Text: Eph. 5:22-33
28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.
Stephen Beck writes:
Driving down a country road, I came to a very narrow bridge. In front of the bridge, a sign was posted: "YIELD." Seeing no oncoming cars, I continued across the bridge and to my destination. On my way back, I came to the same one-lane bridge, now from the other direction. To my surprise, I saw another YIELD sign posted. Curious, I thought, "I'm sure there was one posted on the other side." When I reached the other side of the bridge I looked back. Sure enough, yield signs had been placed at both ends of the bridge. Drivers from both directions were requested to give right of way. It was a reasonable and gracious way of preventing a head-on collision. When the Bible commands Christians to "be subject to one another" (Ephesians 5:21) it is simply a reasonable and gracious command to let the other have the right of way and avoid interpersonal head-on collisions.
Stephen P. Beck.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands
… as to the Lord.
25 Husbands, love your wives
… as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
Which one is harder? To submit to ones husband as you would to the Lord … or to love ones wife as Christ loved the church?
I would submit that they both are pretty difficult or darn near impossible for we who wrestle with sin in our daily lives to do. Sin taints all of who we are, and everything we do so that even the good we do is covered and infected with sin.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
That sounds reasonable to me as a husband. It’s nice to know that my wife needs to hear, and listen, and submit to me as the church does to Christ.
But … there is more:
28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
Now … that, is a bit harder
Husbands are to love their wives as he loves himself, and cherish he, just as Christ does the church.
Well … what if the husband doesn’t know Christ?
Or, what if he is not a follower of Jesus? How does this impact married life?
Quite a bit I would maintain.
… as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her [make her holy or set apart], having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, [just as you were washed and marked as Christ’s child] 27 so that [Christ] might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Husbands are to present themselves to Christ in submission … and their wives should be sanctified or set apart unto Christ as the husband is the head of the wife … and … the head of the family in all things.
This, dear friends is not power … but servant hood.
I remember the first time I came to realize that it was my duty to be the spiritual head of the family. I didn’t want to do it.
What! I thought. Wait a minute. Monica would be way better at being the spiritual head of the family. She could do the table prayers, and she could teach the children the bible stories … and she could ... and she could …
But, everywhere I went in the Bible (by this time the Lord had, by his Spirit, drawn me into the word) - as I kept reading and trying to find a way where I could pass off this responsibility - the word kept telling me:
“Russ! It’s your job! You are to be the head! You need to do it!”
So what does this say to the Christian who has fallen in love with an unbeliever?
Be careful! Marriage is hard enough when you have the uniting focus of faith in Christ as your guide.
But without Christ … it can be a devastating proposition.
31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
My friend Aaron Neilson on Facebook just had his 4th child a little boy they named Boaz Michael Neilson.
Boaz is an Old Testament name from the Book of Ruth. In the story, Naomi’s daughter-n-law Ruth will not leave her mother-n-law but follows her back to Bethlehem, Judah. While there she gleans in the field of a near relative named Boaz. The story concludes with Boaz redeeming his relative Elimelech, Naomi deceased husband’s field and property and also Ruth as his wife. Ultimately, Ruth has a child Obed, who is the father of Jesse who is the father of David, a King after God’s own heart.
Ruth from the country of Moab is redeemed by Boaz and we see her again mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew Chapter 1.
Boaz is a Kinsmen Redeemer a type of Christ we see as the two become one flesh the linage lead to King David and ultimately to Jesus Christ himself. In marriage the husband is a type of Kinsmen redeemer, the two have become one. It is no longer we who live separate but we live as one in Christ. Can you see the dilemma of those who are unequally yoked to an unbeliever and the difficulty that may result?
United as one and united in Christ brings not always peace as we all struggle with sin in life and marriage but it also brings a greater union outside oneself in Christ. In submission and in love towards him we live as one husband and wife, united as one flesh, one couple, one purpose and one hope.
As Paul concludes:
33 … let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Love, Submission and Jesus!
In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit