I like the old translation of Ephesians 5:22-24 better than the new one. What is the difference? Instead of “subordinate,” the old translation says “wives should be submissive to their husbands…”
Now before anyone starts readying an angry response to me, please read through what I am thinking, OK?
A few years ago I sent out a Christmas card I made that had the following in it:
Mass = Mission
Christ’s Mission: The Incarnation (John 3:16)
Let me expand that one more time:
What this is saying is that wives need to be “under the mission” of their husbands. What is the mission of the husband according to Paul? Two parts:
1. to die to himself for his wife as Christ died for the Church;
2. so that she can be holy and immaculate — truly beautiful before him and God.
Notice that both the wife and husband are called to give up themselves — in some senses — for the sake of the other. It is how wives and husbands become holy. To give up part of yourself and never take it back is a challenge that all Christians are called to accept. Wives and husbands are called to do that in a most visible way. A way that the world does not understand. Self-sacrifice is not something that comes to the front of our society’s collective consciousness. Yet married couples have the ability to witness to Christ — to both be submissive to Christ — through their marital giving of themselves to each other.
Is it any wonder that marriage is under such an attack? I know this is a hard reading for many. But the beauty of a life lived in submission to Christ is a wonder to behold. And when two people choose to do that together in marriage, all the world can do is stand back and “scratch its head” in amazement that Christ’s life can be lived out in today’s settings.