Be subordinate to one another - Catholic Courier

Be subordinate to one another

Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)

In these words from sacred Scripture, married couples are called to mutual love — we are encouraged to "be subordinate to one another," with neither spouse dominating the other.

So also, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (5:28)

These words call me to love Belinda as I love my own body.

When my body is tired, I rest. When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m sick or hurting, I take whatever steps my body needs for healing.

For no one hates his own flesh, but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. (5:29-30)

I’m called to nourish and cherish Belinda in the same way I care for my own body. I’m called to be so attuned to Belinda’s needs that I can immediately sense her longing to be nurtured and cared for, and then attend to her with the appropriate loving action.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. (5:31)

The passage reaches back to Genesis 2:24, and its teaching that marriage forms a sacred, unbreakable bond. It then reveals a challenging new standard for spouses in a Christian marriage: to serve as a sacramental sign of the self-giving love of Jesus:

This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church. (5:32)

Belinda and I are called to "be subordinate to one another" — to love each other as we love our own bodies. We are called to form a sacred, sacrificial bond — to be a sacrament of the love between Christ and the church.

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