Simon Peter’s wife, my wife, your wife, if you are a man of God following the will of God, your wife submits willingly to you, if she also knows Jesus Christ as Lord, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” (Eph. 5:22)
This is not a continual burden to her; she strives to serve the Lord by following you if you are following Christ. Men of God strive to serve the Lord as best as we can, and we know that more times than not we fail, every woman who calls Jesus Christ Lord strives to be that Proverbs 31 woman, and she realizes her shortcomings in this area as well. Failure teaches greater lessons than accomplishments, we learn from our mistakes.
We are commanded to treat our wives as the weaker vessel, not as one less than us, for the Lord God was quite clear in this regard, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Gen. 2:18) Paul was not disagreeing with these words from the Almighty when he said, “For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.” (1 Cor. 7:7) but simply stating a fact, that if a man is married in the Lord to a God-fearing woman then those two can serve sometimes greater than the individual can, that is in the hands of the Lord.
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” (Prov. 18:22)
I knew of a pastor long ago that believed that all marriages were set in place by the Lord, that the lost, the wicked were under the same obligations as the saved are in this respect, I do not know if he still holds to this idea, but I disagreed with him, for John 3:36 came into my mind. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” The wrath of God does not abide on those He calls His own, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (Eph. 5:25) The man who loves is submitted to by the one he loves, both do so willingly, the commandments are not a burden or an obligation to them in this area.
Love is an action, no different than submitting is, but here I will bring you a verse that may seem perhaps not in conflict to that which we are discussing, but in certain ways does not seem to fit. “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Gen. 3:16)
I ask, who was the desire of Eve before this commandment? I know what the answer should be, the Lord God who created them, who walked in the garden with them, but the curse laid upon Eve sounds as if it was not her husband that she desired before, it sounds as what it is, a curse, which is not a profitable thing to have laid upon oneself. How can two become one (Eph. 5:31) when one is forced by a curse to have a desire one did not have before?
These questions I ask of you occasionally, are not meant to dissuade you from following the Lord, though I fear that may occur with some, but are meant to provoke you to search the Scriptures diligently, not to find “The Answer,” for many of them have no answer, but to look for the knowledge of God each day.
Although two can become one in their service to the Lord, they, we, will always retain our individuality, you will never be your wife, nor will she be you. “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office.” (Romans 12:4) The body of Christ is one, all those who have been born-again are of the same body, with Christ as the head. “And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” (1 Cor. 3:23)
You may look at it this way, the two of you serving the Lord with the same love and intent are one in that respect, and I will dare to go so far as to say that throughout eternity, unless one of you goes to glory first, and the one who is still here does not remarries, you will always be one. We honor the Lord by serving each other, and by doing so together we are blessed as one by Him.