This is a pivotal verse—one that is often overlooked, but one that much of the Christian life hinges on. Read it again.
So far, the apostle Paul had told the believers in Ephesus how they were to conduct their lives now that they were children of light. Some areas needed drastic change, and he addressed them. Now, in a tie-the-big-red-bow-around- the-idea-of-Christian-conduct moment, Paul said in verse 21: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Because you love and respect Christ, now love, respect, and consider each other’s needs before your own. This is what holds that whole goal of unity together. Submission in every relationship: wives to husbands, husbands to wives; children to parents, fathers to children; and slaves to masters, masters to slaves. Though this part of Scripture has been historically used to oppress, we are going to take a deeper look at these relationships in the next few days, in light of Paul’s letter, and see what we can learn from the context in which it was written.