Table of Duties
CERTAIN PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE FOR VARIOUS HOLY ORDERS AND POSITIONS, ADMONISHING THEM ABOUT THEIR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. [Eph. 5:22]
For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. [1 Peter 3:5-6]
The word our English bibles translate as “submit” comes from the Greek word that gives us “taxonomy” – the order of things. It’s a Greco-Roman military term – to stay in the correct order. Generals are over Lieutenants are over Privates. God is over the husband who is over his wife. For the family, this is how God created things to be.
“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” (Eph. 5.23)
In Ephesians 5, the apostle Paul is encouraging the willing submission of a wife to her husband. He bases his argument on the headship of Christ over the Church – “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” (Eph. 5.23) This passage teaches the Christian wife to submit to her husband for the sake of Christ (“as to the Lord”), in other words, this is the wife living out her faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. Just as Christ provides for and gives to His Church, so is the husband to provide for and give to his wife and family. When all is in that order, the wife can confidently support her husband in his service and nurture the family, knowing this is how God provides, and how He created and intended things to be.
The husband’s headship involves authority, which is like Christ’s, exercised through His sacrificial service to His bride. Husbands are to love their wife with a sacrificial love like that of Christ, which was a sacrifice unto death. The wife lovingly submits that love back to her husband. And so, like Sarah of old, every wife’s true beauty and adornment is to reflect and give back that Christ-like sacrificial love to her husband. This is done by staying in the order God has created and ordained things to be in, by obeying her husband, and doing those necessary good works in the midst of a difficult world that support and nurture her husband and children.