Contributor: Alex Alajiki
INTRODUCTION: Last week, in our study, we were admonished to walk carefully as wise people by redeeming (buying back or seizing the moment) the time because the days are evil (Eph.5:15-16).
We also saw that when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we come under His control, guidance and influence which wine can also induce in the negative. He will influence us to speak, sing, make melody in our hearts and always giving thanks (Eph.5:18-20).
Today, Paul, by the Holy Spirit, is focusing on Christian households. This is a continuation of the effects of a Spirit filled life.
1. THE SPIRIT-FILLED LIFE IS MARKED BY MUTUAL SUBMISSION (Eph.6:21)
“submitting to one another in the fear of God” NKJ
“Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ “AMP
When we are filled with the Spirit, it will show by our mutual submission (respect) to each other; and the submission will be done in the fear of God, not the fear of man.
The word submitting here literally means, "to be under in rank." It is a military word. It speaks of the way that an army is organized among levels of rank. You have Generals and Colonels and Majors and Captains and Sergeants and Privates. There are levels of rank, and you are obligated to respect those in higher rank.
On the other hand, submitting one to another does not mean there is no idea of "rank" in the body of Christ. We can see how someone might take that impression. "It says we should be submitting to one another. So, I should be submitting to you and you should be submitting to me. No one has any more obligation to submit than anyone else." This will contradict Heb.13:17, which says Obey your [spiritual] leaders and submit to them [recognizing their authority over you] AMP. If Paul meant that there was no "rank" or "order of authority" among believers, then this command in Hebrews 13:17 is meaningless (1 Cor.5:1-5). The military implication of submitting to one another is to become a team player the moment you join the Army and same with the Army of the Lord.
2. DUTIES OF WIVES (Eph.5:22-24)
“Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Saviour of [His] body. 24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands."
• Submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord (v. 22). Paul addressed wives and their responsibility in the Christian marriage first. This isn't because they are the bigger problem or because they need special attention. The reason is that the apostle was particularly concerned about this question of submission. That was the principle that he introduced in Ephesians 5:21. This aspect of submission has a particular application to wives in a Christian marriage.
Submission does not mean inferiority. As well, submission does not mean silence. Submission means "sub-mission." There is a mission for the Christian marriage, and that mission is obeying and glorifying God. The wife says, "I'm going to put myself under that mission. That mission is more important than my individual desires. I'm not putting myself below my husband like a slave, I'm putting myself below the mission God has for our marriage, for my life."
• to your own husband – This defines the sphere of submission and this does not make a woman inferior to men in the general society.
• as to the Lord. When Sarah called Abraham lord (1Pet.3:6), That doesn't mean "Lord" in the sense of God, but "lord" in the sense of "master." That is a lot of respect. But still, it doesn't go as far as to say "You submit completely to God, so you must submit to your husband the same way. God is infallible, but man is not. We don’t blindly submit to sin. As to the Lord does not define the extent of a wife's submission. It does not define the limit of a wife's submission. It defines the motive of a wife's submission. This has nothing to do with whether or not the husband is "right" on a particular issue.
• For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church
Paul states here the reason for a wife's submission. It is because the husband is the head of the wife. In its full sense head has the idea of headship and authority. It means to have the appropriate responsibility to lead, and the matching accountability. It is right and appropriate to submit to someone who is our head.
1 Cor.11 & 1 Tim.3 emphasis the fact that the man was created first and not the woman. So, there is a natural priority for man to take leadership position. 1 Cor.11:7-10 “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.”
• just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands
Paul presents here a third reason for a Christian wife's submission to her husband. She should submit because the relationship of the husband and wife is a model of the union between Jesus and the Church.
3. DUTIES OF HUSBANDS (VERSE 25-32)
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, 27 That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless]. 28 Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, 30 Because we are members (parts) of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church.”
• Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her:
The ancient Greeks had four different words we translate love. Eros(desire), storge(family, blood), and philia(friendship) each speak about love that is felt. These describe "instinctive" love, love that comes spontaneously from the heart. Agape describes a different kind of love. It is a love more of decision than of the spontaneous heart. It is as much a matter of the mind than the heart, because it chooses to love the undeserving. It is a deliberate, sacrificial, giving and absorbing love. The word has little to do with emotion; it has much to do with self-denial for the sake of another. This is the standard of Christ love for the Church and is God’s standard for husbands. Agape gives and does not demand or expect repayment.
• So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies
A man must love his wife as his body, as a part of himself. As Eve was a part of Adam, taken out of his side, so the wife is to the man, because she is a part of him.
• He who loves his wife loves himself
when you love your wife, you benefit yourself. Perhaps it is better to put it in the negative: when you neglect your wife, you neglect yourself, and it will come back to hurt you.
* For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh:
Just as the first man and the first woman were one - she was taken from him, and then brought back to him - so it could be said of every married man today that he is joined to his wife. God did the joining. Husbands can resent it, they can resist it, they can ignore it, but it doesn't change the fact.
CONCLUSION: VS 33
However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband (that she notices him, regards him, honours him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly).
The supreme thing always is to consider our Lord Jesus Christ. If a husband and wife are together considering Him, you need have no worry about their relationship to each other.