Submission is a natural response to loving leadership. When a husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25-33), then submission is a natural response from a wife to her husband. The Greek word translated submit (Hupotasso) is the continuing form of the verb. This means that to submit to God, our leaders, and our husband is not a one-time decision. It is a continual attitude of our minds, which becomes a pattern of behavior. The submission talked about in Ephesians 5 is not talking about one-sided subjection by a believer to a selfish-domineering person. Biblical submission is designed to be between two Spirit-filled believers who are mutually yielded to each other and to God. Submission is a two-way street. Submission is a position of honor and completeness. When a wife is loved as Christ loves the church, submission is not difficult. Ephesians 5:24 says, “just as the church submits itself to Christ.” This verse is saying that the wife is to submit to her husband in everything that is right and lawful. Therefore, the wife is under no obligation to disobey the law or neglect her relationship to God.
The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved. The “submit” in Ephesians 5:21 is the same word as in 5:22. Believers are to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Verses 19-21 are all results of being filled with the Holy Spirit (5:18). Spirit-filled believers are to be worshipful (5:19), thankful (5:20), and submissive (5:21). Paul then follows his line of thought on Spirit-filled living and applies it to husbands and wives in verses 22-33.