Did you know that the church is a woman? Well, she is! As detailed in my guidebook, The Ultimate Guide to Eve, Jesus is referred to as “the bridegroom” many times in scripture (John 3:29; Mark 2:19-20). Marriage symbolism is also used in relation to Him on several occasions (John 14:1-3; Ephesians 5:25-27), including the analogy of the church as Christ’s “bride” (2nd Corinthians 11:2; Revelations 19:7-9).
Most people tend to think of church as simply being a building in which people worship God. Whilst this is true, the fact remains that the church is not just simply made up of bricks and mortar, but the people that comprise His network of believers (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1st Peter 2:4-5). As such, Ephesians 5 verse 22 says:
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything...."
Verse 32 of that same chapter then goes on to clarify:
"This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church."
One of the definitions of submission is to:
Accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person
Hence, in a nutshell, this is how I always heard submission taught growing up-
Men are "superior" to women/their wives because "woman came from man". As such, God made each man the "head of his household". Wives should therefore submit to their husbands (unquestioningly) because that is what men are entitled to and that's what a "good" or "godly" wife does.
That's all good and well in theory but what if the man is not subject to God and so is asking his wife to sin? What if the man is controlling, manipulative and/or abusive? What is the man is negligent of his responsibilities? What if the man stops the woman from walking in her God-given purpose? I saw many female relatives come under fierce attack for not submitting to their husbands, even under such circumstances. Yet the men were never held to the same standard or scrutiny. I know many others, women especially, that have had similar experiences and upbringings. It is because of these things that the mere mention of the word "submission" can be enough to:
- Make some women's blood boil (!)
- Make some women prefer to remain single
- Cause some women to see God as unjust, since His words seems to promote inequality
- Cause some women to believe that God doesn't love them or value women in general
Hence, the afore-mentioned scripture in Ephesians, shows us that the church has much to set the record straight on with regards to this controversial topic.