Focal Passage: Ephesians 5:22-6:4
Submission is something of a dirty word in our culture, and yet it is meant to be one of the marks of the Christian life (Ephesians 5:21). The Apostle Paul called the Christians in ancient Ephesus to live like family by practicing a posture of mutual submission to one another.
To illustrate his point, Paul described the kind of submission that takes place in the husband and wife relationship (Ephesians 5:22-33) and in the parent and child relationship (Ephesians 6:1-4). But, what is submission?
Submission is a posture of deferential respect. It does not reflect a hierarchy of dignity and value, because all humans are made in the image of God with equal dignity and value.
Instead, the deferential respect that is demonstrated in our familial relationships is in accordance with each family member’s unique role within the family.
This is the kind of deferential respect that ought to mark the family of Christ because we are, in fact, a family.
Throughout Paul’s description of family life, he continually draws us back to the Good News of the gospel. The manner in which this deferential respect is demonstrated ought to display the story of the gospel for the world to see. Therefore, the kind of family that the scripture envisions the church to be is a people whose very relationships demonstrate grace, value and deference toward one another.