I am sure you would agree that the old ship of matrimony is sailing some troubled seas these days with couples jumping overboard by the thousands every day. Many will stay chained to the mast for the children, business, social pressure or even the church, but they won't enjoy the trip.

Maximum marriage — the kind of marriage that God has intended — is created from the faithful followship of the wife and the loving leadership of the husband.

Faithful Followship of the Wife

Ephesians 5:22-24

In the family, the Lord teaches that wives are to submit to their husbands — in an outward manifestation and an inner attitude. Now, why does God instruct women in this way? Because He has a chain of command.

The head of Christ is God, the head of the husband is Christ, and the head of the wife is the husband. Is this order to punish women? No. Does this mean that women are inferior to men? No. This kind of subjection is similar to the way Christ and the Father are equal and yet Christ submits to the Father (see Philippians 2:6-8).

Everybody knows that a woman is infinitely superior to a man when it comes to being a woman. And a man is infinitely superior to a woman at being a man. And in the sight of God men and woman are complete equals (see Galatians 3:28).

When a wife chooses not to submit to her husband, she is going to have serious problems. First, she is going to have a spiritual problem with God because He is the One who told her to submit. Second, she is going to have problems with her husband because he will not be able to assume his God-given role as initiator if his wife isn't in her God-given role as responder.

Third, she is going to have problems with her children. The woman who refuses to be under a husband's headship will never have authority over her children. I think this is a prime reason there is so much juvenile delinquency in America.

Finally, she is going to have trouble with herself. Every wife has certain needs that will never be met until she frees her husband to meet those needs by assuming his role as her provider, protector, priest, and prayer warrior.

When a wife submits, she will experience true freedom — just like a train is most free when it stays on the tracks. A train will accomplish far more on the tracks than it will ever accomplish by trying to go through a meadow.

Loving Leadership of the Husband

Ephesians 5:25-31

What does it mean for the husband to be head of the wife? First of all, it doesn't mean that he's to be her dictator. Any husband who thinks this needs to learn how Jesus made His Bride submissive by loving and dying for her.

If you are a husband, then when you got married, you gave up all rights to yourself. No longer can you make decisions based simply upon what you want. Her welfare must be considered. You are to love your wife selflessly.

Second, husbands are to love their wives sacrificially. Christ died for the church. You do not love your wife as the Bible teaches unless you have died for her (notice the past tense in this sentence). Sir, you do not love your wife as Christ loved the church unless you have died for your wife by dying to yourself.

Thirdly, husbands are to love their wives sanctifyingly (see Ephesians 3:26). Husbands are to make their wives beautiful by helping them become all God wants them to be! You are to be her prophet and priest with intercessory prayer and teaching from His Word.

Fourth, husbands are to love their wives satisfyingly (see Ephesians 5:28). Husband, you are to anticipate your wife's needs and please your wife as you please your own body. The more you give, the more you're going to get. Be good to yourself; love your wife.

Finally, husbands are to love their wives supremely (see Ephesians 5:30-31). A husband is to love his wife above all earthly relationships including his own parents and children. A husband is to love his wife above his business and hobbies, as well.

The relationship between husband and wife is compared to the relationship of Christ and the church. Marriage is the highest of all human relationships.