Recently Mary Ann expressed concern about the idea of servant wives. I’d like to suggest we should be servant wives for our husbands, but also that our husbands be servant husbands for their wives.
Now I admit my view of marriage is closely influenced by the biblical view of marriage. It is one that often causes controversy because it says ‘wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord,’ Ephesians 5:22. The word ‘submit’ just about causes an apoplexy in some people.
‘Submit? Me? You’re joking? What about my rights?” These are the types of comments it inspires.
And yes, there are those who focus on this part and ignore the rest of what the passage says. Having a daughter who has been in Africa for a time the attitude of not all, but many is that wives are treated like a piece of property and are expected to be a servant to the man to use in whatever way he pleases.
This is not at all what the bible is talking about for those who behave in this way have conveniently ignored the rest of that passage which says, ‘husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,’ Ephesians 5:25. So what kind of love is this?
It is a sacrificial love that puts his wife’s needs first, above his own. It is the one who would do anything, whatever the cost, for the one he loves.
In another place 1 Peter 3:7, husbands are urged to ‘be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect.’ Wives are also told to ‘respect’ their husbands. You might think this is a radical view of marriage. What happens when a marriage is built on these principles?
It works beautifully because it is based on a pattern of mutual service, love and respect where each person is putting the other person first in their thoughts and plans, aiming to please them. If each one is looking out for the other person and seeking to love, honor and please them, how can the marriage help but survive and grow strong?
It is the pattern Mick and I have followed and since we’ve had over 40 happy years of marriage, we’d have to say that those principles for marriage work when put into practice. (I just had a little chuckle as I checked over this blog. A typo initially had us married 400 years. Glad I picked that up. Wouldn’t want you thinking we were that ancient!)
Of course I’m always happy to hear other people’s thoughts about what works and makes for a happy lasting marriage.
Bible verses are from the New International Version