Together is better. Each doing what we are called to do is better. Whether that be married or single.
Think of the Godhead and the submission there. Father, Son, Spirit, all submitting to one another. Not one higher or lower. Co-equal, the same essence and substance, different but the same, the oneness.
Think of the Church. Can we see the Godhead?
Think of the marriage. Can we see the Godhead?
“This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5 v 32-33
Paul draws this little section to a close. “Ah he’s actually talking about Christ and the Church. He’s not really talking about marriage. What a relief!” As if he is correcting that thought he uses the word ‘however’ or ‘nevertheless’. “What I’ve said about marriage I do hold to.”
In this final sentence (if we haven’t already realised this) there is an assumption that as the husband will love his wife she in turn will respect him. This is the partnership. If his love is lost or marred then it will become so difficult for her to respect him and vice versa.
He is to love her like he loves himself. Isn’t this open to abuse? Will he become a doormat? Under the thumb? The potential for abuse only shows how potentially beautiful he could be.
She is to show respect. The word is actually fear and probably why the translators thought it not wise to use that word because it isn’t what Paul is saying. It is profound honour. Isn’t this open to abuse? Will she become a slave? The potential for abuse only shows how potentially beautiful she could be.
That is the partnership. It doesn’t really work without both partners involved. It is collaboration. No one higher than the other. Each submitted to one another. A oneness.
How is this possible?
It is a work of the Spirit. Be being filled with the Spirit. The only way.