Planning a wedding in two weeks doesn’t allow much time for marital counseling.
I think we spent only thirty minutes with our pastor twenty-five years ago.
As we settled into chairs facing our silver-haired sage, he opened his Bible to Ephesians 5:22 and read,
“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”
Yep, those were the first words of counseling.
Very few women (if they are honest) love reading that verse. We kind of cringe, don’t we? It is love that makes the command tolerable, even do-able, but let’s face it. . . that word “submit” carries negative connotations. Even so, I don’t think I batted an eye. I probably would’ve married Mike Lee if the pastor told me to kiss my husband’s feet every night–I was a lost cause in love.
Thankfully, no foot kissing was commanded (his soldier feet were disgusting when we got married), and our pastor didn’t stop his counseling with one verse, but he continued to read this famous passage:
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. . . .”
I remember how Pastor Joe stressed to my fiance’ how important his role of loving and taking care of me was in this relationship. Wives were to submit, but husbands were called to love their wives sacrificially. Transforming-ly. It almost seems impossible for men just as that word “submit” doesn’t sit well in our women spirits.
(Disclaimer: Just because something doesn’t sit well or it seems impossible doesn’t mean it’s not correct.)
But when something doesn’t sit well in my spirit, I start studying because I’ve found that God’s Word does not condemn or oppress. His Word brings healing, freedom, and empowerment.
The Greek word translated as “submit” is Hypotasso which means exactly what we thought. . . to submit.
At the very end of the definition in my Key Word Study Bible were the words, “dependent position.”
Automatically I added this knowledge to Ephesians 5:22-24. “Wives depend on your husbands as you depend on the Lord. . . .Now as the church submits to and depends on Christ, so also wives should submit to and depend on their husbands in everything.”
Even though I never liked the verse about wives submitting to their husbands kind of like I never really liked the Proverbs 31 woman, I’ve always believed there was blessing for “submitting” when I didn’t agree with my man. And I’ve experienced God’s blessings.
But simply knowing that this “submit” word is not only about position or authority but responsibility softens my heart’s response to Paul’s command, and this sits well with my soul. I no longer cringe when I read this command.
It sweetens my relationship with my husband, but it also reminds me of what it really means to submit to Christ–or rather to depend on Him in everything.
Your turn. What do you think? Does this extended definition to “depend”soften the word and help you “submit” or do you disagree with my new “translation”? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Also, are there any scriptures you struggle with that you’d like me to write a Word Wednesday post on?
Thanks for stopping by!
Jesus Loves you,