Paul's NT letters provide us with a beautiful picture of marriage. It is hard to imagine the mindset that finds it necessary to atomize husbandly headship and wifely submission in a way that removes all the beauty from these passages, Ephesians in particular, obliterating all references to our Saviour's authority. Some religious feminists have seen the implications for their view of mutual submission and are proclaiming that Christ submits to the church!
I've been pondering that, and the point in a wedding ceremony where the bride is given by father to husband. This is at the heart of marriage and the picture of Christ and His Church - to whom do we belong? Do we belong to our Bridegroom, who seeks to present us holy and blameless? Or do we retain ownershp of ourselves, obliterating the picture of marriage and leaving ourselves open and vulnerable.
For, make no mistake, we always belong to someone.
Ephesians 5:21-33, ESV:
21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 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. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.