Today in our Ephesians Bible study, our leader asked how 5.22ff are linked with the previous verses. "Wives, s . . . to your own husbands" seems to stump the North American female today. Why? Because we've worked so hard to lessen the gap of disparity.
However, as Dave always remembers to link 5.21 with 5.22ff: "submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ," I also like to go back to 5.1, where Paul exhorts us to be imitators of God. V 18 also tells us to "be filled with the Spirit." If that is the case, within the triune Godhead, there is submission. Jesus submits to the Father. The Spirit is sent by Jesus. If I am to be a true imitator of God, an image-bearer of God, I should be willing to submit according to his design in my marriage.