Fr. Charles Irvin
That concept was alien and foreign to the surrounding people who lived in Ephesus, a situation similar to the Israelites living among other people who did not make decisions placing themselves under the purposes God intends for us. St. Paul was addressed husbands in a way he did not address wives. St. Paul flew in the face of the surrounding culture and required that Christian husbands love their wives the way Christ loved His bride the Church. In other words, they were to sacrifice themselves for their wives; they were hand themselves wholeheartedly over into caring for their wives, to crucify their egoistic self-will, their urge to control women by power and force, something the dominant Roman culture promoted. In the pagan world women were regarded as merely useful, an idea totally contrary to the teachings of Christ and the will of God. What St. Paul’s words to the Christians in Ephesus, and elsewhere as well, were hard words; they were a hard saying.