A Look at the Head (cont.)
Now apart from the meaning of “head,” Paul is comparing marriage to that of Messiah and the church. This is why wives should submit. Let’s look at this verse through the comparison Paul is making. How does the church submit to the Messiah, her head? When we understand this, we will have a better picture of what submission for a wife looks like.
Paul highlighting a certain relationship. Just saying “Christ is the head of the church” leaves the word “head” unclear. But Paul doesn’t leave us hanging. He adds one of the titles of the Messiah on the end of the phrase. He doesn’t say, “Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the mediator.” Nor does he say, “Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the master.” He calls the Messiah those titles in other places, so the concepts are available to him.
Rather, Paul says, “Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” Savior is not an “authority” position. It is the position of the deliverer, the one who rescues, the one who gives his life as a ransom for many. A savior may be a soldier in the field who comes to rescue you, but he isn’t your superior. It is the Savior who gives life by giving his life. Because Christ is the “Savior,” this informs more accurately the honor of the “head.” “Submit to one another” and then “wives to husbands” does not carry the idea of under authority, but under humility.
This meaning is further allowed since Paul never commands wives to “obey” their husbands. In the context that follows, children “obey” (Eph 6:1) and slaves “obey” (Eph 6:5) but wives are neither to be treated like children nor like slaves. Practically speaking, when a husband views his wife as inferior, as someone to do chores, wear certain clothes, and stay out of financial control, he’s treating her as a child. When he demands obedience, that’s parental behavior, not husbandly behavior.
Or when he expects her to wait on him, to care for all his needs, to exist to serve him, to do the menial jobs as he does the important ones, that is treating her as a slave. When he believes cooking or cleaning or work around the house is beneath him, that’s masterly behavior, not husbandly behavior.
Paul is saying wives are to submit to the vulnerability of the husband, the life symbolically poured out for her in Adam (when God took from his side to make Woman) as well as the vulnerability of giving himself in the day to day. This isn’t a matter of obedience to authority. It isn’t a matter of creating “order” in the home. No, it is a receiving of life and goodness, not to be trampled, gossiped about over tea, or nagged. Without submission, wives cannot receive their husband’s vulnerability.
This is exactly how each person comes to the Savior, receiving his life in humility and submitting to his vulnerable atonement. The Messiah doesn’t demand we be atoned. We just lose it if we fail to take it as the fountain of life itself. People who do not understand the texture of love will miss the beauty of this dance.
Notice the word-play of “savior” with “submission” and “head.” Let the text inform the meaning. This is not a passage on who is in charge. This is a passage on who is in love.
If we live in the metaphor we find that husbands are to create a life-giving environment for the woman to thrive. As the Savior gives live to the church, his body, so a husband ought to give life to his bride. In this environment, a woman freely submits of herself in everything. 
This use of “Savior” foreshadows what Paul will illustrate to husbands.
The next post will highlight what is NOT in these verses on submission that are often inserted.
 Even strong subordinationists will divide the characteristics of Jesus and assign them to the gender: they say women should be like Jesus in their submission and men should be like Jesus in their lordship. While I disagree with these distinctions, I only put this out to show that everyone agrees it is far to separate out the characteristics of the Messiah.
 I’m not saying Jesus is not superior to the church. What I am saying is that Paul is not highlighting here that aspect of the Messiah. He’s highlighting the aspect that is an analogy to husbands and wives.
 Note that Paul is using the same phrase as he used with another church in Colossians in 1:17-18—which also does not mean “authority.” Paul is telling the same thing to the Ephesians. To say “head” means “authority” here is to swim upstream against the context and Paul’s use of this phrase elsewhere.
 Some theological positions on “election” say he does demand certain persons to be atoned. I find this view inconsistent with the whole of Scripture and supplanting “election” from the Jewish people.
 Because the question inevitably comes up, I don’t think Paul is teaching here that a woman submits to abuses. If “head” carries the meanings of honor, we can see that a woman can only submit when a husband is acting honorably, as the life-giving lover that he is designed to be.