Summary: Submission is not a popular word in today’s society, yet it is a biblical concept. This sermon explains what biblical submission is and then applies it to how wives are to submit to their husbands.
Wives submit to your husbands
Well we have finally arrived at that famous or infamous - passage: Wives submit to your own husbands. Why is this passage so famous or infamous? Why is this passage controversial? Why is the whole idea of wives submitting to husbands is controversial? And not just wives submitting to husbands, but the whole idea of anyone submitting to anyone else? We live in an age of democracy, of equal rights, liberation, everyone can have their say. There is womens liberation, workers rights. Where does the idea of submission fit in this? What do we make of the Bibles command here? Not just for submission per se, but women submitting to husbands? Is it still relevant to us in the 21st century? Isnt the idea of submission in marriage outdated, to be replaced by the idea of mutuality, equal rights, equal say, neither partner needs to submit to the other.
Today we are going to look at these issues. We are going to look at the area of submission in a general sense as well as more specifically look at the issue of a wifes submission to her husband. Todays sermon is the start of a whole section on submission that goes from 5:21-6:9 and covers three human relationships: wife husband; child- parents; slave/servant master/boss. We are going to spend two sermons on the wife-husband one and then one each on child-parent and servant-boss. So, two sermons on the wife husband relationship. Today will be on the wife submitting to her husband and next week on the husband loving his wife.
Why split it into two, shouldnt they be read together? Well in one sense - yes they should be read together, but Paul addresses the wives and husbands separately. Verse 22 is addressed to wives, while verse 25 is addressed to husbands. Once, Marcela and I listened to a CD sermon series on this passage. We listed together to the whole thing from verses 21-33, that is, about the wife submitting to the husband and the husband loving wife as Christ loves the church. Do you know what happened after we listened to the CD? During the CD, I had only listened and paid note to what the wife was supposed to do to submit. Marcela had only listed to what the husband was supposed to do to love. After listening to the CD we proceeded to have an argument. I was telling Marcela she needed to submit to me more. Marcela was telling me I needed to love her more. Wed both missed the point. This passage wasnt telling me what Marcela was supposed to do. It wasnt telling Marcela what I was supposed to do. It was telling me what I was supposed to do and telling Marcela what she was supposed to do. So that we dont mix it up, today I will speak generally on submission and then specifically on the wifes role. So today this is primarily for the wives and next week for the husbands. But it will be useful for the husbands to listen in today
and also for wives to listen in next week. Also, mixed in with this is some beautiful theology on the relationship between Christ and the church that all of us can learn from.