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)
- 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