22 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the church: and He is the Saviour of the body."
I have often heard this message taught by a variety of Pastors and invariably, each one prefaces what they're about to teach with an admonition to wives as if to smooth things over ahead of time. I have always wondered why Pastors feel the need to forwarn wives in advance, when it is the Word of God and no other scripture requires such forwarding.
Perhaps if these seemingly controversial scriptures had been written in a different order, it would possibly negate the need for a soft pedal through them. However, God makes it perfectly clear that His order is perfect, so that being the case, it bears our acceptance as they are written.
I think it speaks to the truth about how God loves us before we love Him. 1John 4:19 "We love Him, because He first loved us." God doesn't wait for us to get our act together before He will love us, He loves us and hopes that we will in turn love Him. Sometimes we can be so unloveable that we wonder how He could love us first.
God describes the kind of love that He hopes wives will offer to their husbands, it's the kind of love that, 5 "does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." 1 Cor 13:5 ESV
God does not expect that marital love is one-sided, His Word speaks to husbands in the following manner: Ephesians 5: 25-28 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself."
The Apostle Paul asks husbands to lay down their lives in self-sacrificial love just as Christ laid down his life for the Church. In the same way, the Apostle asks wives to submit themselves to their husbands. When God made man in his image (Gen 1:27), He made a husband and wife yoked together as one flesh (Gen 2:24).
God has provided a perfect picture of His love for us and His perfect plan for husbands and wives to follow.
Ephesians 5:21, 32
21"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." 32 "This is a profound mystery..."