This means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
For a husband is the head of His wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of His body, the church.
As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. (Eph 5:22-24)
I am sure that for some of you women reading these words of Paul above is like a red rag to a bull. You may want to cancel your subscription to Bible Gems now. It's a good thing you didn't have to pay anything for it and need a refund then isn't it? Read for the moment Bible Gem 409 and 412 on the matter of headship. God has set in place the principle of headship. He, God, has determined there will be an order. The order is clearly that women were created as man's helpmate [neged]. The perfect complementation to him. Note that the submission is as to the Lord. I wonder why Paul wrote that. I think perhaps it is because the notion of submission is hard for all women. I think submission is hard for all human kind. Isn't that what sin is all about? It is the angst that rises within us all when I have to do something that goes against the grain. But in this case God is the one who is asking for the submission. And when the submission takes place in a loving, caring, mutually submitted environment then it is not a problem. And even if that is not the case, then accept it as a God promise to work it out. Just as Jesus promise to us if we yield our lives to Him, give up our lives we gain them again in fullness. Could it be that submission to His ways is releasing in the long term?
I know that I am of the wrong gender to be talking to women about submission. Because as soon as a man opens his mouth (or moves his fingers to type) about submission it can be rejected because it is coming from the "oppressor". Submission only works for the woman when the man is also submitted to Christ. Remember verses 9 and 10 in the first chapter of Ephesians. God's will is that all creation be rightly aligned with Christ. Taking their right place in the order of things in Him. It is easier for a woman to submit when she knows her husband is submitted to Christ. Men need to think about that for while. Is it appropriate for your wife to submit to you if you are not submitted to Christ? Realize the risk she is taking and the cost she is bearing if she does and you don't. You will make it easier for her to submit if you are submitted to the authority above you. No one on this earth is without accountability. Or ought to be.
One more thing I think I should say on this topic is that I don't hold unswervingly to the principle of submission for the wife if she is being abused by a husband who is unsubmitted and simply lording it over her. You were created for better than that. No one has a right to subject you to their will. It is is submission to Christ's will that works, not submission to a human will or desire. So often the abuse can come in all sorts of forms but where it is detrimental is when it is associated with manipulation as well. Manipulated by force, the worst kind, but also by emotions and tears and many other ways used to control another human being. Let's "call a spade a spade". I.e. call it out for what it is. Forced submission is called rape. The principle holds true no matter what the context.
You have to be strong and refuse to be manipulated and controlled by the human will. I know that brings up all sorts of issues and questions but it is true. Biblical submission is not to equated with human manipulation and control. Manipulation can also occur between the generations. Parents to children and children to parents. I don't need to spell out to you how children can try to manipulate parents. Most astute parents know. But have you stopped to think how parents manipulate children "to do their will". Many have come to me over the years to talk about this problem. One woman told me she was expecting her mother to come and stay for a while and all visits by her mother ended in disaster. Largely because her mother hadn't released her to be her own person. Even though the woman was in her thirties she was still being treated like an adult-child. That mother used tears to get her daughter to do what she wanted. The same is possible between husband and wife. When one method doesn’t work, the unsubmitted person tries another way. And who do I mean by the unsubmitted person? The mother or the husband who is abuse their role as "head". In that kind of situation one has to be bold and say "Mother I am not going to be manipulated by your tears. I am going to help you to grow up too." I realize the volatile nature of the words I have used there to the ears of an abuser. I have seen it in my alcoholic father toward my mother. But something has to be done to break the cycle.
All of us should be moving on a continuum from Dependence through Independence to Interdependence. Mutual submission can only happen at the level of Interdependence. The stages before it are stages of immaturity not maturity. Submission works for husband and wife when it is found in the interdependence stage. When all are rightly submitted. Remember yesterday that the middle voice of the verb hupotasso implies a willingness on the part of the submitter to submit. If that is not a reality then there is no submission. Submission turns into rebellion – open and active or couvert and passive: whichever it maybe it is still rebellion.
It is time for this MAN to stop talking to WOMEN about submission. I trust God will reveal to you His truth. Just as God seeks worship to be in Spirit and in truth. I believe He wants submission to be in Spirit and in truth too. Remember this concept of submission is tied closely to "be filled with the Spirit". Go ponder these things. Your turn tomorrow guys.
There are two ways to handle a woman, and nobody knows either of them! Rick Godwin
No man is truly married until he understands every word his wife is NOT saying. Rick Godwin
Blind submission in women is considered a virtue, while submission to wrong is itself wrong, and resistance to wrong is virtue alike in women as in man. Ernestine Rose