Spirit-Guided Relationships: Wives and Husbands
In Ephesians 5:21-33 NLT is about the “Spirit-Guided Relationship: Wives and Husbands
21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 For wives, this means submit your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. 25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of His body.
31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
People often misunderstand the concept of submitting to another person. It does not mean becoming totally passive. Our Lord Jesus Christ at whose name every knee will bow (Philippians 2:10) – submitted His will to the Father, and we honor our Lord Jesus Christ by following His example. When we submit to God, we become more willing to obey His command to submit to others, that is, to subordinate our rights to theirs. In Paul’s day, women, children, and slaves were to submit to the head of the family – slaves would submit until they were freed, male children until they grew up, and women and girls their whole lives. Paul emphasized the equality of all Born-Again Christian believers in our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:28), but he counseled all believers to submit to one another by choice. This kind of mutual submission preserves order and harmony.
Submission provides evidence that we have the Holk Spirit-controlled relationships, and it requires the Holy Spirit’s guidance and restraint (Ephesians 4:2-3). In the fellowship church, the believers should be willing to learn from, serve, give to, or be corrected by others in the fellowship. Such submission can allow growth both individually and corporately as the believers seek to follow our Lord Jesus Christ. Our motive should be reverence (literally, “fear”) for our Lord Jesus Christ. We should not treat one another rightly just because it is expected or because we will be well regarded but because one day, we must give account to our Lord Jesus Christ of how we have lived.
Submission in the fellowship church should follow from submission in the home. The home, the foundation for relationships and personal growth, must be an example of peaceful submission. In a marriage relationship, both husband and wife are called to submit. The relationships between husbands and wives are a microcosm of the larger picture of fellowship church relationships.
Paul spoke first to the wives, explaining that they were to submit voluntarily to their husbands as they would to the Lord, meaning “as is fitting to the Lord.” This does not mean that the husband is “lord” over the wife. Our concept of submission must come from that which exists between our Lord Jesus Christ and the church: Our Lord Jesus Christ loves the church, and the church submits to Him. We must not base it on either a feminist or chauvinist view. Christian marriage involves mutual submission, subordinating our personal desires for the good of the loved one and submitting ourselves to Jesus Christ as Lord. The wife’s submission to her husband is one way that she can demonstrate her submission to our Lord Jesus Christ. She does this voluntarily out of love for her husband and for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul explained that a husband is the head of his wife as our Lord Jesus Christ is the head of His body, the church. In other words, the husband is the spiritual head of the family, and his wife should acknowledge his leadership. Real spiritual leadership involves service and sacrifice. Our Lord Jesus Christ as head of the church is also its Savior. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave His life for the church. So, as the church submits to our Lord Jesus Christ, so the wives must submit to their husbands in everything. A wise and Christ-honoring husband will not take advantage of his leadership role, and a wise and Christ-honoring wife will not try to undermine her husband’s leadership. Either approach causes disunity and friction in marriage. For the wife, submission means willingly following her husband’s leadership in our Lord Jesus Christ. For the husband, it means putting aside his own interests in order to care for his wife. Submission is rarely a problem in homes where both partners have a strong relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ and where each is concerned for the happiness of the other.
Prioritize Your Commitment Over Your Feelings
Remember walking down the aisle? You waited at the front. and then the doors swung open, and you saw your bride dressed in white. Then she walked down the aisle, and you made some enormous commitments together. Do you remember those vows? Often marriage vows involved a number of things, but in every wedding I have attended, couples share the promise to be faithful to one another no matter what: better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and good health.
At that moment in time, I remember the flutter of emotions; the wedding ceremony and everything seemed to be moving 100 miles an hour that day. It was a very emotional time. We were so in love, and those feelings were very real and natural to sense at that moment on our wedding day. While that day marked the beginning of those important feelings of love toward one another, we also believed that it would continue to deepen over the years. This is beautiful and right!
But these vows were also important because they rightly assume that life will get more difficult. You will eventually be less attractive than you are today – gravity eventually wins! You will disappoint one another, see each other at your worst, and face unforeseen trials and seasons of pain.
Some of these difficulties will draw you together. Others will tempt you to drift apart. These moments of time may expose the unloveliness of your spouse, and you may find yourself not feeling particularly “in love”. I know you find this hard to believe now, but that is precisely why the vows you are making today are so important.
Tim Keller said: “Wedding vows are not a declaration of present love but a mutually binding promise of future love.”
When moments in time come where you find your spouse unlovely, you must remind yourselves that when our Lord Jesus Christ looked down from the Cross, He didn’t think ‘I am giving Myself to you because you are so attractive to me.’ No, he was in agony, and He looked at us – denying Him – and the greatest act of love in history, He stayed. He loved us, not because we were lovely to Him, but to make us lovely. This is why you should love your spouse no matter what. Amen!
Choosing Your Wife Over the Kids
Husbands, a question to ask yourself: Is your family in order? Who comes first? Does your spouse come first, or do your kids take the number one spot? Or do you put yourself first? How do you even know when they are in the right order? The results are in, and we’re here to tell you guys, your marriage needs to be the priority over your kids. Here are a few reasons why:
It’s Best for Your Kids
One of the greatest needs for children is to know that their parents love not only them but also that Mom and Dad love each other. It’s well known that a children’s sense of security grows as they see parents committed and loving each other. Often, we see couples in love with each other early on, but as kids come in the picture, marriage gets pushed to the back. In extreme cases, marriage gets put on hold for years while you raise children. This is not only detrimental to your marriage, but experts are saying it’s also very harmful to your kids.
When parents can’t get along and separate, it’s the kids that suffer most. When they lose their family, they also lose their sense of confidence and security. And we know when children don’t feel secure, their whole world seems to unravel, and they turn to other things that cannot fulfill that security like Mom and Dad.
Research shows that almost all marriages take a hit when you have kids. According to an analysis of 90 studies involving 31, 000 married people, the drop in marital satisfaction after the first baby’s birth is a staggering 42% larger among the current generation of parents than their predecessors. Satisfaction dips even lower, (though less) with each successive child. Studies also suggest that one-third to one-half of new-parent couples experience as much marital distress as couples already in therapy and/or counselling for marital difficulties.
So, if you can.t seem to prioritize your marriage or spend money on dates for yourselves, or it’s a tough season in your marriage, do it for the good of your kids. And if you’re not sure how to start, here’s a great step:
Make Marriage Number One
We want to challenge you to be what God had wire you as one of the men different from the woman you married. Take some time to talk with your spouse about how you two can make your marriage a priority. Pull out your calendars and see when you can get some time together alone without kids. Try setting a regular date night. We understand that babysitters can be expensive. Even if it’s just once a month, that can be so refreshing for your relationship! Guys do your best to get your babysitter ready ahead of time and make it a gift to your wife. Then alternate each month who “picks” the date spot. Make sure there will be no hindrance in your romantic moment of time. LOL!
Start today and don’t wait! Make your marriage a priority by setting aside time alone for you and your wife. Make sure your wife knows you choose her with God’s blessing, and even above your kids. Remember, it’s the effort, heart that counts especially an effective prayer in reference to James 5:13-16.
In Proverbs 31:10 NLT says, “Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.”
You can continue to read from Verse 10 to Verse 31. These verses describe an ideal woman whose virtuous qualities are both a challenge and an encouragement to women striving for the same excellence. The verses form an acrostic or alphabetical poem, with each verse beginning with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The term translated “virtuous” (Proverbs 31:10) refers elsewhere to strength, ability, efficiency, wealth, and valor. She works late into the night (Proverbs 31:18). Earlier, the book noted that an understanding wife is from the Lord (Proverbs 19:14). Here, that gift from God is described in detail. The key to the character of this worthy woman is found in the fact that she “fears the Lord” (Proverbs 31:30; cf. 1:7). The book begins and ends by focusing on this motivating concept.
God bless our families. Christie and I am looking forward to our 41st wedding anniversary on May 21, 2021, and more to Golden Anniversary > 50 years. Amen! We give all thanks and glory to our Triune God – Father God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Praise the Lord, and Hallelujah!