Article of Faith: Why wives must submit to their husbands (2), By Femi Aribisala


Reading Time: 8 mins read

Marriage has a heavenly template and an earthly duplicate.

There has been a longstanding marriage in the godhead from eternity past. That marriage is between God the Father and Jesus the Son. God is two persons united in their love.

This divine

relationship provides the blueprint for the human family.



on earth must be

a sacred reflection of the family of God

in heaven



ts identity, life


and power


come from

the heavenly pattern

Paul says: “I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” (Ephesians 3:14-15).

This means the relationship between God and Jesus is the Christian model for marriage. It gives us the exemplary insight of how husbands and wives should relate to one another. 

Heavenly duplicate

In effect, marriage has a heavenly template and an earthly duplicate. The purpose of God is to duplicate heavenly things on earth. So doing, the things on earth: “serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For (God) said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” (Hebrews 8:5).

Jesus says we should pray to God: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10). This is further confirmation that the will of God is to establish the heavenly pattern of marriage on earth.

Love imperative

God is love. For God’s love to be functional, it must have an object. Therefore, because God is love, God must be more than one person. Because God is love, God must have someone to love. The person that God loves from eternity to eternity is Jesus.

Jesus confirms this. He says to God the Father: “You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:4).

Jesus also tells His disciples: “The Father loves the Son.” (John 5:20). 

As the Father loves the Son, so must the husband love his wife. This love must be fully expressed publicly. Jesus says: “The world must learn that I love the Father.” (John 14:31). Similarly, the love of the husband and the wife must not be hidden but openly displayed.

Creation of marriage

The new practice in the Western world, where men marry men and women marry women is devilish and ungodly. In the beginning it was not so. God, not man, created marriage. Therefore, God owns the copyright.

This means marriage cannot be subject to earthly redesign. The marriage that is of God is between a man and a woman, and not between a man and a man, or a woman and a woman.

Marriage’s heavenly design is founded in oneness. The mystery of marriage is that two become one. That is the divine character of God. The Bible records that: “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1).

Similarly, in the beginning of creation was Adam, and Adam was with Eve, and Adam was Eve.

Jesus says: “I and My Father are One.” (John 10:30). Husband and wife must also become one, according to the heavenly template of marriage: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24).

Unity of faith

Jesus prays that the union between Him and God the Father should also be duplicated in the Church of God and in the Christian marriage. He says to God:

“I pray that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in us. That they may be one just as We are One: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:20-26).


concept of oneness is a spiritual version of physical sexual intercourse

that takes place in marriage


Jesus says


“I am in the Father, and the Father is in me.” (John 14:11).

This is the same way that Eve was in Adam and Adam was in Eve. It is the most profound expression of intimacy possible

, and it results in the birth of a child that has the combined attributes of both the father and the mother. The child represents the physical manifestation of the union between the husband and the wife.

Offspring of righteousness

The birth of a child from the marriage of the husband and the wife is also present in the marriage of the believer to Christ.

Jesus says to


is disciples: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).

This presents the branch (


believer) as married to the vine (Christ). As a result of


marriage and sexual congress, the branch bear



. In other words, the branch gives birth to a child



is child or

offspring is


Accordingly, Paul prays that believers may be: “

filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:10-11).

Jesus says furthermore: “He who eats


y flesh and drinks


y blood abides in


e, and I in him.” (John 6:56).

If we

eat His flesh and drink His blood, w



married to



We become “the body of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:27).

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For

the two,

He says,

shall become one flesh.

’ B

ut he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

(1 Corinthians 6:15-17).

James presents the antithesis of


Christ-centered marriage

in the marriage most people contract unknowingly with the devil by living in disobedience to God


“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15).



Christ-less marriage

of disobedience with the devil

, the offspring is sin. When the child called sin grows up, it kills its parents

: “For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23).

Joint heirs

Jesus says to God: “All I have is Yours, and all You have is mine.” (John 17:10). This is the same between believers and God. We are: “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:17). Paul tells us: “All are yours. And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” (1 Corinthians 3:22-23).

Therefore, there can be no private property between husband and wife. No more should one say: “My salary is mine, but your salary is ours.” But even more fundamentally, all that the believer has now belongs to Christ. Jesus says: “Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:33).

Husband’s authority

In the heavenly marriage, God is the husband of Jesus the Son. As the eternal partner of God, the Father, Jesus is subordinate to God. Indeed,

God calls Jesus His servant: “Here is My servant, whom I uphold,

My chosen one in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him and He will bring justice to the nations.” (Isaiah 42:3).

We can confirm that this is referring to Jesus because it is repeated and addressed to Him in Matthew 12:18.

Jesus does not contest His subordinate position to God. He acknowledges it, saying: “My Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28). Paul also affirms this: “The head of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3).

Wives’ submission

Similarly, the husband is the head of the wife.

Paul says:

“I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man.” (1 Corinthians 11:3-4).

This subordinate position of the woman does not come from Paul. It comes from God. God passed a sentence on the woman (Eve) for being deceived by the devil to eat the forbidden fruit, and for also giving it to her husband (Adam) to eat:

“Then (God) said to the woman, ‘I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.’” (Genesis 3:16).

Indeed, wives often seek to control their husbands, but the will of God is that it is the wife that must be subject to her husband.

This provides the foundation for Paul’s insistence that a woman must not be in authority over a man in church:

“Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless, she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.” (1 Timothy 2:11-15).

Although God’s sentence says the woman will give birth to children in pain and sorrow, the reprieve here is that she will not die in childbearing.

It is also according to God’s verdict in Genesis that Paul says: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:22-24).

However, husbands should not get carried away by this injunction. In the first place, the husband is subject to Christ, so he takes all his directives from Christ. Moreover, according to Jesus, the Christian head must be a servant of those over whom he has authority:

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28).;








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