Ephesians 5:22–33 (ESV)
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Together, Pastor Chris and his wife Jena gave us beautiful insight into the biblical design of the marriage relationship. Through funny and candid sharing, they tackled the powerful, but sometimes thorny, issue of how God expects both husband and wife to operate under authority and in unity. It’s an enriching and challenging message to those already married and those who are someday spouses. Our example is Christ himself. In fact, here are the ways Jesus (as groom) loves the Church (as bride):
5 Ways Jesus Loves the Church
1. Savior – “…so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle…” (v. 26)
2. Head – “…as Christ is the head of the church…” (v. 23)
3. Giver – “…as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”(v. 25)
4. Cleanser and Redeemer – “or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (v. 26)
5. Nourisher and Cherisher – “nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.” (vv. 29-30)
We learned about the difference between an “egalitarian” marital arrangement (like a business) and a “complementarian” marriage relationship built on equality (like the Trinity). This pertains directly to the subject of biblical authority:
“Authority Equation”: two people of equal value, yet who each have a different contribution to that equation. Four truths about Biblical Authority:
1. Only God possesses authority
2. Within the Trinity authority is shared, although there are clear roles and boundaries
3. The intent of authority is the creation and nurturing of life
4. To be rightly aligned to authority is to know the privileges and boundaries of each role.
Husband’s Headship (Eph. 5:23):
1. You go first – take initiative, don’t be passive
2. Saves – committed to creating a climate allowing her to rise to her potential
3. Serves – acts of love; meet with an older married, Christian man; don’t be a maverick or your marriage will crash-and-burn
4. Lays down his life – includes hobbies, career, etc. when they aren’t compatible with unity
Wife’s Submission (Eph. 5:24):
1. Submission is fundamentally an attitude not just an act
2. An attitude of honoring, of expressing respect
3. Headship serves, submissiveness honors
4. A wife can be honest about her disagreements while still being submissive
What does it mean for a husband to love and lead like Jesus?
1. Men, we are not the highest authority.
2. The question is not are you the head of the home the question is are you a good or bad head of the home?
3. Take responsibility for the well-being of your family
What does it mean for a wife to submit and respect like Jesus?
1. The wife is just as intelligent, capable, and competent.
2. Men are not to be ruling over women.
3. It does not mean that a wife does not have independent thoughts.
1. What aspects of Christ’s relationship with the Church demonstrate the practical way that husbands and wives must relate to each other?
2. What does it mean for a husband to love and lead like Jesus?
What might a wife look like who has been loved by her husband?
3. What does it mean for a wife to submit and respect like Jesus?
What might a husband look like who has been respected by his wife?
1. In your marriage are you a consumer or a contributor? What’s the difference? How will you become more of a contributor?
2. What actions can you take this week to walk in your identity as a godly husband or wife?
3. What words can you say this week to walk in your identity as a godly husband or wife?