Friday, 14 April 2023
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church… -Ephesians 5:22&25
In the Epistle to the Ephesians, Paul expounds on our heavenly calling and goes on to the practical application of living in fellowship according to our calling. Today’s reading portion from the latter half of Ephesians Chapter 5 focuses on Paul’s exhortation to husbands and wives - on the role of both partners in the godly union of marriage.
God’s Standard for Marriage: Paul illustrates that the Christian marriage should reflect the relationship between Christ and His bride – the church. Christ’s love for His bride was so selfless and unconditional as to give His very life for her, that she may be presented to Him spotless and Holy (Vs 25-27). Understanding the price that her ‘Lord and Master’ has paid for her life, the church joyfully and in reverence is obedient to Christ (Vs 24). This is the ideal standard of a Christian marriage that God intends in our lives.
The Submissive Wife (Vs 22): Paul encourages wives to be obedient to the leadership of the husband out of reverence to the Lord. In the biblical order of family, husband is the head of the family and the authority that the Lord has placed over the wife. By submitting to her husband and voluntarily choosing to follow his leading, the wife respects and honors the headship of her husband (Colossians 3:18, 1 Peter 3:1). Submission requires humility – a gentle and quiet spirit (1Peter 3:4). Sarah - Abraham’s wife, is an example of a woman submitting to her husband’s authority (1Peter 3:6) A wife’s submission should be portrayed by love, dedication and devotion, supporting and encouraging her husband in leading the family and their walk in the Lord.
The Loving Husband (Vs 25): The husband’s love for his wife is likened to the love of Christ for the church. Just as Christ through His sacrificial love for us, paid the price for our redemption on the cross of Calvary, a husband’s love for his wife should be sacrificial, putting her needs before his own (Vs 28). The unity of husband and wife as “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24) indicates a physical, emotional and spiritual connection which should nurture a Christ-like love. As the spiritual head of the family, the husband has the responsibility to love, serve, protect and provide for his wife and family.
Building a joyful marriage requires teamwork where both the husband and wife in unity with God (Ecclesiastes 4:12), submit to each other (Ephesians 5:21), love unconditionally (1Peter 4:8), encouraging and building each other up in the Lord. Bear in mind that, God fearing parents, rooted in a godly marriage set the best example of Christ-like love for their generation. Ephesians 4:2-3 reminds us: "Be completely humble and gentle; Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace."
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for my husband/wife and pray that our marriage will be the expression of deep unity and love that you have intended it to be, glorifying You in all that we do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.