I've spent a good deal of time writing about how wives should treat their husbands - why? I mean - I'm single and (other than looking forward, hopefully, to a marriage), why would it make a difference to me?
I believe that (for any believer) understanding the role of wives and husbands is a step toward understanding the relationship between Christ and His bride. It works in the other direction; understanding the relationship between Christ and His bride is a step toward understanding the Biblical relationship between a husband and wife.
There are many references to this relationship and Paul refers to Christ and His bride when he (Paul) instructs husbands and wives in Ephesians 5,
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish."
As we look at Christian marriages, we should be able to see Christ and His bride reflected.
Does the wife demand "equal leadership"? Does the church demand that she have "equal leadership" with Christ?
Is there "mutual submission"? Of course - Christ submitted to His role as Savior, Sacrifice and King. The church (is supposed to) submit to His leadership.
But do they share the same role? No, there is only room for one King of Kings, Lord of Lords. There is only room for one Head of the church.
It is that way in marriage - one leader emerges.
If we see marriage as being reflected in the relationship between Christ and the church, we must see marriage in a different way than the world does. The world doesn't like being submissive, the world seeks self.
If we see Christ and the church reflected in Christian marriages, we are better led to submit to Christ's headship, as we see wives submit to their husbands.
In January, the "prophet" and "apostle" from Firehouse Full Gospel Ministry came to speak at my old church. The pastor stood next to his wife while the "prophet" laid hands on her and performed a Pentecostal "activation and impartation" - a human being "imparting the gift of the Holy Spirit" and "activating" that gift in the pastor's wife.
I was angry - he is her husband and it is his role to watch over her, to protect her from error and he didn't do his job! He stood beside her and let this happen!
And so it is with Christ and His bride - He gave His life for her, He washes her of water with the Word. He guides her and protects her.
This "one flesh" means something - one body, one heart, one head.
If we see Christ reflected in the husband and the church reflected in the wife, that is a Christian marriage.
And yes, today - as a single women - this must be meaningful to me. I am choosing a new church. Will I look for a church that reflects the wife I want to be? Or will I search for a church that wants "equal time" with Christ?
That is a very important question.