Submit to each other out of reverence for Christ!
That is the general imperative introducing Paul’s specific command to husbands who are to submit to their wives by loving them as Christ loved the church. Then Paul commands wives to submit to their husbands by respecting them. Their model is the submission of the church to Christ.
The way a husband loves his wife is likely to change over time. In fact, the way is likely to change several times over a lifetime. It would be great if a man could find a wife whom he finds easy to please and he could do the same thing for the entire length of a 75 year marriage without ever causing her to feel unloved.
The way a wife respects her husband is likely to change over time. In fact, the way is likely to change several times over a lifetime. It would be great if a woman could find a husband whom she finds easy to respect and she could do the same thing for a the entire length of a 75 year marriage without ever causing him to feel disrespected.
But, truth be told, that’s good. Mark Regnerus wrote in “The Case for Early Marriage” inChristianity Today (Aug 2009):
“While it may be nice to find an optimal match in marriage, it cannot hold a candle to sharing a mental and spiritual commitment to the enduring covenant between God, man, and woman. It just can’t. People change. Chemistry wanes. Covenants don’t.”
We think those are great lines and they teach a wonderful truth. As we submit to each other throughout the years, giving each other what we need as husbands and wives, we will have to alter our plans, change our methods, and adjust our course occasionally. But one thing we must never do. Never quit submitting. Covenants don’t change.