Wives submit and husbands love. Many husbands know the first biblical command, but have forgotten the second.

Ephesians 5:22-33 tells us how we should treat our spouse. “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 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. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

What is the wife’s submissive role? First, it is a position the wife willingly chooses to assume; the husband is not biblically authorized to put his wife in subjection. Secondly, it is a duty the wife owes because Jesus deserves it, even if her husband does not. Thirdly, the word “obey” is used in Ephesians 6:1 for children but, “obey” is not used of wives.

The reason for the submission of the wife is that God has set the husband as the “head,” the “leader” of the family. This has nothing to do with the worth of a woman, but rather the role of husband and wife as established by God.

All Christians are to “submit” to each other. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). Submission is not a negative concept.

The role of husband is not a dictatorial role; but it is a leadership role. His role is lover: “love your wife.” This love is explained by how Jesus loved the Church. Jesus was willing to leave Heaven and be born as a baby, and He was willing to be killed on a cross so we could have our sins forgiven. This is how Jesus showed us His love. Thus, a husband is to be willing to sacrifice everything in order to show love to his wife.