Before the last emperor to rule over both the Eastern and the Western halves of the Roman Empire, Ephesus was one of the most lively, free and gracious places to live in. It was a place where both men and women lived with equal rights and opportunities. However, the rule of various conquerors and emperors saw Ephesus gradually transition away from their norm, inculcating the belief and cultural systems of oppressors. Of which the cultural belief system of the Roman Empire had the greatest effect.

In the cultural system of the Roman Empire, hierarchy was a revered system which transcended into their home settings. Where the husband was not just the head but the ruler, just like any emperor. In fact, men in general were superior to women.

Christianity was introduced in Ephesus at about the same time as the Roman Empire had taken over as rulers. It was during the time of Emperor Theodosius. The citizens had little to no choice than to live according to Roman culture and belief systems. This was also due to the fact that Romans had invaded Ephesus and was living with and among the Ephesians. Hence Christians at the time were subject to live according to Roman culture.

Now, as we have already established, men were superior to women in the Roman culture and it transcended into the homes. To keep the peace, there was no way Paul was going to tell them to live in absolute contrast to the culture of their rulers.

But as radical as Paul was, he rather took to challenging the men to live in a way that was not normal to them. Making sure to keep the culture intact. Paul being gifted with the divine wisdom of God, spoke to the Ephesians, who were now used to the Roman way of living to project Christ in their lifestyle. This is evident in all the chapters of Ephesians.

In the whole book of Ephesians, we note that Paul kept admonishing Ephesian Christians (and by extension all of us) who are men, women, children to live godly lives in EVERYTHING including in their various vocations as pastors, prophets, teachers, doctors, lawyers, slaves, husbands, wives, etc.

Ephesians 4:1
I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you therefore to lead a life worthy of the vocation to which you were called.

And yes, to be a husband and/or wife is a vocation or calling to the institution of marriage. This call, just like any other call of ministry is a call made by God.
As much as every vocation has a certain lifestyle that goes with it, so does the vocation of a married couple. (Husband and/or wife).
Thus the need for the outline of responsibilities and roles that married couples must live by.

The role of husband and wife is not to be seen as one of traditional gender roles. It is to be seen as institutional roles similar to that of the roles of leaders and followers in any kind of institution.
For example: the role of a school prefect is not subject to traditional gender roles.

Hence, no woman owes no man who is not her husband any wife roles such as submission and no man owes no woman who is not his wife any husband roles such as protector and provider.

What we do for one another as men and women should not be done as will be done in the confines of marriage but solely on the basis of general love and respect for humanity. Love your neighbour. Also be subject to one another. Because guess what? Whether you're a man or woman, you're going to have to submit to another man or woman once they're in a position of authority. And so don't see yourself as higher than another.

In the book of Ephesians Paul after he has encouraged Christians to show love and be subject to one another, narrows it down to the home. Where to each member of the family gives roles solely intended for the situation they find themselves in.
He begins with 'wives submit to your husbands as unto the lord'
NB: wives not women.

To understand the concept of submission better we must take into consideration etymology and context. The context of which has been introduced in the first paragraphs. So let's look at etymology.
Ephesians was originally written in Greek. The word submission in Greek is υποτάσσομαι (hupotassomai). Comes from two words: τασσο (tasso) a verb, with the prefix υπο (hupo)

Tasso meaning to appoint, to ordain, to station on one's own responsibility or authority.
Hupo meaning under
Hence hupotassomai means to appoint, to ordain or to station on one's own responsibility and authority under another.
Another translation says to abide, to surrender or to knuckle under.

Taking the above into consideration, Paul is saying wives, I know you have authority, (because yeah, when Jesus gave the authority to trample on snakes and powers of darkness, it wasn't given to men only) and the responsibility over yourself (as any normal human being) but as your husband has been appointed as the presiding head (because Christ is the original head) of this institution you have answered yes to, surrender yourself to him on your own accord.

He goes on to say 'husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church' (wish I was holding a mic and preaching right now😂)
This was a very difficult thing to do for the average man in Ephesus, owing to the Roman culture.
He did not stop there. Paul went on to explain what it means to love like Christ loves the church ie: to treat her as you would yourself, feed, cloth, protect, provide, die for her!

This is a very big responsibility for anyone!
Hear me! The call to submission is not one of stupidity, neither is the call to love. For God is of wisdom.

A husband cannot fully perform his role as outlined if the wife will not allow him. Therefore wives must allow their husbands be husbands by first being wives. So must husbands allow wives to be wives by first being husbands.

We must understand that one cannot receive love without surrendering to the giver. That is why Jesus urges us to surrender all our cares unto him. In order that we may receive all he has in store for us. And so when Paul says "so also wives surrender to your husbands as unto Christ", he is talking from the above view point. Knowing that husbands have been called to love their wives as Christ loves the church. (Therefore if you're not loving her like Christ, she cannot submit to you like unto Christ).

Having opened up my heart and mind to learn better the concept of submission according to the mind of God.
I have found out that the confusion and protest against submission is as a result of the evil ways of men. Who from time immemorial have completely taken advantage of what God intended for good. This is largely due to unresolved feelings of frustration and hurt that go way back to the beginning of time. Some men are still hurt over the mistake of Adam and Eve, still holding on to resentment towards Eve and by extension all daughters of Eve.

In effect, they take out their anger and frustrations on women. Especially women they're joined to who have now on their own accord submitted themselves unto them, for the protection that comes from love.
We must note that, as Christians, we're called to love one another as we love ourselves. We cannot love while we're still hurt because hurt people hurt people (read that again, slowly).

Which brings me to the topic of stupidity. (We all know what it truly means)
Women need to realize that the power and will to submit lies in their hands. It is a call they have the choice to answer no to. Before you answer yes to submit to any man (I mean before you say "I do") make sure he is worthy of that. That he emulates Christ in his daily life as is expected of every Christian. That he is a true believer who is healed, restored and continuously seeks the wisdom of God in his everyday decisions.
Such a man will love you as he loves himself. Such a man is the one you're called to submit to.

Wives are called to submit to husbands who are continuously living like Christ, not one who is continuously living on his own wisdom. Any man who believes that men are better than women and women have no place is not of God. Because stupidity is not of God.

I urge women who are Christians and yearn to live godly lives according to the word of God, not our own wisdom, which is mostly of his world to submit to love and wisdom not stupidity and self righteousness.

See you next week, don't forget to always look on the bright side😉