Last year a dear friend of mine got married and I photographed the wedding as my gift to them. I published a photo book for them, and as I worked on the design, there was ample opportunity to add text in some places. Knowing my friend as well as I do, I decided to include the scripture selections that they used in their wedding Mass, which included Ephesians 5:22-24
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.I had the finished publication shipped to work and when it arrived I eagerly opened it and showed a couple co-workers how it turned out. Imagine my dismay when they exclaimed, "She let them use THAT VERSE at her wedding?! I made ____ sure that wasn't so much as uttered at MY wedding!" Then they bantered about how no way would they agree to submit to their husbands, to be head of household.
The more they agreed, the more I shook my head. I wanted to tell them how wrong they were, but I knew I didn't have the right words at the moment. I knew that they would just see me as the single woman who didn't really know anything about marriage. I knew my input would not be well-received in that moment.
But what I wanted to point out was... when you truly believe that your man strives to live for God ... that there is no way you would be afraid of what he might do with that power. In particular, I wanted to point out that in most translations the verse is, "Husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the Church." AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH! Christ died for the church!
It calls for wives to respect and honor their husbands, yes. But in the same breath, it calls husbands to be worthy of honor and respect.
Makes me wonder why so many people only hear the part that scares them. Is it that we only concern us with the part that makes demands of us? If that is so, then why are there so many men that only notice the part about submission - and not the part that calls them lead generously, to sacrifice themselves?
(actually some do... and that will be another post)
I have yet to meet the man who I could be confident would lead in this way. Therefore I am not married. Quite frankly, sometimes I wonder how everyone else's marriage is doing if they didn't expect and anticipate this arrangement going in. I mean, if you wouldn't trust your man to lead you - how could you be confident enough to marry him and keep your best interests at heart? That's scarier to me than submission.