“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
The first four chapters of Ephesians paint a picture of the Spirit-filled Christian…and now as we push through chapter five, the Apostle Paul is going to apply those truths to three different sets of relationships: husbands and wives, parents and children, and masters and slaves.
Before he gets into the “S-word” as it relates to a wife and her husband, he sets the standard by which both parties must proceed: mutual submission out of reverence for Christ. In this context, Paul is not referring to structure or authority (which we will deal with over the next few days), but rather to the position of one’s heart, chiefly, that we are willing to be responsive and to yield to one another out of love (Eph. 4:3).
Our natural desire is to look out for number one…the Ephesians 5:21 command is to look out for each other.
Our natural desire is to see everything from our own perspective…the Ephesians 5:21 command is to consider the other person’s perspective.
Our natural desire is to protect ourselves…the Ephesians 5:21 command is to protect others.
Our natural desire is self-focused…the Ephesians 5:21 command is others focused.