In almost every aspect of life, Jesus Christ and His work on the cross give us our ultimate examples. Even when trying to understand the idea of a wife’s submission to her husband, we can look to the cross. Ephesians 5:22 commands wives to submit to their husbands. However, throughout the passage Paul compares husbands to Christ in their headship and in how they should love. People even talk of the importance of husbands being examples of Christ to their wives. This comparison of husbands in their headship to Christ makes some women wonder how they can be Christ like in their submission, or even worse if they are somehow inferior because headship is more Christlike.
However, when we turn a couple pages over to Philippians 2 we see Christ set forth as an example of submission. Philippians 2:5-11 displays the submission of Jesus Christ to God the Father. This describes Jesus Christ choosing to humble Himself to the point of death in obedience to the father, and then His great exaltation which resulted from His submission. Even though Christ was never a wife, He remains a “High Priest who can sympathize with us in all points” including with women as they understand the idea of submission. His submission cost Him greatly. This was also a submission of His own choosing, and of one equal to another. The doctrine of the trinity teaches that all three members of the Trinity posses “equal power and glory”. (Westminster Catechism Q. 9) While there is order and authority within the trinity, no member is inferior to another. Philippians also emphasizes that Christ chose to enter into a relationship of submission. Christ was the one who took on the form of a bondservant, humbled Himself, and was obedient. Jesus Christ shows that He is not commanding any wife to do more than He has done in the call to submission. Submission is also something women choose to do when they become wives, and is a submission of an equal to another equal. It is not a submission based out of inferiority.