Different but Not Inferior

“Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”

Ephesians 5:24

The tendency today is to stress the equality of men and women by minimizing the unique significance of maleness and femaleness. The consequence is division and destruction. Why? People are throwing away their God‑given identities. Oneness and equality are not the same. God is for oneness; God is not for sameness. God made us different that He might make us one. God, “made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). And for one to recognize the headship of the other does not mean the inferiority of the one.

If you work for a boss, you’d better be submissive, or you’ll be looking for another job. That doesn’t mean you’re inferior to your boss. If you’re on a team, you have to be submissive to the coach. That doesn’t mean you’re inferior to the coach. If you’re a student, you’d better be submissive to your professor, or you’re not going to learn and get the grades. That doesn’t mean you’re inferior to your professor. If you are a citizen, you’d better be submissive to the policeman. That doesn’t mean you’re inferior to the policeman; it simply means that in all of creation and society God has put order.

  • What other examples can you think of in which differences and submission do not equal inferiority?
  • Through His relationship with the Church, how does Jesus model the value husbands are to place on their wives?

ACTION POINT

Write out the examples you thought of that display differences and submission but not inferiority. How do these better help you understand what Paul meant in this text?