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{May 26, 2019}

Heartland Community Church

May 26 – June 1, 2019


LOVE(MATH) 2.0: Wives

By Rhonda Stock

I love the Bible. I truly believe it has the answers to every problem in the world if we would only study it and apply it to our lives. I especially love to dig into a verse and study the etymology of each word, to compare different translations and examine a Scripture to see if it really says what we’ve been told it says. Sometimes I discover that the traditional view of a verse is not quite accurate, that the true meaning of the verse has been lost over the centuries due to poor interpretations, cultural expectations, or other factors.

Ephesians 5:22 is not one of those verses. 

Ephesians 5:22 says what it says.

Ephesians 5:22 says what it says. In. Every. Single. Translation.

No matter how I look at it, no matter how I slice it, dice it, and serve it up, that verse says the same thing: wives are to submit to their husbands.

Why is that word so distasteful to me? I’m not what you would call a militant feminist. I have lived a traditional lifestyle, choosing to stay home with our four children for 20 years while my husband worked. I went back to teaching when our youngest started school, but even then, my priority was my home and family. 

I have no problem following the leadership of my principals at work. I gladly submit to the authority of my pastor at church. Why is it so hard to submit to the person I love most in the world, the person whom I chose to spend my life with almost 40 years ago?

I don’t know.

Maybe it’s because submission to one’s husband is submission on a very personal level. I can follow the direction of my boss at work because that is a requirement of the job, it is not necessarily a reflection of me as a person. But submitting to my husband goes to the very essence of who I am. If I surrender my autonomy at home, in my personal life, then who am I? And if the husband is the head of the home, which puts me somewhere below the head, doesn’t that put me in an inferior position? Doesn’t that mean he is more than I am—more important, more valuable, more worthy?

What a lot of baggage goes along with a little two-syllable word.

And that’s where the problem lies. We think our value is relative to our husband’s position as the head of the home. It’s not. Our value is relative to who we are in Christ. Nowhere in Scripture does it say, “Wives, submit to your husbands because you don’t deserve to be the head of the family. You are not worthy of leadership, or of prominence. The husband is the one who counts.” No! The Scripture merely says, “Submit to your husbands.”

“Submission” does not mean “inferior.” It means that the wife has a different role in the family, one that is just as important and just as necessary as the husband’s role. It is not a lesser role. It is just . . . different. I like the note the Amplified Bible offers for Ephesians 5:22:

The wife [submits] to her husband, not to men in general; not as inferior to him, nor in violation of her Christian ethics, but honoring her husband as protector and head of the home, respecting the responsibility of his position and his accountability to God.

I may never be fully comfortable with this verse. I may not understand God’s purpose until I get to Heaven and can ask him face-to-face (I have a list of questions for that day). But I can accept that this is God’s design for the family. The husband and the wife have different but equally important roles in the family. As they each submit to Christ, they each seek what is best for the other. And maybe in another 40 years with my husband, I’ll finally have it all figured out.

{sunday 5.26.19}

Read Ephesians 5:1-21; Ephesians 5:22-33

Observe, Reflect, Apply:

(If you are not currently married, apply these questions to your current or future relationship. If you are a man, ponder these questions as they apply to your close relationship/marriage.)

What does it look like for a wife to submit to her husband? Specifically, what does it look like for you to submit to your husband? Do you struggle with the idea of submission? Read Ephesians 5:1-21, the passage before Paul instructs wives to submit to their husbands. How can these verses help you to view godly submission in a more positive light? And if you are a husband, how can these verses make you a better husband and leader?

A husband and wife who submit themselves to Christ’s leadership will always want the best for each other. What is one thing you can do for your husband this week that will make him feel that you genuinely respect and admire him? What is something you can do for your wife that will make her feel cherished?

Are you single? Do you hope to be married someday? Read Ephesians 5:22-33. What can you do now to prepare yourself to be a godly spouse when the time comes? What does Ephesians 5 say to you as a Christian in general, and not just as a hopeful bride or groom?


{personal reflection and bible reading plan}

As you read the verses each day, make notes of questions you have about what you’re reading as well as answering the reflection questions below. Grab a friend or two to discuss what you are learning and what God is doing in your lives.


{monday 5.27.19}

Read 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: These verses talk about our role, along with that of the apostles in their day, to spread the "good news" about Jesus and the opportunity for eternal life through faith in him. How do you personally engage that role as a believer? What is one way you could engage it more directly?

{tuesday 5.28.19}

Read 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:6

Observe, Reflect, Apply: As you read these verses, would you describe yourself as seeing "through a veil"? Or do you feel you see the way of Jesus clearly? How can you be more intentional about being light in the darkness where you live, work, study or play?

{wednesday 5.29.19}

Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

Observe, Reflect, Apply: These verses describe how much is at stake in our world related to following (or not following) Jesus. As you stretch and reach out in faith to share your experiences with Jesus with others, where do you feel God’s presence? Where do you need to invite him in more clearly? Where are you struggling to share your faith right now?

{thursday 5.30.19}

Read 2 Corinthians 5:1-15

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Do you find it easy, or hard, to look forward to eternal life with Jesus? Do you find it confusing, or overwhelmingly comforting? How, on this side of heaven, can we be ambassadors for Jesus, and give those we love the opportunity to receive eternal life? 

{friday 5.31.19}

Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2

Observe, Reflect, Apply: If you have chosen to follow Jesus in this life, how did you experience "becoming a new person" when you made that choice? How are you being made new still today? If you are still considering this decision to put your faith in Jesus, what are your questions, ideas, or doubts? Share your thoughts with a trusted friend and pray for one another.

{saturday 6.1.19}

Read 2 Corinthians 6:3-18

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In these verses we read of Paul’s hardships. What tough times have you experienced in following Jesus (or as you consider following him)? This week we will be praying for the hard times and the questions and doubts we each face. Join us in praying for our whole community.


{community discussion questions}

We weren’t meant to experience the life of Jesus alone, so we encourage you to rally a few others to discuss what you are hearing, reading, and reflecting on together. Whether you are meeting as a Journey Community group, talking with a few friends throughout the week, or bringing up spiritual conversations around your table at home, feel free to use some of these questions as conversation starters on your journey.

  • Can you name a takeaway or challenge from the Sunday message?
  • How has that been relevant, challenging, or meaningful to your life this week?
  • What have you observed about God, Jesus, yourself, others, or God’s plan for you from these readings?
  • Where do you need a breakthrough from God this week?
  • Who do you need to share what you’re learning about God with?


{extra journey resources}

THE JOURNEY VLOG: Our own Seth Davidson has a Journey Vlog that you can subscribe to on YouTube. Five days out of each week he offers an 8-10 minute overview about the scripture reading for that day. Simply follow along, listening to the corresponding date. CLICK HERE to check it out. Be sure to click "subscribe" on the page!

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources).

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get a free Bible for your phone, tablet, and computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.


Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share what you are learning, questioning or experiencing. We love conversations!


© 2019 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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