I have been reading through the book of Ephesians, and today that reading included chapter 5. This is a letter written by Paul to the church at Ephesus. It seems to be a letter of encouragement and teaching. Paul explains many spiritual truths in this letter; every time that I read it, I learn something new.
Today I wanted to focus on the section in Ephesians 5 where Paul discusses husbands and wives and how they should treat each other. For some reason, I know that this section of scripture causes a lot of conflict. But, if you really read through this whole section, it's a beautiful picture that Paul paints of marriage.
The first sentence states that wives should submit to their husbands as if they were submitting to the Lord. Why ought we to do this? Because God has made the husband as the head of the wife, in the same way that Christ is the head of the church. This means that just like I submit myself to Christ, I must also submit myself to my husband.
Why do women hate this? I know that many people avoid any mention of submitting in their weddings and refuse to acknowledge that this is what God commands. This is not an equal partnership. The roles of husband and wife are not the same or equal, though they are equally important.
There is definitely a reason for this. Men and women aren't the same at all, so why should our roles be the same? There is beauty in the fact that God gave us different roles, and if you ask me, the wife's role is much easier than the husband's role.
As a wife, I submit to my husband. I humble myself to do that. Is it always easy? No. But it's commanded of us, so it's what I do.
The key to this working is what the husband does. Here's the rest of the passage:
The husband is told to love his wife the same way that Christ loves the church. Now, those are big shoes to fill! This is only possible with Christ. It is only through the Holy Spirit that a man would be able to love his wife this way.
The love that a husband gives his wife is meant to be a sacrificial love. The husband is also tasked with feeding and caring for his wife. I think this means both spiritually and physically.
God set up marriage to be a picture of Christ's relationship with the church. How awesome is that? And to properly reflect this image, a wife must respect and submit to her husband, and a husband must love and lead his wife the same way that Christ leads the church.
This is such a challenging section of scripture. I know that I mess this up everyday. But, through the Holy Spirit, both husbands and wives can fulfill their marital duties. We must always fully rely on the Spirit to lead and guide us through marriage.
I'm curious to know what other people's take on this passage of scripture is? Do you see it differently from how I see it? Comments and emails are welcome from those who agree or disagree.