In this segment Paul continues to define what he means by mutual submission, and it means something different for every category of persons. The upshot is that even though we are all not equal socially, economically, politically, or by status, we are to act as God would act and treat people as we would treat God. If we were all to relate to each other in this way and to interact with this kind of mentality, we would be achieving God’s ideal. He is the model to follow, and Jesus gives us enough of a practical example that w know exactly what is expected of us: strong but humble leadership, assertive in our presentation but meek in our personality, a mentality of serving those we lead, treating everyone with dignity and honor, and giving far more consideration to righteousness and purity (Phil. 4.8-9) than to power and authority.
Children should obey their parents in all things just as they would obey God, and parents should act as God would act in the raising and training of their children. Slaves should serve their masters with the same integrity they would show if God were their boss, and masters should act as God would act in the treatment of those working under them. In other words, we should all follow the example of God (Eph. 5.1), living in the light (v. 8), and filled with the Spirit (v. 18). Each one of us, regardless of our position and status, needs to discern what it means to submit to those within our authority structure. Submission is not just for the underlings, but rather for all. We may have different positions, but we all share the same values and submit to the same Lord.