Love and Respect

Series: The New You

Love and Respect


In Colossians 3:18 (and Ephesians 5:33) God calls a wife to be a certain type of person independent of her husband, and the same for the husband in Colossians 3:19 (and Ephesians 5:33).

By the way, most believe that the Apostle Paul intended for the letters to the Colossians and Ephesians to be circulated among the believers as seen in Colossians 4:16. The letter to the Ephesians was in route through Laodicea, where it was being read, soon to arrive in Colossae. So, for example, Paul intended the Colossians to read Ephesians 5 which was a fuller explanation of marriage.

Though God calls wives to submit, a great deal of misunderstanding arises from this term. First and foremost the term is to be understood as respect. The clue to the meaning of submission is found when combining Ephesians 5:22 and Colossians 3:18 where wives are commanded to submit but which is explained as respect in the summary verse of Ephesians 5:33. We know we are correct in doing this since Peter does the same. Peter calls wives to submit (1 Peter 3:1) but defines that as putting on respectful behavior (1 Peter 3:2.)

This is a positive message about meeting a need and a liberating teaching in that this empowers the wife to win her disobedient husband (1 Peter 3:2), just as love empowers a husband to win his disobedient wife (Hosea 3:1).

Submission then is the meeting of a need especially during conflict. A wife submits to her husband’s need to feel respected during conflict and a husband submits to his wife’s need to feel loved. This is mutual submission referenced in Ephesians 5:21. As for mutual submission, this is not about decision making since both cannot submit to the other’s decision. This is attitudinal in that during disagreements each submits to the other’s need to feel loved and respected while in heated fellowship about who is right!

Colossians 3:17-18; Ephesians 5:21-33




Emerson Eggerichs


Colossians 3:17-18; Ephesians 5:21-33