Ephesians 5:21-22, 25—Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
The wisdom of how to get along as a couple is found in Paul’s advice in this letter. He first tells us all that we should have an attitude of submission to one another. In the military usage of this word, it meant to operate in the position you were placed under your commander. In the common usage it meant to give in to another’s demands. How many arguments have broken out and turned into horrible divisions because we are too proud to submit? Ask yourself if the issue at hand is worth making a stink about. If not, just humbly submit in love and respect. It takes a strong spiritual person to do this. Then Paul applies it to the woman’s role in the home. Men have a need to be respected and honored. This submission in the home meets one of the man’s basic needs. Where a wife is always putting down her husband or ignoring his requests, you will find a home in painful turmoil. The man’s role is to love his wife “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.” That is the more demanding role. If he does that, the woman will not have a problem submitting any more than we have a problem submitting to Christ. He will be meeting her most basic need, to be cherished and cared for out of love. That love is expressed in the husband giving up himself for his wife. Where the husband does not express love toward his wife, you will find a home in painful turmoil. When you put these two ingredients together, love and submission, you will find a household that is at peace and full of joy. This is the basis for most marital counseling.