What the Bible Says About Marriage, Pt. 3
In our life group, we are currently working through a study on marriage called Love & Respect. We have only been through three sessions, but it has been amazing already. We are so excited to see how God will continue to transform our marriage. I had already planned on the following verse for this series, but gained some new wisdom from the Love & Respect study as well.
Ephesians 5:21-33 Spirit-Guided Relationships: Wives and Husbands
21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 For wives, this means submit to 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.
We often hear about how people think it's terrible that the Bible says that a wife must submit to their husband, but to be honest, those people are only reading verse 22 and that is definitely out of context. In fact, I would say that God has challenged the men with an even bigger responsibility: "to love your wives, just as Christ loved the church." Those are some big shoes to fill, and I fall short all the time. Christ loved the church unconditionally. We are also called to take care of our wives as we take care of our own bodies. We must nurture it, feed it and protect it as if it were our own.
I think most men feel a sense of pride about this, naturally. We puff our chest out at the opportunity to defend our wife and family. It gives me great honor that God blessed me with a wife whom I adore unconditionally.
Some insight we gained from the Love & Respect study had to deal with the last verse in the above passage. Men must love their wives, and the wife must respect her husband. It's this idea that God knows that loving a man comes naturally to a women, but her weakness is respecting him. And for a man, respect comes naturally, but showing love does not. God is commanding us to work on our weaknesses here from both sides, the husband and the wife.
What are your thoughts on this scripture? Would love to hear about it in the comments below.
Other posts in this series