In preparing to share in Kristi and Greg’s wedding this coming Saturday, I’ve been thinking a lot about
Ephesians 5. There we read:
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Just a few observations:
1. There is to be a mutual submission to each other (v. 21).
2. In her submission to her husband, the wife is actually submitting to the Lord! (v. 22).
3. The loving husband is to be the head of the home as Christ is the head of the Church (v. 23).
4. The majority of these verses challenge the husband to love his wife as Christ loves the church, that is, sacrificially. He is to love encourage her in her walk with Christ. He is to love her as he does his own body. He is to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.
5. As a summary statement, Paul says, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Loving and respecting — these are attitudes and responses that are best developed in a living relationship with Christ! (to be continued)
October 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm
When Paul wrote that letter he was addressing the Church and not just to married people. So the submitting to each other is about fellow disciples/followers of Jesus submitting to each other, and not only husband and wives submitting to each other. But there is no getting around it……the husband is still the head and that Paul said that the wife must submit to her husband, and the husband must love his wife.
But rarely do we see wives in the Church submitting to their husbands and rarely do husband love their wives as they should, or conduct themselves as if they are the head of the household. And rarer still is this being preach in Church….most pastors fear the repercussion of telling women that they must submit to their husband. This tells me that they regard other people’s opinion than doing what God wants them to do.
October 31, 2012 at 7:05 am
Thanks for your comments, Brian. Perhaps we have sometimes focused too much on the wife submitting and not enough on the husband loving as Christ loved the church. But you raise a good point.