I’ve gone over this before in some old posts, but I haven’t pointed out the correct Biblical perspective that can be enlightening to most Christians. One of the onuses for this is the commentary on this post.
If you notice, the Biblical marital roles and responsibilities for husbands and wives are different. The husbands have different commands than the wives have. What most also don’t notice is that the husband and wife marital perspectives are different too.
The Biblical marital relationship is one of headship-submission and love-respect. The husband’s are called to a horizontal relationship while the wife is called to a vertical relationship. Put together, this shows the powerful imagery of the cross.
This is consistent throughout the Scripture in any headship or authority relationship.
Those under authority are always told to submit and respect. Those in authority are always told to love and treat those under them well and/or with honor. This includes masters and slaves and also Christ-Christians and also God-Jesus when He was here on earth. You can see that Paul always call himself a slave/bond-servant for Christ in his letters to the Churches.
Indeed, the Biblical perspective is that:
- The husband should treat his wife as an equal. Ephesians 5 states that a husband should treat his wife “as his own body” 3 different times. 1 Peter 3 states that husbands should treat their wives in an understanding way as the weaker vessel and to honor them as a co-heir in Christ.
- The wife should treat her husband as her head. Submission and respect are the responsibilities in Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, Titus 2, and 1 Peter 3.
Complementarians get this twisted.
They claim that a husband cannot tell his wife that she should submit, when in fact Jesus lays down a “if you love me” statement to Christians. A husband is to help sanctify his wife in Ephesians 5 which means helping her submit and obey.
John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
Jesus qualifies this in that through submission and obedience to Him, He does not call us slaves (inferior position) but friends (equal position).
John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
It’s easy to get blinded by feminist equality.
The correct Biblical marital perspective is that husbands as the head should consider wives as equal, but wives should consider husbands with submission and respect. This gives us an important conclusion.
Wives trying to treat their husbands as equal is disobedient to the Scriptures just as husbands treating their wives as servants.