"Wherefore be not unwise, but understanding...be not drunk; but be filled ... Speaking to yourselves... singing ... Giving thanks always ... submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church" and he is the Savior (Preserver) of the body (the church). Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing" (Eph. 5:17-33). Read the whole text.
Here we have a parallel of the relationship of husband and wife with that of Christ and His church. We dare not read any statement in this passage out of its context. We can take nothing for granted.
The husband is the head of the wife. Christ is the Head of the church. We have these two statements. They are very strange in the world of today. For when we look about us we seldom find such a relationship between husband and wife and less often do we find the other. In fact, there is no church visible today on the earth which owns Christ as Head. And note that the Word says, THE Church, not a church.
If this relationship of husband and wife had been compared to that of some church on earth with its Pope or head of some kind, we might more easily comprehend it. But this passage is speaking of the one body, the one church. You don't find it listed in your telephone directory.
Now if we can imagine the ideal relationship between husband and wife as set forth in the Word, then we can begin to grasp the relationship of Christ and His church. Wives owe submission to their husbands, but as the church is subject to its Head, even Christ. Now take your paper and pencil and jot down items in which the wife should be subject to her husband using these verses as the guidelines. How big is your list? Can you get it started? No, you are not going to get it started for the simple reason that there is an understanding between husband and wife that cannot be put into words as easily as that.
The ideal wife is a helpmeet (Gen. 2:18). But it is two words, not one and means a counterpart. She is his shadow, moving when he does. She is his echo, speaking what he speaks. She is his comfort, softening the hard way of eating by the sweat of the brow. They are one. He loves her as himself. He is her preserver or protector.
The true wife loves her husband for what he is and does not try to make him over. His work is her work and she helps all she can, not hindering in any way. She will willingly follow him even to some oasis in the desert and make him a home. He will leave all his kinfolk and home for her. Their relationship is as close as if there were none other people in the world. All these things are in the terms, submit, subject, love, nourish, one flesh, and the like. Now in light of all this, what does the headship of Christ mean?