Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as [a service] to the Lord.
EPHESIANS 5:22 AMP
It is good to observe the note on this verse, according to the Amplified version (check the attached image). A woman is neither inferior to men in general nor to her husband. She should not be subject to men in general but to her own husband as a service to the Lord.
Now, submission is not something to be taken advantage of by the husband so that he sees his wife as his inferior and slave and treats her thus. No. She is not inferior to him neither is she his slave. Submission means honouring, respecting and deferring to her husband even though she knows she is equal to him. And this she does as a service to the Lord, who has so structured the family such that the husband is the head (the leader) of the wife, albeit they are both equal in His sight.
Thus, a Christian woman who wants to always please her Lord seeks God’s help to submit to her husband even when it is not convenient. She will not always feel like it, but her love for her Master is her spur.
Is submission a reason for a woman to sin against her Lord? No. A service unto the Lord should be pure and holy (Romans 12:1-2). Therefore, if a husband expects his wife to submit to him by corroborating his sinful intention at one point or the other, her submission to Christ supersedes. She will submit to Christ and not fulfill the evil desire(s) of her husband. She will have to honourably make it clear to him that her loyalty to Christ is first and supreme, thus she will not wrongly submit to him and violate her fellowship with her Lord by compromising her Christian ethics.
Someone might want to give the example of Sarah’s agreeing to cover Abraham’s half truth (half lie) before Pharaoh and Abimelech as a reason for a woman to submit to her husband even when he is pushing her to sin against God. You get it wrong. Abraham and Sarah were wrong on these two occasions and we shouldn’t emulate those actions of theirs at all. Yes God fought for them and didn’t allow the two monarchs to touch Sarah. But it still doesn’t make what they did right.
Remember Sapphira. She also agreed with her husband to lie, only this time to the Holy Spirit, and she got destroyed with her husband. Also recall how Sarah stood fiercely and demanded that Abraham sent Hagar and her son away from her son, Isaac. What does that tell you? To me, it means that submission does not mean a wife’s voice is lost in her husband’s, it doesn’t mean she is voiceless neither does it mean she doesn’t have a say in the affairs of her marriage.
To reiterate, submission is honouring and deferring to the authority of a person even if he/she is your equal. It is also yielding to someone who is not an authority in your life and letting them win as seen in Ephesians 5:21. We all have had class reps and governors in school. They were in the same class with us and we were equals, yet we respected them and yielded to them without losing our own unique and individual voices.
©2018, Ayobami Temitope Kehinde