by: Brook Stockton

There are four magic words that if understood and applied will make for smooth sailing on the sea of matrimony. If problems arise in a marriage, one or more of these magic words is not being applied. 

 For Wives (Ephesians 5:22, 33)

Submission (u.pota,ssw,, hupotasso): Hupotasso is the Greek word for submission. It is a military term meaning “to arrange yourself” under a superior. Though hupotasso is a military term, it has a relational context. God, not the husband, has commanded women to arrange themselves under their husbands, to recognize their position as head of the home, and to serve his leadership. Submission does not imply inferiority, but it does intimate activating a spirit of servanthood, obedience, and meekness.

Respect (fobe,w, phobeo): Phobeo is the Greek word for “fear,” “reverence,” or “respect.” The proper response to God appointed authority is respect, even fear. Though a man is not always worthy of respect, the wife should always respect the position of her husband. A wife who debates, challenges, and criticizes her man needs to grow in respect. The spirit of respect should be reflected in a woman’s words, tone, and demeanor. It is much easier for a man to lead a respectful wife.

For Husbands (Ephesians 5:25; 1 Peter 3:7)

As God has a will for the wife, He has a will for the husband.

Love (avgapa/w, agapao): The Greek word agape is the word used to describe God’s love. Agape is God’s unconditional, gracious, beneficent love that sacrificed His Son for sinners. The nature of agape is self-sacrifice for the good of others. God is calling the man to a life of agape—to lead the home through self-sacrifice. God does not command the man to love his wife because she is always lovely, but because love is the law of God’s kingdom. It is not difficult for a wife to submit and to respect a man who does everything out of love.

Honor (timh., tima): The Greek word tima (tee-may) means “to honor,” or “to make room,” or “to give weight.” Simply put, tima means, “to listen” to one’s wife and “to make room” for her wishes, and “to give weight” to her opinions. It is God’s will that the man know his wife (“dwell according to knowledge”) and carefully consider what she says. It is easier to respect a man who listens to his wife. A godly husband will weigh carefully the opinions of his lovely wife