22Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
What is this picture all about? Is it about being the submissive wife, or is it about modeling God's grace? I have to go with the latter.
I know that people like to pick this verse apart, and then add, "What if the husband is abusive?" To which I think Paul would say, "Use your heads here, folks!" Or perhaps he would pull out the line, "To live is Christ, to die is gain."
Setting aside the extreme situations, lets just look at "the norm." By the norm, I just mean where one side is unhappy with the other. The marriage has grown lackluster. If you are in Christ, it is not about your happiness, it is about your joy. Not the joy you get from your mate, but the joy you get from honoring and serving God. If you don't have that joy, perhaps that is a problem surfacing in your lack of joy in your marriage.
25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30because we are members of his body. 31 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Notice how many more verses we get, men? But the message is still the same. Love your wives as a mirror of your love for Christ. Perhaps that is a problem in our society today. We all want to be saved and so we wear the name Christian, but do we really love God and His Son?
Paul is not saying this is what you must do, he is saying, this is what real Christianity looks like. Real Christians, who love the Lord, honor one another even when there are differences. Real Christians live up to their covenants, even when their partner is not a believer.