As I ran back to the Pentagon, I had the chance to consider this. First, of course, there is a certain foolishness in thinking one can be protected against all hazards by a painted line in the street (those of you from New York City may stop rolling your eyes at me now). Self-preservation alone should have convinced me to be more careful. But let's set that aside. The existence of the crosswalk gave me a sense of "entitlement" (a dangerous sense I picked up while stationed in Germany, where they take their crosswalks seriously). It was there to channel my movements rather than to constrain the driver. But I self-righteously and foolishly interpreted it as my right-of-way.
In the same way, when I read Paul's guidance to wives and husbands; children and fathers; slaves and masters in Ephesians 5-6, I need to be careful not to read someone else's mail. The commandments directed at me as a husband, for example, are meant for me. This may seem obvious, but there is a temptation for me to gloss over it and focus on my wife's responsibilities: "You need to submit to me." Yet the passage does not say, "Husbands, make sure your wives submit to you." Focusing on Mrs. Jailer's job takes my eye off the ball: loving her as Christ loved the church, giving myself up for her, etc. is more than enough for me to work on. I need to read my own mail.
Stated another way, in the same way my focus on the driver's responsibility with respect to the crosswalk took my eye off the stop sign, fixating on Mrs. Jailer's responsibility takes my attention off my own, and can serve to rationalize my own bad behavior: "Well, I can't be expected to love her if she doesn't submit ..." Of course, a careful reading of the passage makes it clear that I am to do exactly that, in the same way that Christ loved and gave Himself up for us while we were yet sinful.
Even worse, excusing my wrongs by citing hers reduces me to idolatry. I'm effectively saying, "I can't be expected to obey unless my wife does!" My wife thus displaces God (in my mind) as my enabler for obedience. The truth is that "it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose". Transferring that power to Mrs. Jailer (or Jailer Jr., or Jailer Boss, etc.) is idolatrous, unfair, and a losing strategy.
Transferring it to anonymous motorists can get me killed.