose than yourself. But what is love? Not eros love, not storge love, friendship love, what is agape love, Christ-like love? That’s giving up for others, what’s good for them at a cost to yourself.
So actually loving your husband will include submitting to him because when you love someone, you want the best for them and you sacrifice to that end and that’s what submission is. I don’t want to divorce the word submission from love. This isn’t cold, this isn’t sterile. This is warm. This is inviting. The husband is loving his wife. She’s submitting to his loving leadership. She’s doing it out of love for him. Now we don’t have time to go into this, but Kevin DeYoung, Dual Beaky, several really substantial evangelical writers kind of outlined what that would look like. This is a sermon itself. We don’t have time this morning. That’ll look like following, helping, respecting. You’ll follow, you’ll obey, you’ll take your lead from your husband. Again, it doesn’t mean you’re a wallflower, it doesn’t mean that he and his wisdom won’t listen to your wisdom but when the decision is made by him, you follow? Unless it’s disobedience to God, then you got an opt-out.
But we’re to follow Ephesians 5:22-23, we’re to help. Eve was designated as Adam’s helper to help him reach his God-given potential that he might fulfill God’s will for him and them bearing children, subduing the earth, tending the garden respect. Ephesians 5:33, “Respect your husband, show him honor.” Ladies, you know what man love? They love respect above everything else. They can put up with a lot of stuff, but disrespect is hard for a man to handle. He loves to be respected. Don’t nag, don’t badger. The nagging wife is the opposite of the respectful wife. Proverbs 21:19, Proverbs 27:15, follow him, help him, respect him. That’s what God calls us to do. I do like the story of the girl who was getting married and she was a little nervous about what she had to do on the wedding day, the ceremony.
She didn’t want to make a misstep and so she talked to the pastor about her nervousness. He says, “look, it’s simple really. Here’s what you want to do. I will meet you at the bottom of the aisle at the beginning of the service and we’ll walk up, and we’ll stand beside your husband by the altar. So meet you at the aisle and then we’ll go up to the altar. Then we’ll exchange vows and then at the end we’ll sing a hymn. And then I’ll pronounce you man and wife and you’ll be dismissed.” She says, “That’s simple.” So the next day at the wedding to the shock of the congregation, the young woman was going to up the aisle muttering these words. “I’ll alter him, I’ll alter him.” God hasn’t called you to do that. God’s called you to follow, to help, to respect. Now, we’ve got 10 minutes to get through the other three points and we can do that because that’s the bulk of it.
Let’s quickly go through the stimulus, the scope and the spirit. The stimulus, Paul motivates the leaders of this congregation to give themselves joyfully, wholeheartedly, submissively to their husbands. And we’ve kind of touched on these three things, so I’ll just highlight them. There’s a creation stimulus, a Christian stimulus and a commission stimulus. These are the things that motivate a woman to submit. The creation, she was called to help her husband to come under his leadership, to ask him to define how she can best help him. Genesis 2:18, God has made the husband the head, Ephesians 2:23, and made the woman the helper. John Stott said of this passage, “This is not chauvinism.” See, people will go to this and say, “Hey, your pastor’s a chauvinist.” This is not chauvinism, this is creationism. This is God’s design from the beginning. There’s a second stimulus that’s a Christian stimulus.
Remember, we’re to model to some degree, we’re to be a micro addition of the relationship between Christ and His church, between the heavenly bridegroom and His bride. And we’re told here, aren’t we in verse 23 and 24, that you know what? Just as the church submits to Christ the head, so the wife submits to her husband. There’s a gospel motivation. See, you do this as to the Lord. You’re doing it because of Him, for Him and with His help because remember He submitted to the Father. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Christ isn’t asking any woman to do what He hasn’t done. Then finally, the commission stimulus. That’s the great commission stimulus we saw in verse 32, that marriages are a window into the gospel. Wives submitting, husbands loving all point to the gospel. A wife yielding to the love and leadership of her husband is a repentant sinner yielding to the lordship of Jesus Christ and an act of repentance and faith.
Listen to Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones speaking of the witness to the world, these other people living as they do, asserting their own rights, displaying the arrogance which leads to all kinds of chaos. When they look at you, that is the Christian marriage, they will see something different. They will ask, what is this? And your answer will be, I am behaving like this because it’s the will of the Lord and will give you an opportunity to share the gospel. We all need motivation, don’t we? The mother was trying to motivate her son to get out of bed and go to church. He wasn’t listening. She’d shouted out several times. She’d come in and out of the kitchen where she was making breakfast to call him to get up and get ready and go to church. And then she shouted one final time. He said adamantly, “I’m not going because they don’t like me down there and I feel unwelcome.”
She said, “But you’ve got to go.” And he said, “Give me two reasons why.” She says, “Number one, you’re 40 years old, get out of bed. And number two, you’re the pastor.” Well, we all need reasons, don’t we? We all need reasons? Let’s get the scope. No time on this although there is a clarification needed again so that we don’t perpetuate a misunderstanding. Notice the scope, in all things, verse 24, in everything, not to all man but in all things to the man that you married. Just as the husband’s headship extends to all matters of finance, sex, children, spiritual tone of the home, just as the husband’s headship extends to all matters of life and godliness, by implication then so does the wife’s submission. Whatever his authority is and headship is over, whatever matters fall under that she submits, but a qualification is an order. Submission does not mean you follow your husband into sin.
If you can make an argument from the word of God that what your husband’s asking you to do is a violation of God’s law and the gospel and the teaching of God’s word, then the church will defend your place in not submitting and calling him to the mat. It’s submission up until the point where the husband is disobedient to Christ. What’s true in the political realm? What’s true in the domestic realm? Acts 5: 29, you going to tell us you would rather obey man than God. See, your husband is not Christ. Don’t treat him like a messiah. Your final and full allegiance lies with Jesus, and when your submission to Jesus competes with your submission to your husband, Jesus wins. That’s the qualification. And that’s why it’s valuable to be a member of the church because when a woman is exposed through submission to abuse, remember there are other authorities.
Elders have authority and the elders have authority over that husband and the elders will jump in and they will defend the woman’s. We’ve done that here at Kindred and we will do that here at Kindred and if need be, we’ll call the police if there’s a violation of the law. Submission is not an umbrella for abuse, disobedience, or lawlessness. Let’s get then the last thought, the spirit, don’t we say to our kids attitude is everything. Well, it is. How you do a thing is as important as doing the thing. In fact, as I thought about that I was reminded of the judgment seat of Christ, 1st Corinthians 3, “When we are judged there, our works will be judged…” Listen to this, I think it’s the old King James has it, “What kind they are.” We’re going to look at the work, the outward act but we’re going to see what kind it was. What was the motive behind it, the attitude behind it. Was it self-ambition or was it God’s glory? Was it the pleasing of man, conformity to the peer pressure or was it a desire to obey God?
So there ought to be a spirit that’s marked by a willingness. Remember what I said at the beginning as we get to a close here, this is in the middle voice. You say, what does that mean? It means that the woman has to do this. You notice that Paul doesn’t say here in verse 22, husbands make your wives submit. Doesn’t say that. That’s not the man’s role. It says, “Wives submit as to the Lord.” If you understand God’s wisdom, if you understand God’s created order, if you look at the example of Jesus Christ, give yourself to what God has asked of you to submit. To place yourself under the God-given authority in the home, which is your husband. It’s not to be forced by the husband. It’s to be given joyfully and willingly and voluntarily by the wife, and it’s unconditional. It even extends to disobedient husbands, 1 Peter 3:1-7, “And it ought to be a Christ-honoring manner…” As we wrap up verse 22, “As to the Lord.”
What does that mean? I think it means this just as a reflection and outworking of your love for Jesus and your submission to his Lordship, you’re going to do what the Lord has ordered and he’s ordered wives to submit. He created the wife to be the helper under the headship of her husband. Christ deserves your submission to your husband even if your husband doesn’t. Christ deserves your submission to your husband even if your husband doesn’t. Christ is always worth loving even if your husband is unlovely at times. So do it. Do it willingly. Do it lovingly. In fact, I got a wonderful letter from a lady in our church just saying when she teaches this passage she emphasizes this because some women have watched abuse, grew up in homes where there’s abuse, domineering dad, heartless husband. They’ve watched their mothers be treated wrongly. Some of this congregation has come from out of Middle Eastern backgrounds where women submit to men in all things, and so here we’re told wives submit, but this lady says, “When I get there I remind them, but it’s to the Lord.” It’s what he wants.
It’s what will glorify Him. It’s what will be a blessing to you when you stand before Him and give an account of your life. Let’s pray. Father, we thank you for this passage. We believe it to be your word. It’s not an isolated text, it’s something that ties into Genesis two and three. It’s something that ties into Matthew 19, Titus two, 1st Peter three. This is a consistent call from the word of God to wives to submit, to take their place in the God-given order, to reflect the image of God stamped on them which God has made them to be for His glory, which God has suited them to be both in temperament and in physicality and so on. Lord, I pray that you’d help the ladies of this church to hear what has come from my heart. I hope it has come across in a balanced manner, in a pastoral spiritual spirit, but nevertheless uncompromising. This is the word of God. It’s not what the culture would teach. It’s not what films portray.
It’s not what magazine articles argue for, but Lord, we’re not going to be conformed to this world. The fashion of this world is passing away. We want to do the will of God and abide forever. So Lord bless the ladies. Thank you for submissive wives, for loving mothers, for sisters in the Lord who help us be more in the Lord because of who they are and what they do. And these things we pray in Jesus name. Amen.