“Wives, submit to your husbands…” Ephesians 5:22
This is one of the most misrepresented and distorted scriptures in the Bible. Often, men use a verse like this that instructs them to take authority over their household as a misguided instruction to become a ruthless dictator. Our culture praises a macho “tough guy” and insults meekness as weakness.
Well, listen up fellas—only God can give authority. God has given men a unique role as leaders of our homes and families. A man can only have authority to rule over his domestic kingdom if, and only if, he is operating under his own submission to the Will of God.
Most of the time, the reciprocated scripture that follows is foolishly overlooked…
v.25 – “…Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”
If a man operating under his own authority, he has no authority at all. His love for his wife should mimic Christ’s love for the church—a Holy, sacrificial, pure, unconditional love.
So lets break this stigma. Here are some helpful “myths about male authority” from Charisma Mag:
Myth #1: Male authority means male dominance. Men must understand that mature masculinity in Scripture has to do with our strength to serve and sacrifice for the good of the woman. Luke 22:26 gives the general servant-leadership paradigm: “’But among you, those who are the greatest should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant’” (NLT). Ephesians 5:25 gives the home version of it: “And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church.”
Myth #2: Exercising strength leads to abuse. The strength that is shaped to provide and protect will not turn to hinder and hurt. They are two different mentalities. Just like muscle does not turn to fat (though sometimes it appears like that), they are two different types of body tissues. When we don’t exercise strength in the right way, we will lapse into throwing our weight around in the wrong way. “If you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face” (Rom. 12:8, The Message).
Myth #7: If men lead in the home, then they will be free to boss women around in all society. Actually, male servant-leadership is not about “bossing” anyone around anywhere. The servant-leadership that a man is given in the home does not extend beyond it into society. So male responsibility for leadership in the Christian home (see Eph. 5:23) cannot be projected into business or government or any other societal institution.
Myth #8: Authority is about making declarations, not taking personal responsibility to see them through to a beneficial end. Wrong! Men have a terrible reputation for being opinionated without being responsible.
If you find yourself in a situation that seems more like you’re living under the rule of Stalin, rather than the rule of Jesus—it might be time to take a second look. Relationships are two way streets that should work to empower the people in it and the One who made it possible.