This past Sunday I preached from Ephesians 5:21-25. A part of that text is the famous "wives submit to your husbands" passage that can and has been used to relegate the wife to the status of obedient servant of the husband. That's not what Paul is communicating.
In verse 21, Paul says "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Verse 21 does not contain the word "Submit" in the original greek. The greek for verse 22 is "wives to your husbands as to the Lord." When Paul wrote this, grammatically the two verses form a complete thought. Husbands and wives, submit to one another, why, out of reverence for Christ.
As Andy Stanley so aptly puts it: Submission just means putting your spouses wishes, dreams and desires above your own.
So when Paul also tells husbands to "Love your wives as Christ loved the church," he's saying, just as Jesus was willing to put away his own desires and go to the cross out of love for us, you are to practice that same kind of submissive love to your wife.
Paul is saying the same thing to husbands as he is to wives and to wives as he is to husbands.
Marriage is about mutual submission. Both spouses being willing to lay aside their own agendas, wishes, dreams, desires and for the sake of the other.
The reason God designed marriage that way is because it was his way to us. Submission is God's way in marriage becuase it was God's way to us. God in Christ willingly submitted himself to the pain, insult, mockery, shame and death of the cross to demonstrate his love for us. He submitted himself to death for our sake. Submission is God's way in marriage because it is his way to us.