Ephesians 5:22-27, 31-32
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 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. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless… “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
We went for a dear friend’s Birthday party on Saturday night and it was a special one because we got to meet so many people and we were amazed to see how God works in the lives of people for purposes higher than just the here and now. I loved the fact that the entire evening was spent with real people with real lives and in the midst of that, the source of encouragement to each of us was the forgiveness of God and the lives marked by His grace. During the course of the evening, one of the topics 2 brothers and I discusses was to do with today’s passage and while this was contentious, it was a reality we had to deal with. What is the role of Jesus in our marriages and what roles do we play in His Church?
Paul reminds us today that the proper structure of a marriage is Christ as the foundation, husbands below in submission to Jesus and wives in submission to Jesus and their husbands. This is the structure God expects in our churches as much as in our marriages and while it sounds very lopsided in favor of men, the essence is the role Christ, men and women take in the marriage relationship. Jesus loved his bride, the church (Us), so much that he did everything in His power to make us perfect and without stain to be one with Him. In the same way husbands are expected to love their wives in such a manner and only then will they together be able to become one and serve God effectively. Similarly wives are required to submit to husbands in the way the church submits to Christ and in so doing glorify Jesus in their marriages.
When we consider our lives in Christ, we need to realize that submission is the only way forward with God. Without submitting our lives and it’s challenges to God, we will never enjoy the spiritual freedom in Him and so we should never consider submission to Christ or Husbands as bondage but freedom from the challenges of this world. In Christ, we will constantly battle the world because Satan would have us believe each for themselves but in Christ we are bound by love, God’s ever-forgiving, never-ending, always-cleansing, sanctifying love! Are we willing to submit and if yes, to whom, Jesus Christ or Satan?
In His Loving Service,
1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.