1. Pay attention and follow the right instructions!
Men, the very first word in Ephesians 5:22 is "Wives". That means that those three sentences on submission are for the wives to read and follow. It has nothing to do with you. In fact, you should go ahead and write in your bible after that first word in verse 22 "(Husbands, skip to verse 25 of this chapter.)" The instructions for husbands starts in verse 25, and God makes it obvious by starting that paragraph with "Husbands."
2. Stop trying to make your wives submit!
No where in Ephesians 5:22-33 do you find the phrase, "Husbands, demand, enforce, and expect submission from your wives." If you can find that phrase ANYWHERE in the bible, let me know, and I will mail you a dollar. I'll save you the trouble. That phrase is NO WHERE in the bible. Stop looking for it.
3. Love your wives as Christ loved the church.
Jesus Christ gave up His life for His church. He not only died for it, Jesus also lived for it. Everything He did built God's kingdom on earth. Of course, we are all willing to take a bullet for our wives, but are we willing to live for our wives? Would you be willing to turn off that sports game, turn to your wife, and
4. Love your wife as you love yourself.
You'll defend your own honor, enjoy your own hobbies, make yourself happy and feel good. Do that for your wife, too. Be the man she wants and needs you to be. Don't just let her run off with her friends for girls night out. Make yourself interesting to her on her level. You want your wife to understand you? Start by understanding her first. Yes, a relationship goes both ways, but you want to be the "head" of the marriage, so you must also be willing to make the first step.
5. She is your partner, a gift from God, not an employee.
Verse 31 reminds us of what God said in Genesis 2:23-25. A husband and wife are not meant to be man versus woman. There is not supposed to be a Battle of the Sexes. Instead, the two will become ONE FLESH, one body, one team. You and your wife are on the same team, and she should never be considered your enemy in anything.
I want to close with a reminder of a phrase we often use but rarely think about. We often refer to our wives as our "other half", smart men use the phrase "better half". Remove that half through divorce, neglect, or animosity and you are no longer the "whole" that God intended you to be. So, in a nutshell, men, love your wives and stop trying to make them submit to you. That is after all what God has instructed us men to do.
P.S. (added in 2013)
There is also the verse that precedes all these in Ephesians 5:21, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Jesus Christ." The first to submit should be the husband's selfish desires to the needs of his wife and family.
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