The following verse is so often taken out of context, specifically, the first sentence. In our modern society, everyone has their own sense of entitlement and an “I can do it myself” attitude. Therefore, the word ‘submit’ makes them feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. However, the Lord calls wives to submit themselves to their husbands and calls for husbands to submit to Him. That is why this whole passage is important, not only the first sentence. God calls husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church.
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5: 22-33
So what exactly does a love like Jesus’ look like?
Jesus was kind.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13: 34-35
Jesus was humble.
“But emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:7
Jesus was forgiving.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
Jesus was patient.
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
Jesus was prayerful.
“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” Luke 6:12
These are traits that husbands should strive to obtain as they lead their families to Christ. Both, the wife and husband are called to serve the Lord as well as each other. God created the foundation of marriage in His perfect design. God is not calling husbands to have total dominance and control over their wives, as often perceived. But rather, calling husbands to submit themselves to the Lord and live a life reflecting of His love. To which, wives should follow and respect, also reflecting God’s perfect love.