“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 a 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.
Please keep in mind, based upon our previous study, we have seen that a wife’s submission must be linked to a husband’s self-sacrificial, unconditional love for the wife. Submission to an unloving, selfish husband only results in abuse and harm to the wife. This is why the young bride to be must be certain she is marrying one who will love her and care for her sacrificially.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands,
Here we find Paul’s beginnings instructions to Godly wives. Wives are told here to “submit yourselves to your own husbands”. What does Paul mean by this?
First, let’s take a quick look at the word “submit”. “Submit” is translated from two Greek parts that are fused together “hupotasso”:
1. “hupo” – which simply means “under” or “beneath”
2. “tasso” – means “to place in an orderly fashion” or “to arrange”
“hupotasso” simply means to place under in an orderly fashion and emphasizes to basic ideas:
1. it involves arrangement producing order, harmony and longevity of the family
2. it involves compliance, submission and unity
3. it does not refer to “blind obedience” because this opens up the possibility of harm and abuse and an eventual destruction of the family unit.
4. it does not refer to a “silence” on the part of the wife. She is to kindly share her thoughts, desires and understanding of God’s will in all the major family decisions. And the husband, out of love and a desire for her well-being, is to seriously consider all she says and allow them to weight very heavily in the joint-decision making process.
Folks, some of the great blessings that can be had through a wife’s submission to her husband is order, harmony and unity within the family unit.
Why should the wife be willing to place herself in a position of compliance underneath the authority of her loving husband?
1. The husband will be held DIRECTLY ACCOUNTABLE TO THE LORD FOR THE LIVES OF ALL THE FAMILY MEMBERS.
Therefore, it only makes sense that the wife would work with the husband and seek to fulfill his desires for the family unit, since he is ultimately accountable to the Lord for his family.
As long as her husband’s requests will lead her to live a Godly life, she is responsible to follow his leadership. However, if the husband asks the wife to do something that is ungodly, she is no longer responsible to follow his leading in this area but she is to submit to the Lord’s will instead.
2. The husband, if he loves the Lord and his wife as he should, WILL BE ALWAYS WORKING FOR THE LORD’S WILL TO BE DONE AND HIS WIFE’S BENEFIT TO BE HAD.
He will be consistently placing the Lord’s will first in his decision making process, while placing his wife’s good secondly in the process. He will always place himself last in his decision making. He is to only make self-beneficial decisions if they are aligned with God’s will for his family and his wife will benefit, and in no way harmed, in the process.
If we stop and think about it, when the husband is consistently placing God’s will for his family first in his decision making and, then, placing his wife’s wellbeing second, the wife should greatly desire to follow the leadership of the husband and arrange herself under his authority. The only hindrance to a woman’s submission is her belief the the husband’s decisions will cause her to displease God or harm her personally. Apart from these basic principles, the wife has no Scriptural excuse for not placing herself in submission to her husband’s authority.
Some of goals a submissive wife seeks to accomplish are:
1. To fulfill areas of shortcoming for man. Where husband is weak she is to step in and meet needs.
2. To have complimentary abilities and talents, being able to accomplish what her husband is unable to accomplish
3. To love her husband and family (shown by her submission and reverence)
4. To be willing to sacrifice herself for the benefit of her family and husband
5. She is to work towards his growth and maturity spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and physically by helping him to achieve his goals and desires
6. She is to watch over and protect him through counsel and supportive actions
7. She is to not abuse him physically or emotionally (how can she protect him and aid him through abuse? How can she love him sacrificially if she is abusing him?)
8. She is to protect his reputation and public testimony
These are all attributes of a Godly wife as she seeks to be in submission to the Lord and her husband.
as unto the Lord.
By the Godly wife placing herself in submission to her loving husband she is, in effect submitting to the Lord Himself. How can this be? Perhaps the greatest motivation behind a wife’s submission to her husband is the fact that Christ desires for her to do so. The act of submission to her husband is also an act of submission to her Lord and Savior.
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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