Christmas, the Trinity, Husbands and Wives
Christmas is coming. It's a celebration of Jesus coming to do a redemptive work. It's a mystery, but some things can be ruled in OR out of that mystery.
Some Christians have mistakenly applied a subordinate relationship to the persons of the Trinity in their eternal nature. I.e., even before the Logos became incarnate as Jesus born in Bethlehem, He was subordinate [they say] to God the Father, though the Persons of the Godhead were equal in essence or nature. Thus, [they say] a relationship of authority and submission, a kind of chain of command if you will, is present within the Trinity by nature. If the Son IS eternally begotten by the Father, then, they would say, His very existence in some way depends on the Father, thus the submission.
So the concept of eternal subordination would seem to be a natural corollary with this kind of thinking. And, for them, this leads to an interpretation of marriage that would make the husband LIKE the Father, ruling, and wives LIKE the Son, in submission, because [they say] the Son's submission is an ETERNAL thing. [But they're also forgetting that marriage has no eternality about it as there is no marriage in heaven.]
In my judgment this is NOT a correct understanding of the Incarnation. The many passages that could be cited that certainly do show the subordination of Christ to the Father are to be understood as a reference to the role of SERVANT which the Logos VOLUNTARILY assumed as a result of the incarnation. [Which, by the way, is to be the role of BOTH husband and wife to each other, SERVING one another. See Ephesians 5:21 resulting from the imperative in 5:18] There is no relationship of subordination among the three Persons of the Trinity before the Incarnation to be found in the scripture. It has to be ASSUMED because of our human view of Parent/Child relationships transferred on to an eternal level.
Assumptions cannot be allowed that would present a Son or Spirit with anything LESS [even authority] than the Father. Thus, the subordination of the Son to the Father is to be seen as FUNCTIONAL ONLY and ONLY for His earthly sojourn and not ONTOLOGICAL at all. [Within the nature of the Trinity] It has to do with the Son’s office and work on EARTH and not his PERSON in pre-time or post-time. [Eternity]
What we have in scripture is an Eternal-Sonship that is totally UNLIKE any sonship we have on planet earth. So whatever "submission" Jesus experienced on this earth to the Father was assumed and limited to His earthly sojourn. Jesus Christ the God-man, as the Son of Man, is the Father’s servant, and he does the will of the Father; but this is an aspect of the humiliation that he freely chose to endure for the sake of our salvation. It is NOT a testimony to His Eternal Nature OR FUNCTION as there is Eternal Equality in the Three Persons of the Godhead.