Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph. 5:21)

IN THE MOVIE WHITE CHRISTMAS, when a young, available dancer is introduced to the character played by Bing Crosby, her flirtatious response (in her Jersey drawl) is, “Mutual, I’m sure.” It’s pretty safe to assume that the writer of this screenplay was not thinking about God’s idea of relationships when he wrote it, but this one line seems to capture the essence of biblical relationships.

Mutual submission is not necessarily what Christian marriages are famous for. Some Christians seem convinced that the husband in a marriage should always get his own way. After all, he is the head of the household. Others seem to follow the other extreme of conduct in marriage, with the wife controlling the home.

Yet the ideal situation described in the Bible seems to be that of each spouse submitting to the other. In doing that, they show honor to each other and reverence for Jesus.

God goes on to give a picture of what wives, husbands, children, slaves, and masters can each expect as they live out these relationships, but we must not gloss over the previous verse that gives the boiled-down essence of “mutual, I’m sure” in the context of Christian marriage.

Then the focus is not on getting one’s own way, but instead in a common pursuit to please the Lord.

Purpose today to submit to others, and especially your spouse, out of reverence for Christ.

Annie Wamberg lives in Colorado Springs. An empty-nester, Annie has plunged back into singing. When not sleeping, Annie runs a cleaning business.