In our present society and culture, times are tough and uncertain. Many people have found themselves unemployed and financially unstable. However, the truths concerning our marriages found within the pages of Scripture are reliable and serve a purpose for the basis of our marriages.
The truths can be found in Ephesians 5:22-33.
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as 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. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, 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.” 32This 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.
In this section of Scripture, the Bible teaches us that women are to be submissive to their husbands and that husbands are to love their wives as they would love their own bodies, and as Christ loves His bride – the church. But, our relationships with others will never be right until our relationship with Christ is right. In other words, our vertical relationship with Christ effects our horizontal relationships with others. As Christians, we must first be seeking the Lord and making His will the priority of our lives. Once we are properly seeking the vertical relationship, we will glorify God in ourhorizontal relationships.
The focus on this post will be on our horizontal relationship with our spouse. Wives: are you properly submitting to the direction and authority of your husband by being lovingly obedient? Husbands: are you loving your wives by feeding them the Word and God, caring for them, and loving them as Christ loves the church?
To the wives:
1. This is how you can lovingly obey your husband…
a. By loving and encouraging your husband in his non-sinful pursuits/activities
b. You can love, encourage, and support him by giving input to your husband’s initiatives to give vision and direction to the family
c. You are to love your husband like Christ loves the church
d. Resist the impulse to undermine or complain about the leadership that your husband provides
2. This is what this passage does not mean…
a. That the husband is the boss and the wife is the servant
b. That the wife loses her sense of “identity”
c. That the wife is not included in the decision making process
d. For wives to obey their husbands in sinful requests,
e. That it is ok for the wife to be victimized by abuse.
3. It is appropriate for a wife to resist her husband’s authority when he…
a. Violates a biblical principle or command
b. Compromises your relationship to Christ
c. Violates your conscience
d. Compromises the care and protection of your children.
To the Husbands:
1. Here is what it looks like for godly men to care for their wives…
a. There is a cautious guard against tones and words that could wound his wife
b. There is an attempt to spend regular quality time with your wife and to consistently
make her feel precious and appreciated
c. Do not look at other women in an inappropriate way or desire them in your heart
d. To deny himself of the desire to relax when his wife needs to talk or needs help with the children
e. Men are to live with their wives in a loving, compassionate, and understanding way (1 Peter 3:7).
2. Here are a few ways in which a husband can lovingly lead his wife…
a. Lead, and not boss or rule
b. Resist the temptation to lead by being demanding or by trying to please yourself
c. Take the initiative in resolving conflicts in your marriage
d. Recognize your wife’s gifts and find ways to support her and give her the opportunity to express her gifts.
So, as Christians, are you loving and obeying your spouse as it is required by the Bible? First, you must be pursuing your vertical relationship with Christ. Second, rightly pursue your horizontal relationship with your spouse. May God be glorified in our marriages and in everything that we do (Col. 3:17; 1 Thess. 5:18) !