Have you ever wondered if your marriage is all God intended it to be? I have, especially during difficult times. I invite you to walk with me through Ephesians 5:21-33, one of the most beautiful passages about marriage ever written. Chances are that what you’re about to read will change your view of marriage forever.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything”
It is interesting that the Lord addresses women first. If you analyze this fact in parallel with Proverbs 14:1 (“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands”) you’ll see that what a woman does, will determine to a large degree the future of her marriage. We are the starting point, so we need to be willing to obey God’s instructions if we want to be blessed in our marriages.
In order to understand what God requires from wives we need to ask: how is the church supposed to submit to Christ? By following His guidance in all matters, right? Why? Because Christ is the head of the Church, the one who leads us in the advancement of His kingdom. So the church cannot act by itself if it is to honor Christ.
How does this translate into your life? Imagine yourself doing what the Bible says: following the leadership of your husband, honoring his decisions, trusting that he’ll lead you and your family in the right direction. This would give you peace and confidence in the future: two basic needs of women. It also will give your husband respect and a feeling of self-worth. No marriage survives without respect. This component is so important for men that the lack of it can completely destroy your family before your eyes. Men need to feel respected and admired. That’s why so many unscrupulous women are stealing away our husbands. They know very well that man’s primary needs are admiration and respect.
What would you do if Christ was in front of you asking you to do something? I bet you would obey immediately. The Bible is comparing the behavior of his church with your behavior. Do you follow the directions of your husband? This is what the Bible teaches us. Ignoring our husband’s instructions and needs is not only unwise but very destructive.
If you are thinking that submission is a synonym of humiliation, let me tell you that the Bible makes very clear that men and women have the exact same value before God. When God asks you to submit to your husband he is doing it with your own interest in mind, not because he doesn’t value you. It may seem like a hard thing to do, but if you obey God’s instructions the reward will be great.
Another word of caution: Whenever the instructions of your husband conflicts with God’s word, always follow God’s will. (See Acts 5:29)
In conclusion, the Lord intended for you to follow the leadership of your husband, honor him, and treat him with respect and obedience. Not too hard, right? What will you receive in return? Prince charming! Really, no kidding, check what the Lord requires of them, it’s amazing, exciting and encouraging. Read on!
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish”
The Lord asks from our husbands to love us in a sacrificial way. After all, Christ gave up his life; he lost himself to gain us. In the same way God is asking to your husband to give his life completely, to love you with an absolute, all-consuming love. It makes for the most romantic marriage ever!
Not only does the Lord tell husbands to love us passionately but to care for us in the way He cares for His church: helping us to be the best women we can be, nurturing us with all those good things that makes us absolutely fabulous for their own sake.
How would they do that? They’ll sanctify us with the living water of the Word of God by teaching us, edifying us spiritually, praying with us and the like. This will draw them closer to the Lord, as they will spend more time reading their bibles and seeking His will.
Their mission will be to present us to themselves glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, holy, without blemish. They’ll help us to see our potential, to thrive spiritually as well as personally. Not bad, uh? Who wouldn’t love to have by her side a husband who helps her to become a better person? We women love to be the center of attention! It’s like having your own personal trainer (Now you know why many celebrities fall in love with their personal trainers) in doing this they win too, because we’ll bloom before their eyes, making for a stimulating marriage.
“Husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself”
The wife is part of the husband; therefore he is required to love her in the exact same way that he loves himself. Egoism is not part of God’s plan for marriage, quite the contrary. Taking good care of his wife is a win-win situation, because the better a wife is, the happier the husband will be.
In the same way that Christ seeks to present himself a blameless church, your husband will end up sharing his life with a loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, gentle, and self-controlled woman. That’s pure bliss!
“For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones”
It is unnatural when a couple hates each other, because they both are the same person. The Lord wants us to understand the absurdity of it. What it is logical is to care about ourselves. So it is natural for a husband to care for her wife deeply. It is God’s plan.
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”
God’s design for marriage doesn’t include your parents, which is not to say you shouldn’t care for them and help them out. What the Lord is saying here is that you and your husband are meant to become so united, so connected, that you both are now one unit. You’re no longer your own and he’s no longer his own, you are now one person. Imagine how it would be to walk in the same direction, having the same goals. You both would save yourselves many conflicts and arguments, and enjoy more peaceful and pleasant moments together. “You and him in perfect harmony”, what a sweet thought.
The Lord summarizes the simplicity of His master plan: “Let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband”
A man shall love his wife as himself; a woman shall make sure she respects her husband. It’s really simple, and at the same time requires us to be willing to get rid of preconceptions and follow God’s guidance. It doesn’t come without effort but the reward is an ever exciting, ever rewarding, passionate, endless love story, Prince Charming included.