Friday, September 25, 2009

The Husband and Wife Relationship

This past Sunday I was out of town, celebrating my 29th wedding anniversary. Karen and I had a great time together. Afterward, I realized that we needed to do this more often then once every few years. Truth is, over the years I have sacrificed my time with Karen much more then I should. Paul talks about this idea and other key principles for marriage in the text we are looking at this Sunday. You might have similar awareness of some of the shortcomings in your marriage.

In Ephesians 5:21-33, we will learn some key truths from God about marriage and about the husband and wife roles in it, as God originally intended. I invite you to read the text and come ready to listen to what God wants to tell you.


Reasons that it is hard to hear these marriage principles:
  • The way that this scripture has so often been misapplied
  • The culture that we live in
  • The way that most marriages are now patterned (James 3:16):
    • Dictatorship - one person controls everything.
    • Bartering – returning favor for favor.

Some helpful insights when approaching this text:
  • Keep in mind the connection with the previous verses.
  • Recognize that Paul’s teaching is revolutionary in light of the trends of his day.
  • Understand that the basis of these instructions to husbands and wives is a God designed order. (v. 23, 31)

God-designed orders:
  • Citizens are to be subject to civil authorities (Titus 3:1; Romans 13:1).
  • Slaves are to be subject to their masters (Titus 2:9).
  • Church members are to be subject to their leaders (1 Corinthians 16:16).
  • Children are to be subject to their parents (1 Timothy 3:4, Ephesians 6:1).
  • The church is to be subject to Christ (Ephesians 5:24).

Some core relational principles (v. 21):
  • Principle #1 - Relationships work best when both people are unselfish.
    • “Submit” to one another.
    • Submit: “under or below” + “that which is ordered, ranked” = to place or arrange under in an ordered way.
  • Principle #2 - Relationships work best when both people are motivated out of reverence for Christ.
  • Principle #3 - Relationships work best when both people adopt the “one another” principles in scripture
    • "one anothers": John 13:34; Romans 12:10; Romans 12:16; 1 Peter 3:8; Romans 14:13; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:2; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13; Hebrews 3:13

The Husband and Wife Relationship

Wives- give your husband the gift of your unselfish submission. v.22-24
  • Unselfish submission is rooted in the God-designed order of things
  • Unselfish submission is about roles and responsibilities. It has nothing to do with inequality or inferiority. (The Trinity: Jesus equal with God the Father but submits to His will.)
    • Types of authority in human relationships
      • Information authority comes from having inside information and using it to influence the thinking or behavior of others.
      • Referent authority comes from being such an example that others naturally submit wanting to be like the one with the authority.
      • Expert authority refers to those who influence by knowing more and being able to do something better than those under them.
      • Coercive-reward authority that comes from the threat of punishment or the motivation of reward.
      • Positional authority is authority that is inherent to the position.
  • Unselfish submission is mostly about your relationship with Christ. 1 Peter 3:5

Suggested helps for Biblical submission to your husband
  • Prayerfully release your expectations and rights back to God.
  • Decide to totally accept your husband Romans 15:7
  • Check out your own faults. Matthew 7:3
  • Focus your thoughts on the positive. Philippians 4:8

Husbands, give your wife the gift of your unselfish sacrifice 5:25-31
  • Principle: Husbands are to sacrifice themselves for their wives
  • Principle: Husbands are to make it a priority to help their wives flourish and grow in Christ
  • Principle: A husband’s passion is to see the completion of God’s work in his wife.

Suggested helps in sacrificing for your wife
  • Pray for an attitude of humility Philippians 2:8
  • Focus on the little things. v. 29

Husband & Wife – A Symbiotic Relationship v. 33
  • Symbiotic: When two different organisms live in close association with each other and in which they mutually benefit from their proper role in that union.
  • A symbiotic approach when disagreement occurs

No comments:

Post a Comment