Listen: 71 Question 4

In a home where both husband and wife are following the Lord together, there is true equality.  Although the roles are different, this does not mean that the wife is subservient.  Rather it allows the husband to fulfill his role as head of the house and lover of his wife.

In the Church, which is the body of Christ, all believers are to be in submission to each other.  We read in Ephesians 5:18-21, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”  In this respect, we learn to submit ourselves to one another, looking out for the needs of each other.  Humility is so important for the believer.  Philippians 2:3-5 says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”  When we esteem others as better than ourselves, then we can easily submit ourselves to serving their needs.  We have Christ, Himself as the perfect example of humility.  I encourage you to read Philippians 2:5-11 to learn from Christ what true humility is.

Submission is taught in the scriptures in several passages.  The first act of submission must be to the Lord as James tells us in James 4:7 where he says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God…” 1 Peter 2:13 tells us to obey the law.  It says, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake…”  Younger ones are to submit to the wisdom and experience of older ones as we read in 1 Peter 5:5, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”  Indeed, may we all learn the true lesson of submission and humility so that we might properly serve the Lord and fulfill the role He has given us.

There is a proper, God given, order for the Christian home.  The Lord tells us in 1 Corinthians 11:3, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”  Ephesians 5:23 says, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”  The truth of headship is properly learned when we have learned the truth of submission and humility.  Even as the Lord expects the wife to submit herself to her husband as the head, He expects the husband to submit himself to the Lord as his head.

Psalms 40:8 speaks prophetically of the Lord Jesus.  It says, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”  Christ submitted Himself to the Father and He delighted in that role.  We just read in 1 Corinthians 11:3 that, “…the head of Christ is God.”  Does that mean that there was not equality between the Son and the Father?  Absolutely not!  Let’ read Philippians 2:5-6, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”  In other words, for Christ to claim equality with God was not an act of robbery; He was not taking anything that did not already belong to Him.  He was equal with God.  The Lord Jesus said in John 10:30, “I and my Father are one.”

The Lord has instructed the wife to submit herself to her husband as we read in Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”  We also read in Colossians 3:18, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.”  Even as the Lord Jesus is equal and one with the Father, so is the wife equal and one with her husband.  Speaking of the husband and wife, the Lord said in Matthew 19:6, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.”

At this point, I’d like to address the husbands.  Do you treat your wife as if she was less than your equal?  Do you act as if she is your personal servant?  Do you insist on having your way without considering her wise advice?  If so, shame on you!  The Lord has given you your wife so that you can love her, minister to her needs, protect and provide for her.  Your wife is a precious gift from the Lord and should be treated as such.  Your role as head of the house is very important, but should not be used to serve your own, selfish needs.  If you will treasure and love your wife, you will find that she will willingly submit to you as your submit yourself to the Lord.  You can make her see that she is indeed your equal.  As we read in Ephesians 5:33, “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”