Necessary, joyful submission

This is the sixth in a series that started here.

Paul’s message and instruction in Ephesians 5, as heretofore discussed, should not be a surprise to us.  None of it is incongruent to what Jesus taught.  The principle of mutual submission of husband and wife echoes Jesus’ instruction, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Who is a closer neighbor than your spouse?  It follows, then, that it would be biblical that both the husband and the wife are called to yield to the other and to put the others’ interest above their own.  A cooperative marriage, where both consider the other above themselves, is exactly what Jesus preached on a day-to-day basis regarding how we should treat the friends and neighbors near us.  Jesus’ command for everyone to love their neighbors as themselves is a command for everyone to elevate their estimation of others to the same value as they deem for themselves — it’s a command that includes everyone and certainly does not exclude husbands with regard to their wives.

“Love your neighbor as yourself” translates to:
Wives, love your husbands as yourselves.
This translates to:
Wives, yield to your husbands as you would yield to your own desires.

“Love your neighbor as yourself” translates to:
Husbands, love your wives as yourselves.
This translates to:
Husbands, yield to your wives as you would yield to your own desires.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to imagine that anyone would understand this passage any differently than this, but I have come across quite a few blogs in which the blogger dwells on the necessary, joyful submission of the wife to her husband.  Sadly, in the midst of all their expostulations, they are missing the other half of Paul’s message — the necessary and joyful submission of the husband to the wife.

It is necessary and it is a joyful for both to submit to the other.  My husband and I have found this to be true for ourselves in our marriage as we race each other to the bottom rung and seek to serve the other more than our own selves.

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