Ephesians 5:22-33 22Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord… 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her… 

I never liked the end of Ephesians 5. Verses 22-24 always confused me because it sounded like a sentiment that promotes blatant machismo. The idea that “wives should submit to their husbands in everything” bothered me, especially because of who Jesus was. 

Wasn’t this the same Jesus who protected a woman who had been accused of adultery and was about to be stoned? Wasn’t this the same Jesus who spoke to a Samaritan woman at a well and told her that she could be saved?

Jesus promotes the equality of all people in God’s eyes, so how could this line in the Bible tell women to submit to their husbands once they are married? It just didn’t make sense to me.

The problem was that I didn’t read on. This passage is not granting dictator-like powers to husbands. Instead, it is actually doing the opposite. It is holding them responsible to love like Jesus did. Verse 25 reads, “Husbands, love your wives, just as also Christ loved and gave Himself for her [His church]…”

Jesus died for His church. He died for us all because He put our lives before His own. This love is what allows Him to sit at the right hand of the Father.

So men, husbands, want to lead your wife and your family? Lead like Jesus did by sacrificing your needs and putting your wife and family before yourself. That is the only way men can be the head of their households – by putting themselves second.

Dear God, help me to learn that leading means putting myself second to others like Jesus did. Help me to sacrifice my wants and needs for the needs of my friends, family and all others.

Joe Brown