Ephesians 5, being submissive to your husband

The homilist at our noon mass today says that Ephesians 5 is one scripture many priests hate to preach about, especially in this high-divorce society.  But to understand what it means, you need to place it in context…Before St. Paul tells wives to be submissive (other translations say subordinate) to their husbands, he says “Be subordinate to one anotherout of reverence for Christ.” The apostle exhorts married Christians to a strong mutual love. Holding with Gn 2:24 that marriage is a divine institution (Eph 5:31), Paul sees Christian marriage as taking on a new meaning symbolic of the intimate relationship of love between Christ and the church. The wife should serve her husband in the same spirit as that of the church’s service to Christ (Eph 5:22, 24), and the husband should care for his wife with the devotion of Christ to the church (Eph 5:2530). Paul gives to the Genesis passage its highest meaning in the light of the union of Christ and the church, of which Christlike loyalty and devotion in Christian marriage are a clear reflection (Eph 5:3133).

Fr. Mitch Pacwa gives a wonderful homily on this text at http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/resolve.asp?audiofile=th_10302012.mp3


4 thoughts on “Ephesians 5, being submissive to your husband

  1. Hello, i agree with all of this and understand.What if your Husband is a habitual liar, is roaming the Internet on dating, sex, sites and emailing other women. He has slept at motels in the past and claims he was alone. He kept a house and let it go into foreclosure while lying to me for years saying we were always moving and the house would be ready to be sold in 20 days. This went on for years. I have been to trusting and fell betrayed and nauseated by sin. I do not want sin in my life. Intimacy is ruined by adultery, by dating sites, lies and i feel horrible. Marie

  2. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the passage does not say “even though he may be a liar”. That said, I think you have to understand what submission means. It doesn’t mean that you must kowtow to him. I think you have to be humble, but you don’t have to let any lie go past you. Especially if that lie is harmful to you. Also, it’s a two way street. He must also take care of you as he would himself. Given what little I know, that’s the best I can give you. If you want more, let me know.

  3. This was actually the reading we had for my wedding. Not just for my husband and I, but we wanted the guests to hear it too. Marriage is a Sacrament and must be treated in a special way. And I think that, like it or not, the duties of a husband and wife are different in a successful marriage. Don’t even get me started on the scientific differences between men and women’s psyche…

    Anyway, I really like this passage. I’m glad to see there’s still people out there who are brave enough to speak it out loud in this society. 🙂

  4. Sometimes I don’t feel so brave, but then Jesus said that He would (paraphrasing) stand up for those who stand up for him.

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