"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." NIV translation
Now, Paul begins to tell us how we are to walk in the light in our homes. We must start by understanding that this passage deals with the marital relationship between two Spirit filled Christians. Some serious trouble can start when we try to apply this teaching to a marriage where one of the people does not walk in the power of the Holy Spirit or perhaps does not even know the Lord Jesus. It is not possible to apply this section of scripture to our marriages without the power of the Holy Spirit. This passage begins by assuming that Christ is at the center of the relationship and this speaks to the spiritual strand of the marriage. Once again, the word "submit" is better translated as "respond" and here we see that wives are told to respond to their husbands as if they were dealing with Christ.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." NIV translation
The focus now shifts to the men as we are told to love our wives as Christ loves the church. We are reminded that Jesus gave up His very life for His bride (the church) and we are to do the same. That may include putting our own lives at risk but it is so much more as Paul reminds us of why Jesus laid down His life which was to make us holy. This is the second strand in a strong marriage as the husband and wife should be like-minded in their pursuit of the things of God.
"In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church - for we are members of his body." NIV translation
Now, Paul turns to the third aspect (strand) of a marriage and that is the physical relationship. Although we all have different things that we would like to change about our bodies, we still love and take care of ourselves. The same is true for a married couple in that they can and should take care of each other's physical needs. One of the biggest problems today is that too many people skip the spiritual and mental aspects and get right to the physical. This may seem to work for a period of time but, without all three strands, the rope of the marriage will break.