Gal_3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
Eph 5:28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
I came across what I thought was a good illustration of how a husband and wife should relate to each other when it comes to headship and submission. As is always the case when studying the Bible, we must be familiar with every place a subject is mentioned and not use one passage to develop our entire understanding of any subject. Too often men have keyed in on verse 24 where wives are told to submit in everything and used that to excuse their unloving behavior and to push the idea that their wives are never to argue or disobey them but that they are there for the man and that is the end of the matter.
The Bible says that wives have other authorities that they are also to submit to as well such as Christ himself, the church, civil government, etc. These are not in competition, of course, but are to work together for the good of all. This is also true of men who must submit to the same entities. As soon as we husbands see our wives as our property or at least here for our needs and pleasures, we can be sure we are going to have not only marital problems but spiritual ones. The illustration I read I think helps show how this relationship is supposed to work.
In an orchestra the conductor is the leader and the musicians follow his lead. They are equal in value as human beings but there is an order of authority that produces music rather than noise. Submission to authority doesn't make the musician less of a person or of less value but it does make him a better musician. God has ordained the marriage in such a way as to make both the husband and wife all that they can be as human beings and especially as useful servants of the Lord. Order is essential in any type of organization for effectiveness. This is true in the church where God tell us that all things are to be done decently and in order because God is not the author of confusion. A man is made to lead and a woman is made to follow that lead and their relationship will be best when we obey the Bible in this. This doesn't mean that all men lead as well as others and that many women aren't capable of being good leaders but we are speaking about a marriage relationship.
My main point in this illustration is for us husbands. God has given you a wife, not a slave. Yes, she is a suitable helper to us in life but that doesn't mean that we don't have responsibilities towards her as well. If we are to care for her as we do our own bodies then it is our responsibility and privilege to make her everything she can be as a wife, mother and woman. It is interesting and telling that many men think their wives are there to help them become great at what he does but he could care less that she becomes everything she can be.
Her value isn't just in how well she takes care of you but also in how well she serves the Lord, his people and society in general. The "music" she plays isn't just all about the husband but for the Lord and others to benefit from as well. If we husbands are properly loving our wives then it is our duty to help her develop her talents and to grow spiritually and to be a blessing to all. While her primary duties center on the home that doesn't mean that there aren't many avenues for her to serve the Lord, any more than husbands are to only be concerned for work and ignore everything else.
It is not unusual for a man to be consumed with his job or some hobby as if nothing else is as important. He will spend any amount of time and energy on his career at the expense of his marriage and family and the church and his spiritual life. What is even sadder is that because his job is his god, he expects his wife to love it just as much as he does and doesn't understand that she might put Christ ahead of work, hobbies and if need be even ahead of him when push comes to shove. He doesn't have time for the Lord and doesn't see why it is a priority for her above all else.
A wife is given to us to help us serve the Lord, not to help us serve ourselves. Our leadership is to help her thrive as a human being in service to God, not to be consumed with us and nothing else. She is not less than us in value and capabilities; she is different than us in position of authority. But our authority is not her final authority. We have been given authority in order to make her and our family people who honor the Lord above all else. It is a tall order while we both are still sinners. May God give us the grace to love as we have been loved.
For us husbands to do this in a godly way we must love the Lord above all else. Otherwise we are like a conductor with the wrong music. We are trying to get the musicians to play an entirely different work and so there is confusion and frustration because we are not on the same page. If we are living for ourselves and our wives are living for the Lord there will be conflict.