JC 3 devotional 75 words


Ephesians 5:21-33
The Apostle Paul had some clear words for those, specifically in the Church at Ephesus, who were married.  The above passage gives direction regarding Christian marriage, and the message is no less important today.  Among the points that Paul makes are as follows:

  1. Submission (Hupotasso - to arrange under, to submit to one’s control) is to be mutual, out of reverence for Christ, v21
  2. Wives are to submit to their husbands as they would submit to Christ, v22, 24
  3. The husband is head (Kephale - metaphorically, anything supreme, chief, prominent) of the wife as Christ is head of the Church, v23
  4. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, and gave (Paradidomi - to give into the hands of another, to care for, to commit) Himself up for Her, v25
  5. God’s plan is for the husband and wife to each leave their family of origin and join together to become one flesh (Sarx - substance or body), v31
  6. As the husband loves the wife, she in turn respects (Phobeo - to reverence, venerate, treat with deference or obedience) him, v33

If one is not careful, poor hermeneutics can lead to misunderstanding and abuse of the above passage.  Paul meant to send a clear message of the following:

  1. No matter how one views Christian marriage, submission is to be mutual.
  2. The onus is on the man to love his wife “just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for Her.” This is a tall order.  Can you imagine anything that Jesus would not do to love, honor, serve and protect His Wife, the Church?
  3. As the Christian husband loves his wife as Jesus loves His (that is, the Church), then the Christian wife will reciprocate with her own love and respect for him.
  4. Thus, his love for her fosters her respect for him, starting and maintaining an ongoing, holy, matrimonial reciprocity.

And so, if you are married, how does your marriage compare with what Paul prescribed?  If you are a husband, are you loving your wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her?  If you are a wife, do you respect your husband? 
The bottom line of Christian marriage is that two people, under the Lordship of Christ, are constantly reaching toward each other, for each other’s mutual edification and benefit.  If the Christian husband is putting his wife before himself, and the Christian wife is putting her husband before herself, then each one is loving the other as Christ intended.  This is foundational to a Christian marriage.

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