What does Ephesians 5:24 mean?
ESV: Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
NIV: Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
NASB: But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
CSB: Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives are to submit to their husbands in everything.
NLT: As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
KJV: Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
NKJV: Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Verse Commentary:
Continuing his discussion from 5:23, Paul continues to parallel submission in marriage with the relationship between Christ and the church. Paul is clear that Jesus is the leader of the church. This has application both for the church as a whole, as well as to those who lead it. Church leaders are ultimately "under-shepherds" who lead others under Christ's authority.

In addition, Paul notes that submission on the wife's part includes all aspects of the relationship. This does not mean women are obligated to waive all of their preferences, always doing whatever their husbands wish. Submission, when related to Christ, focuses on showing love and serving Him. Likewise, wives who submit "in everything" are focused on showing love and serving their husbands. A woman who shows this depth of love is considered godly. Proverbs 31:10–31 offers similar traits to describe the principles of a godly wife. Scripture also provides examples of godly wives such as Sarah, Ruth, and Mary who loved the Lord and showed appropriate love to their husbands.

As with verses 22 and 23, these instructions cannot be taken out of the context of verses 25 through 29. Men are called to marital obligations, as well. Specifically, to love their wives the same way Jesus loved the church. This means a sacrificial, humble, loving leadership. Paul is not advocating male dictatorship, or female slavery.
Verse Context:
Ephesians 5:22–33 is an often-cited but frequently misunderstood passage. Here, Paul explains how Christian husbands and wives should apply their understanding of salvation within their marriage. Wives are commanded to ''submit'' to their husbands as they would to Christ, and to show them respect. Often overlooked, however, is that men are equally obligated. Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church: with humility and sacrifice, as if caring for their own bodies. Despite popular myth, the Bible does not permit either sex to be abusive or unloving within a marriage.
Chapter Summary:
Chapter 5 begins with an admonition to imitate Christ. In order to do so, Christians must avoid sexual immorality, vulgar language, foolishness, and other inappropriate attitudes. Paul warns that those who persist in these behaviors are not part of the kingdom of God. The passage then transitions to an explanation of mutual submission, including that between husbands and wives. Wives are to submit to their husbands, and respect them. Husbands are to love their wives in a Christ-like, sacrificial, and humble way.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 5 continues the very practical second half of the book of Ephesians. Chapter 4 encouraged Christians not to live as unbelievers do, but worthy of the gift we have been given. Chapter 5 gives even more direct application of these principles. Paul details impure attitudes and habits which Christians ought to put aside. He then details the proper approach to marriage, rooted in a Christian understanding of the gospel. This style of advice will continue through chapter 6. Paul's advice will culminate in a famous analogy about applying Christian principles to all of life, using the symbolism of a suit of armor.
Book Summary:
Ephesians follows a theme common in Paul's writings: connecting theory with practice. In this book, however, he goes into greater depth before making the transition. As a letter meant to be read by more than just the believers at Ephesus, this is an important look at how Christian belief should translate into Christian action. The first three chapters lay out spiritual ideas, the last three chapters show how these truths should be applied in the life of a mature believer. Paul focuses heavily on love, the unity of the Christian church, and the incredible value of our salvation through Christ.
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