Ephesians 5: 18-21 says:18And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
These verses sound like people living in utopia. For the growing Christian, it seems so inviting and encouraging. I think of a group of people just hanging out, laughing, eating, singing songs when they feel like it and discussing scripture with awe and wonder. If someone asks another for a refill he/she is happy to oblige him or her. It may even be that others race to fill the cup as fast as the request is made. They honor one another. It sounds like a group of people I would like to be around. Relaxing, focused, encouraging, challenging and joyful.
This old coke commercial sums up the exaggerated idea I am trying to explain.
Everyone is singing in harmony, drinking coke together on the same hill and having a seemingly great time. As I read the verse about submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ, it’s refreshing and encouraging. It is a new conviction, which I am challenged by. I am eager to do it. Not only that, but I am joyful to do it. These people are singing, serving, sharing, giving, loving and submitting…
But this hippie utopia comes to a screeching halt with the next verse. Though the theme of submission has not changed, the topic has become personal.
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
The first time I read these verses, my flesh growled and barked in rebellion before I could even finish reading the passage. In the little double space between verse 21 and 22, I became emotionally bi-polar, swinging from idealistic joy to practical anger.
If you are feeling this way, tune in. Submitting to your husband is not a “nice” thing to do from time to time. It is our demanded response to our husbands according to the word of God! In this series we are going to unpack the mandate of submission in marriage.
Submission isn’t a bad word. I would encourage you to ask God to prepare your heart and mind as we see what God wants to teach us about submission in the coming weeks.