Should Wives Submit?

A colleague of mine was recently engaged. And the question arose, as it often does: "How are we going to resolve conflict? Who gets the final say? Who has to submit?"

The linguistic structure of Ephesians 5 yields a helpful insight.

Under the overarching missional heartbeat of this passage (v.15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil) is the reality that before we ever get to instructions for husbands, wives, children, slaves and masters, we get another instruction for all that follow:

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."

Good-looking Gospel: The Missional Heartbeat of the Household Codes

A college roommate of mine is now a missionary in Africa - and he and his wife live in a very hierarchical relationship, with strongly traditional roles that mirror those of the native culture, believing that this is God's intention, and experiencing the respect of thier neighbors for it.

A friend of mine here in the SanFran Bay says he and his wife agreed that he should be the spiritual head of the house, so he always says the bedtime prayer, and their marriage is characterized by traditional roles, in stark contrast to the surrounding overwhelmingly egalitarian society.

Is there any difference between these two marriages, in God's eyes? How should we order our homes? Does our context have anything to do with it?

Hear what the oft-overlooked book of Titus has to say.

Who Wears the Pants? Unlocking the Household Codes

"But what about Ephesians 5, where it says "Wives, submit to your own husbands...," said the visitor to the young adults group where I worship, after I told him that Lindsay and I strive for egalitarian marriage, characterized by mutual submission. It's an extremely common question, and one that surprising numbers of young people believe indicates God's eternal intention for a household hierarchy. If that's you, or if you've ever met someone like that, read on.