I’ve been reading Jeffrey Hemmer’s book “Man Up! The quest for masculinity” Concordia Publishing House 2017 p 191.
Before you pooh-pooh and dismiss, consider what is really being said. The culture loves to talk love, love. But what does that really mean? This is a discussion when I do pre-marital counseling. Regarding Ephesians 5:24 – 26. “Now as the church submits to Christ so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ya, I know, blah-blah, horror of horrors. The culture is absolutely appalled, anyway. In this we are talking the deepest of love. Does Jesus abuse the church in anyway in submission. If the church wants to leave, so be it, but the church condemns itself. But if we are saved because of what Jesus did, that He suffered and gave His life as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, shouldn’t we honor Jesus for what He has done and submit to Him, knowing that it is for our best interests that He died.
So for the husband, in order to expect to be followed, as any good leader should do, the husband acts in the best interests of his wife, of their family. That means up to suffering and even sacrificing his life. If he fails in that he certainly can’t expect to be followed as we certainly follow Jesus.
Hemmer quotes John Chrysostom, his nickname was “golden mouthed”, he is considered if not the best, among the best preacher in the Christian church:
“Thou hast seen the measure of obedience, hear also the measure of love. Wouldest thou have thy wife obedient unto thee, as the Church is to Christ? Taken then thyself the same provident care for her, as Christ takes for the Church. Yea, even if it shall be needful for thee to give thy life for her, yea, and to be cut into pieces ten thousand times, yea, and to endure and undergo any suffering whatever, – refuse it not. Although thou shouldest undergo all this, yet wilt thou not, no, not even then, have done anything like Christ. For thou indeed art doing it for one to whom thou art already knit; but He for one who turned her back on Him and hated Him. In the same way then as He laid at His feet her who turned her back on Him, who hated, and spurned and disdained Him, not by menaces, nor by violence, nor by terror, nor by anything else of the kind, but by his unwearied affection; so also do thou behave thyself toward thy wife. Yea, though thou see her looking down upon thee, and disdaining, and scorning thee, yet by thy great thoughtfulness for her, by affection, by kindness, thou will be able to lay her at thy feet”
This all means that husband and wife are always to put the others needs first. Does that happen all the time? A lot of times? Many times? No, both sides, then we wonder why the marriage breaks down. Husbands you have to step up and really “Man up”. Wives, wouldn’t you honor that when you see your husband goes to the ultimate lengths to serve you as Christ served the church?