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subject to one another

10-10-2011 - Posted by Andre Piet


… being subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Ephesians 5:21

In a study, based on Ephesians 5, I explained what it means that the husband is the head of his wife and that the wife is to be subject to her husband. Later on, I received the comment that not only the wife is to be subject to her husband, but that this is true in the reverse, as well. After all, we were to be subject to each other, according to Ephesians 5:21. A strange conclusion! For it would mean that parents also should be subject to their children–employers to employees, and Christ to the ecclesia. Etc. An absurd idea, indeed, I think. For Paul points in Ephesians 5 and 6, regarding subjection, always in one direction. That is logical. What, otherwise, is the meaning of subjection if it is to be practiced mutually? The concept obtains its true meaning from authority relationships. The one stands above another. Note: no one is more than the other. For it has nothing to do with value or worthiness. A teacher stands over his pupils, but obviously is not more human than they are. Headship indicates organic leadership, as my head directs my body. My head is not the boss and certainly not a dictator over my body. My head steers the body. The term “head” in the Bible is synonymous with ‘first’. The first day of the week in Hebrew: Yom Rishon – is the “head-day’. The head is always first – think of normal childbirth. The body follows the head, naturally. Before Paul makes a few comments about the relationship between men and women, the ecclesia and Christ, children and parents, slaves and masters, he begins with Ephesians 5:21. One is to be subject to the other, that is, in accord with the place in which one has been placed. ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema