It looks like the Christian church submitting to Christ.
Many people today see the word “submit” suggesting a relationship in which one person dominates the other. One person is seen to be in power, while the other is seen in a subservient role.
When the Bible directs people to submit, there is nothing degrading, demeaning or insulting about that instruction. Scripture tells Christians: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). Then, God says: “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 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. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24). The model of the Christian Church submitting to the leadership of Christ is the model for Christian women submitting to their husbands.
In addition, the relationship between Jesus and the Church provides the model for the way husbands are to treat their wives: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). Husbands are to have a sacrificial love for their wives. And so it is to a loving leader (Ephesians 5:23) that a Christian wife submits.
In an upcoming “Light for our path” column in Forward in Christ I will be explaining more about what a submissive wife in a Christian marriage looks like.