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. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansingb 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. (Eph 5:22-33)
Matthew Henry's Commentary on these verses reads: "The duty of wives is, submission to their husbands in the Lord, which includes honouring and obeying them, from a principle of love to them. The duty of husbands is to love their wives. The love of Christ to the church is an example, which is sincere, pure, and constant, notwithstanding her failures. Christ gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify it in this world, and glorify it in the next, that he might bestow on all his members a principle of holiness, and deliver them from the guilt, the pollution, and the dominion of sin, by those influences of the Holy Spirit, of which baptismal water was the outward sign. The church and believers will not be without spot or wrinkle till they come to glory. But those only who are sanctified now, shall be glorified hereafter. The words of Adam, mentioned by the apostle, are spoken literally of marriage; but they have also a hidden sense in them, relating to the union between Christ and his church. It was a kind of type, as having resemblance. There will be failures and defects on both sides, in the present state of human nature, yet this does not alter the relation. All the duties of marriage are included in unity and love. And while we adore and rejoice in the condescending love of Christ, let husbands and wives learn hence their duties to each other. Thus the worst evils would be prevented, and many painful effects would be avoided."
Ladies, this is not a slam against "Women's Lib"...men, you are not the "king of the castle" ~ it is about reverence to Christ...
Our society has evolved into a "two-income" family society. Both husband and wife work in most cases. But the reason for them working has also evolved. I'm not (nor is Matthew Henry) talking about the financial, statistical or even dynamics of "family" with regard to today's world. What I believe is this: Live your life as Christ would have you live it; love the way Christ loves you; be a team (in unity with one another); work together in ALL that you do; be followers and be leaders; and take responsibility for your actions! The failure of a marriage is most always attributable to both parties (yes, there are rare instances where only one is at fault). The biggest stumbling block in the failure of any marriage is lack of communication of the couple.
In a recent sermon by my pastor, he touched on these verses and a few others. Men - you should be the spiritual leaders of your family! You are the ones the rest of the family looks to for guidance (and ladies, stop rolling your eyes, because you and I both know that we desire our husband's praise and want to please him in all we do). And sometimes the only leadership that they are capable of is to make the decision to ASK their wives to take the wheel!
When we reach our final destination (I choose Heaven, thank you) - we will be called to account for our lives on earth. Again, God's word has not changed - society has. He will call us into account for following or not following his word! Archaic??? Not if you truly believe! Impossible??? Actually, yes, but he also will take into account that we are not perfect. We tell our children "as long as you tried to do your best, you will make me proud" - so goes for us in our devotion to him! Men - will you be able to stand before God and say "I did the very best I could to keep my family in your graces by prayer and worship" ? Ladies - will you be able to say "I did the very best I could to acknowledge the authority you placed in my husband"?
I know this particular "Note" may strike fear in the hearts of women and give over inflated egos to men, but again, this is the command of our creator - we can't pick and choose which ones we like and don't like (sorry, God's word is NOT a Chinese restaurant menu -- not one from column a and two from column b).
Most of us have no problem following the law of man because we don't want to end up in jail. Why is it that we have so much trouble following the law of God - after all, his wrath is much greater and more severe (and the sentence is eternal)? Are you willing to submit to what God has designed????