How many times have I heard a sermon, or a disagreement on this topic. Usually someone is offended because it seems to demean specifically the wife. I believe that there is a multitude of misunderstandings and presuppositions that hinder our understanding of what God has intended for us. Above all I believe the problem is in that we are allowing the world view of men be the standard instead of God's view of men to be the standard.
1. If you are not in the Word daily this passage will offend you. It is easy to be offended by anything if you do not take it in its full context. It has taken me a lot of years to stop and think about what I say immediately after someone else says or does something. Now sometimes I will not say anything especially when I know that I desire to hurt or retaliate out of the wrong emotions. To a lot of people this would seem weak, but I am thinking about how many people I can show the love of the Lord. I am not perfect, but the Lord is still working on me.
2. The word says as the weaker vessel, but it does not say the husband is the invincible vessel. The husband is a weak vessel as well. If you do not count on God's grace and mercy continuously you are surely in trouble.
I remember I use to think that I provided for my family and my work ethic made me very proud. Then one day I broke my foot in 2 places. The stress fractures hurt and continued to grow in pain. I continued to work because if I did not work how would we survive? What made it worse was that the doctors could see my swollen foot, but could not see anything wrong that was causing the issue. Until one day I could not work anymore. My pride was taken away. I cried. I tell everyone who is afraid to cry John11:35 if the Lord is not ashamed to say He cried then you can cry. Are you greater than the Lord? It is a powerful moment when a man can finally cry. Even after I could not work I resisted to allow God full trust until one day I had lost all I could depend on. That day I got down on my knees and said to God, God I have nothing left, I can not work, and my money has been dwindling. I have not been trusting you ever. I now turn all my problems to you. Do as you will. The workers comp that had been fighting me sent me a letter stating that I was approved and that I would be receiving back pay. Surrendered to God and to a life of being handicapped I walked into the final workers compensation appointment that would determine my disability and compensation for it. The doctor taking a look at my situation told me that if I allowed him he could have me back to normal in two months. I was walking in a month and a half. It took this to realize how weak I am without the Lord.
3. I believe that the offense is really found because we are looking through the eyes of the world and not through God's vision for our marriage. You will hear things like you mean we are inferior to men, or I am under no one. We have to dig to see what this means. If you stop at Ephesians 5:22 it seems like the wife has a huge burden, but if you continue to read I believe you will notice that we actually both have big responsibilities. The world says women are under the thumb of men. The world says men are greater than women. God says men have a spiritual responsibility, but so do women.
4. We in fact must submit one to another. Christ died for the church the word says. How easy would it be to die for your wife once? It must be a daily sacrifice.
If you allow God to work in your life then the submitting to one another is not a problem. If you can not then a problem exist. Not with God's word, but with your marriage. Do not try to twist the Bible but allow the Bible to change your marriage.