“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.
In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.
- The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
- The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
- The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
- The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
- The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
- The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
- The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
- The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-21)
The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RELATIONSHIPS (5:22-33). For those who are called to be married, there is no greater earthly relationship that can be enjoyed. Within ama Godly marriage love, harmony, unity of heart and mind, and unconditional support are constants that only enhance our relationship with Christ.
Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I. The Marriage Relationship – The Wife’s Responsibility (vs 22-24)
II. The Marriage Relationship – The Husband’s Responsibility (vs 25-29)
III. The Marriage Relationship – An Example Of Christ’s Great Love (vs 30–33)
FOR A MORE COMPREHENSIVE LOOK AT THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF EACH PARTY IN THE MARITAL COVENANT PLEASE REFER TO:
As we begin looking at the grace of relationships, Paul focuses on the marriage relationship between a man and a woman. In particular he describes for us the relationship of a Godly wife towards her husband…
Eph 5:22 KJV
(22) Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Before we begin looking at the relationship of the Godly wife to her husband, it is of extreme importance that we understand the entire context of this passage. Many false notions about a wife’s submission to her husband has come about as a result of forgetting the context of this passage.
I would like us to note a few verses in the very near context…
(24) Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
This verse helps us to understand that the wife’s relationship with her husband is very similar to the local church’s relationship to Christ. What is the basic principle of Christ’s relationship to His local churches and, by implication, the relationship of the husband to the wife? It is submission to ONE WHO LOVES THE SUBMISSIVE.
This love is exhibited in three ways, as shown to us in later verses of this same text…
1. an unconditional love
(33) Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself;
2. a self-sacrificial love
(25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
3. a love that only works for the good of the other.
(28-29)So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Folks, for us to ever come to a Scriptural understanding of the wife’s submission to the husband, we must keep it in the context of the husband’s love for the wife. This is of utmost importance. Stop and think about it, when the husband truly loves the wife…
1. he is to be willing to sacrifice himself for her wellbeing
2. he is to constantly put her first ALWAYS working for her good even at his expense
3. he is to care for her physical needs (food, clothing, shelter)
4. he is to work towards her growth and maturity spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and physically
5. he is to help her to achieve her goals and desires
6. he is to help her thrive
7. he is to meet her needs of physical and emotional intimacy,
8. he is to watch over and protect her physically and through counsel and service
9. he is to be physically present with her (how else can he meet her intimacy needs and protect her?)
10. he is to protect her reputation and public testimony
11. he is to honor her as a weaker vessel
12. he is to not abuse her physically or emotionally. How can he protect her, if he is abusing her? How can he help her to thrive, if he is abusing her? How can he love her sacrificially, if he is harming her?
If the husband is doing all of this for the wife, will not submission to him become a natural and desired response of the wife. If she KNOWS he is always working for her welfare and making decisions that place her benefit above his own, does it not only make sense that she will submit to him?
I truly believe that, over the years, women have begun to reject the idea of submission to their husbands because of the husband’s lack of love and care of the wife. I lay much of the blame upon abusive, unloving husbands as the reason for the departure from Biblical principles of submission in the marriage. How can anyone expect a wife to be in submission to her husband when he lives a selfish life that only take advantage of her and uses her solely for his own benefit?
In our next lesson we will begin our verse by verse devotionals by looking at the nature of Biblical submission in Ephesians 5:22.
The closing verse of this section of Scripture will be a very fitting closing verse for this devotional…
“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
What more can be said? If both of these (husband’s love and wife’s submission) be present in a marriage there is no greater earthly relationship to be had.
May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!
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