Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
I used to think that being submissive or subordinate meant that you didn’t have a say in anything, that, in essence, you lost your voice. No wonder, then, that Ephesians 5 gets such a bad reputation and is so highly quoted out of context. This notion of submission meaning your voice gets lost or silenced has become so prevalent in the world today.
When I was in high school I heard Ephesians 5 quoted out of context more times than I can count. But once I read it in its context, I knew that was the reading I wanted for my wedding. There was another top contender, but in the end we had Ephesians 5 read at our wedding. What I came to understand in my time dating and being engaged to Anthony was that submission has nothing to do with being silenced or losing your voice. It took the love of Anthony and one of those “ah-ha” bible moments to realize the truth about submission.
When Christ was preparing to suffer, He withdrew to the Garden of Gethsemane. Knowing what was to come, Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Jesus let His desire be known to the Father, but submitted to the will of the Father anyway. Jesus, in His agony in the garden, makes His voice, His prayer, heard. He doesn’t go in silence, He isn’t some mindless fool following the will of God.
So it is in relationships (rightly ordered ones anyway). I submit to Anthony, but not in a way that is enslaving. I submit to him because I am able to voice my concerns, thoughts, desires, hopes, dreams, and wishes to him, trusting that he takes them to the Father to lead our relationship and our future family. Submitting to someone else – Anthony or God – isn’t always easy, but it does remind me that I’m not in charge, and at the end of the day, I don’t want to be. I’d rather have the God of the Universe, the God who loves and wills me into existence in charge anyway. Submitting to Him doesn’t mean I lose my voice, it means I love and trust Him enough to bring everything I am to Him, lay it at His feet, and follow Him wherever He may lead me.