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Ephesians 5:22

This is something i wrote for my batterers group after one of the guys brought up that whole wives should be subject to their husbands thing.

 

Ephesians 5:22 “wives should be subject to their husbands” in context

 
Ephesians 5:21-33 (emphasis added)

 
Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church is subject to Christ, so should wives be to their husbands, in everything. Husbands should love their wives, just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy by washing her in cleansing water with a form of words, so that when he took the Church to himself she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless. In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself. A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because we are parts of his Body. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and the two become one flesh. This mystery has great significance, but I am applying it to Christ and the Church. To sum up: you also, each one of you, must love his wife as he loves himself; and let every wife respect her husband.

NJV

 

Some commentary:

 There is a saying, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” or too put it more bluntly “Drink deep from the well of knowledge or don’t drink at all”. Wives should be subject to their husbands is the most quoted thing out of the Bible I have ever heard but it is obvious from the context that is not at all what it means. Did you know in the Bible it says “there is no God”? Of course the whole context of the text is “The fool says in his heart that there is no God”. Taking that one verse out of context is the exact same thing. Paul clearly states he is talking about Christ and the Church using the traditional view of marriage as an analogy. He is explaining a religious mystery that I am not going to go into and is not talking about marriage at all. When he sums up he restates the commandment telling men to love their wives as themselves and merely telling women to respect (not obey, not subject themselves) to their husbands. This verse is so popular because it appears to say what we want it to say, what leads to our own benefit. In fact its meaning is just the opposite.

Categories: religeon
  1. MrJoe
    December 3, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    So what was the response from the group and this person?

    Also of note, the passage you quoted ends with, "you also, each one of you, must love his wife as he loves himself; and let every wife respect her husband." I find particularly poignant the phrase, "and; LET every wife respect her husband", the wife isn’t commanded to respect her husband here: the husbands behavior (to respect your body and self and treat your wife the same way) is commanded so that the wife WILL BE ABLE to respect her husband.

  2. Mike
    December 4, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    Nice comment Joe, I think you are right on. When i presented this to the group i wasn’t trying to spark a debate, which i think can be counterproductive in batterer work, as when you debate you tend to hold on to your own view all the more. Instead I opened with it, passed out the handout, made my point in an overwhelming way and then asked if anyone had any comments. No one did. I have to credit my buddy Harry with the There is no God thing in the Bible, although i suspect he stole it too. “Theres nothing new under the sun”.

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