Ephesians 5:15-21 ESV
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Before we get into this next section of scripture on the subject of husbands and wives, I believe that it is critical that we understand what precedes this topic of marriage in this book of Ephesians.
Beginning with chapter four, we read that it is necessary for us that we walk (in lifestyle) in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called. And, all believers in Jesus Christ have been called to holiness. And, to be holy is to be set apart (unlike, different) from this world of sin, because we are being made to be like Jesus.
Also, we are to do what is for the mutual edification of one another, as believers in Jesus. And, edification means “to instruct and improve especially in moral and religious knowledge” (M-W dictionary). It also means to inspire, urge, encourage and to nurture. And, this includes speaking the truth to one another in love so that we will all grow to maturity in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Then, it says that we need to understand what it means to be saved from our sins. We are to no longer live like we did before we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Coming to faith in Jesus means we put off our old self, “which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,” and we are to put on (apply to our lives) our new self in Christ Jesus, “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:17-24).
And, then it gives us some examples, such as we need to put off lying to one another, and we need to tell the truth. If we get angry, we are not to sin against one another in our anger, and we are to give the devil no foothold in our lives. If we have been stealing from others (taking what is not ours without permission), then we need to do honest work and then help others who are in need, etc.
Next it says we are to be imitators of God, i.e. we are to become like him in his thinking, character, attitudes, and actions. And, he is pure, holy, good, righteous, honest, kind, etc. Thus, sexual immorality or impurity of any kind should not even be hinted at among us, for everyone who is (in practice) sexually immoral or impure or covetous, etc. has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God (See: Eph. 5:1-14).
So, then we are told to look carefully how we walk (in lifestyle, in practice). We are to be wise in our thinking and behaviors and not willfully do what is unwise and sinful. We need to find out what the will of God is for our lives, and then do it. We are not to live out of control in sinful addiction, but we are to honor God with our lives. And, we are to be encouraging and submitting to one another in our walks of faith, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:22-24 ESV
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
So, it is with that background that we can correctly understand the instructions to us wives here. Therefore, the “everything” here does not include anything that is against God and his Word, such as anything that is immoral, or which involves us lying, stealing, or cheating, etc.
If our husbands try to lead us into sin, we can say “No,” in other words. If they try to involve us in what is immoral, impure, and unrighteous, we can decline. We do not have to submit to evil. And, I believe that also includes not submitting to anything that would involve us enabling them or participating with them in their sin, to where we would be assisting them in some way to sin. This is real important that we understand this.
And, I believe that fits perfectly in line with submitting to our own husbands “as to the Lord,” for the Lord is not going to ask us to sin, and he is not going to sin against us and ask us to participate with him in his sin, because he is sinless. So, just as we submit to the Lord, in every way in which we submit to him, and in the same manner, we are to submit to our husbands.
For, notice that it also says that the husband is the head of the wife in like manner as Christ is head of the church, and is himself its (her) Savior. So, the husband is to be like Christ in his headship over the wife, not bullying or being a tyrant or demanding what is unreasonable or sinful, and not treating his wife as a doormat for him to walk all over. He should honor her, instead.
Also, we read in verse 21 that we are all to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. So, just because the husband is the head of the wife does not mean he has to rule with an iron fist or that everything has to be his way. Marriage involves give and take, and each partner has something to offer. Yes, he has the final word – the final authority and responsibility for decisions that are made, but a good husband is going to yield to his wife’s wisdom sometimes, too, for God gave her to him as his helper.
Ephesians 5:25-33 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Although these instructions are specifically directed at the husbands, there are elements of this that also apply to us wives. We are to love each other, and this kind of love is self-sacrificial, putting the other person’s legitimate needs above our own. But, this kind of love also prefers what God prefers, which is what is moral, holy, upright, honest, pure, and kind, etc. And, it wants what is truly best for the other person, as God defines “good.”
Thus, this kind of love will give of one’s life for the benefit of the other, if need be, and that may not be to require a literal physical death. But, it can mean to be willing to suffer for the sake of helping the other to walk righteously before God. Now, the wife is not to become the spiritual head, that is the man’s job, but she is also his helper, and as his helper, she is to come alongside him and to assist and encourage him in his walk of faith.
But, the husbands, before God, have been given an enormous responsibility here to not only love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, but they are to spiritually lead their wives and help them to grow in their walks of faith, not harshly, but lovingly, tenderly, and kindly encouraging them towards walks of obedience, and leading them by example.
Now, the Lord illustrates for us what the relationship between a husband and a wife should look like. It should look like Christ with his true church, how the Lord is with us, and how we should be with him.
And, if we all lived like that in our marriages, there would be no divorces, no adulteries, and no broken hearts or homes. I am not saying we will all be perfect, but that we can love each other in this way, because we, who are in Christ, have the love of God living within us and the empowerment of the Spirit to walk righteously.
And, lastly, us wives need to respect our husbands. This word “respect” means to show concern, care, consideration, thoughtfulness, attentiveness, kindness, appreciation and regard for. It involves submitting to them as we submit to Christ. And, it also means that we are their helpers, and that we encourage them in things that are good, and that we are looking out for what is beneficial for them, and that we do them good and not harm.
But, the overriding factor in all of this is submission to Jesus Christ. He is to be Lord over our individual lives and over our marriages, too. So, in everything we do, we are to do it as unto the Lord, which will be what is in line with his Word, and it will be what is holy and righteous, too.
Mighty in Power
An Original Work / June 17, 2019
Jesus, our Savior, reigneth forever;
Mighty in power, His name we honor.
He’s our refuge from all evil.
God our righteous, He’s our fill.
He satisfies us with all His blessings.
We magnify Him. Our praise to Him sing.
Glory and honor, praise to the Father,
Perfect in wisdom, He is our vision.
He delivered us from all sin
So, in Christ, we’d be forgiven.
He purifies us. His love will guide us.
He is beside us, holy and righteous.
Our Holy Spirit, comfort in sorrow,
Strength in our weakness, hope for tomorrow.
He gives courage to be bold in
Witnessing for Jesus Christ.
He teaches all things about our Savior.
New life in Jesus, we found His favor.