9 Reasons for God’s Design of Marriage: The Wife as Helper and Encourager – Part 2
Did you enjoy the first part of my exploration of a wife’s role in marriage? If you did not get to read it: Go Here (Part 1).
Let’s continue with Part 2 of this discussion by building more understanding about the deeper meaning of the Biblical truth’s of this subject.
Again, as I continue to think about and study this topic, I will never say that a wife should stay home or should work. This was not what God is trying to do. I believe God was trying to create Eve in such a way as to be a spiritually, biologically, relationally and emotionally perfect companion for Adam.
She completed the triangle that was needed for Adam to have everything he needed to live out God’s image in them together. I get the impression that God was stating that Adam was not COMPLETE, even with God present.
Let’s explore another passage to help us understand purpose for woman, but more specifically a wife’s role in the marriage.
In the NIV, Paul says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything…and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:21-24, 33)
Most women I have talked to balk at the idea of submitting to their husband. So, this translation may not be the best to use here. However, I want to use as much information as we can get to help build understanding. It definitely helps in this situation to look at several different translations and the original meaning of these words.
In the NIV, if we take this literally, it really does tell the wife to submit and respect their husbands. However, that last statement I made is also taken out of context.
WE NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO CONTEXT HERE.
The context in this passage is referring to the relationship between how the husband loves his wife and the idea of reverence for Christ.
A few good questions to ask are:
What does it look like to submit to the Lord or have reverence to the Lord?
How does the church submit to Christ?
How does the church respect Christ?
Is a husband loving me like Christ does?
The context points to behaving as if interacting with Christ! It also indirectly assumes you have reverence and respect for Christ when he loves you perfectly.
Reverence and respect for Christ is the key. If you have pure reverence and respect for Christ, it changes your perspective of life and roles. You honor Christ because of what He did for you and who He is (God is love!).
Yet, some might say, we don’t honor our husbands because they are not Christ and can’t be Christ. They certainly don’t act like Christ!
Am I not quoting Scripture?
Is the New Testament still God’s Word?
Did Paul not learn what he wrote about from Jesus?
Deductive reasoning would tell us that Paul’s words are Christ’s words. If we revere and honor and respect Christ, should we do what he says? AND Christ says for wives to respect, submit, revere, and honor your husbands. He did not say, “IF.” It reads as a command.
I am not trying to stir up wrath against myself or God. It helps to explore the facts of the Word of God. Let’s try to soften this a bit. Look at some other translations and the original meanings to help you understand what “respect” and “submit” truly means here.
New King James Version: vs 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands
The Passion Translation: “And out of your reverence for Christ be supportive of each other in love. For wives, this means being devoted (The Greek word for “submit,” or “supportive,” is not found in v. 22. It is literally “Wives, with your husbands.”) to your husbands like you are tenderly devoted to our Lord, for the husband provides leadership for the wife, just as Christ provides leadership for his church, as the Savior and Reviver (The Aramaic word used here can be translated “Savior” or “Reviver.”
This translation includes both concepts.) of the body. In the same way the church is devoted to Christ, let the wives be devoted to their husbands in everything…. And every wife should be tenderly devoted to her husband.” (Ephesians 5:21-24, 33)
The Revised Standard Version: Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. (Ephesians 5:21-24)
The Message Translation: Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another. Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. (Ephesians 5:21-24)
Wow! What a difference these other translations make!
I LOVE how the message version translates Ephesians 5:21-24. It makes it simpler and more meaningful. I tell my clients, you receive more depth by exploring how other translations interpret and translate the same passage. Now, we have a better understanding of what role a wife is intended for.
Without sacrificing integrity and individual respect, career aspirations, or self aspirations, we can see what intent God has for the wife: to be like the church in regards to Christ.
Here are some takeaways:
Out of RESPECT FOR CHRIST, be COURTEOUSLEY REVERENT to ONE ANOTHER.
UNDERSTAND and SUPPORT your husbands in ways that show SUPPORT FOR CHRIST
The husband is not DOMINEERING, but CHERISHING
LIKE THE CHURCH SUBMITTING TO CHRIST AS HE EXERCISES SUCH LEADERSHIP, wives submit to their husbands
Be DEVOTED: loving or loyal to, giving a large part of one’s resources or time to
Be SUBJECT: possibly means to be under authority of
I pray that as a wife or a husband you are continuing to grow and learn about your role as a spouse. Furthermore, it is my desire that you become the person God desires you to be within your relationship. Again, I do not call myself an expert in the Bible or in what God’s intent is.
I write these post to be thought provoking. Take this content and go explore, research and learn for yourselves what God’s purposes and plans are. If I am wrong in an area, I will gladly accept it. Thank you for sticking with me this long.
Blessings to you and come back for the next post in this series as I continue to explore God’s purposes for marriage.
I hope that this has been helpful. I hope I have given you information that you can go back to when you need it. If you have any further questions or need help, please call me and set up an appointment or check out some of my other BLOG POSTS.
Want to read the rest of the blog series? START HERE
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 706-955-0230.
To schedule an appointment online, click the orange button at the top right part of this page.