The Divine Pattern for Marriage
God makes provision for satisfying relations through the filling (control) of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)
1. When we’re continually filled with the Spirit and genuinely worshipping God, we submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21). Conflicts arise when people want their own way and fight for the top. Spirit-filled believers fight for the bottom (James 4:1; 1 Corinthians 16:16; Philippians 2:4-8; 1 Peter 2:13; 5:5; Hebrews 13:17).
2. Submission militarily speaking means to “rank beneath or under.” It is the attitude of wanting to please another, avoiding disputes, contentions, and divisions. Paul’s emphasis is mutual submission in Ephesians 5:21- 6:9. He uses the family to begin illustrating the whole God-idea of submission.
Wives are to submit to husbands (Ephesians 5:22, 1 Corinthians 7:3,4); but, a husband is to submit to his wife (Ephesians 5:25), not by giving up his responsibility of leadership, but by undergirding her in bearing her burdens, sacrificing his own desires to fulfil her needs (1 Corinthians 7:3). Children are to submit in obedience to parents (Ephesians 6:1-3); and parents are to submit to children by not provoking them to wrath, “bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Servants (employees) submit to masters (bosses) (Ephesians 6:5-9); but masters submit to servants by never doing wrong to them (Ephesians 6:9).
The principles of authority and mutual submission compared:
1. All believers are equal in the sight of God (Galatians 3:28). This does not exclude the idea of authority.
2. In the Godhead, Jesus in essence is equal with the Father (John 1:1, John 14:9, John 10:30). In function the Father is the head of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3; John 4:34).
3. Before God, husbands and wives are equal in spiritual quality and in essence they are equal. The man has the responsibility of leadership in marriage, taking the brunt of difficult circumstances. The wife’s tenderness and gentleness are to support and balance the husband’s strength.