Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ephesians 5:21-27

21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. 24 Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, 27 so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind--yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish.

Questions to consider:
  • Why are we subject to one another?
  • What does it mean for the church to be subject to Christ?
  • What do verses 25 and 26 mean?
Possibilities for prayer:

This is one of those passages that can often be troublesome at first glance. Some women chafe against the idea of being "subject to" their husband...especially given the way this passage has been used culturally to establish a hierarchy of people's value, placing the value of men above the value of women. But if you take into consideration the cultural context of this passage, what the author says is actually rather revolutionary. At the time this letter was written, women were often considered little more than property within the household, and the author calls upon the husband to love the wife--and not just any kind of love, love as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. When looked at in this light, it seems important that we include verse 21 in this passage, because each partner is indeed being subject to the other. Take some time to prayerfully reflect upon this passage and receive the things that God wants to say to you about it.