(Ephesians 5:23) “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”
It’s important to remember another verse in the context of this one:
(Ephesians 5:21) “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
True Biblical subjection in marriage is a bi-directional activity motivated by the fear of God. For the most part, we understand the authority issue in this verse as the Headship of Christ is established. However there is something more as we see in the phrase, “…and he is the savior of the body.” Christ exercised humility and selflessness when He went to the cross. Yes, it was an act of subjection – Philippians 2:7-8.
A husband who lives a crucified life also lives a humble life. The reality of the cross leads Him to operate selflessly as head of the wife. The functional authority of the husband only works properly if it is combined with the humility and crucifixion of Christ. Subjection must be an integral part of his identity. There is no place for domination in this type of mindset. This type of thinking comes from a love where the husband values and esteems the wife more than he values and esteems himself. Christ’s identity on the cross becomes the husband’s identity. It also means that regardless of how much the husband has been wronged, there is always mercy, grace and forgiveness just as Christ provided to the Church when He became Savior of the Body.
This type of thinking makes the Christian view of marriage unique when when compared to all the other philosophies and religions of this world. This type of thinking could transform our culture by transforming our marriages.
Renewed Thought – A crucified husband also produces a resurrected husband.
(1 John 3:17) “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
I received an email this evening from a relative living near Moore, Oklahoma. He related an incredible story of the ruin and devastation as a result of the tornadoes that hit the area. In one part he wrote, “The airspace above us was a steady trail of media and national guard helicopters. By the numbers, it was announced today that 13,000 homes were destroyed, 24 people killed of which ten were children (two were infants), and 75 magnificent horses had perished. Over 30 square miles of devastation including many areas where the grass was literally ripped out of the dirt by winds in excess of 200 mph.”
Most of the rest of his email told the story of the opportunities he had to help people who literally lost just about everything they own. He didn’t know any of these people but was compelled to help. He also told about the Salvation Army workers who came by to help the helpers with water and food. Then he wrote something that sticks in my mind – “Things are just things…” It’s amazing the perspective we get on life when we are threatened with losing our own or those we love. Nothing else matters.
When we see those around us who are suffering through loss, it’s also amazing how the love of God kicks in and compassion takes over. We continually find proof of the love of God. Through us He declares His love as we become the vessel to shed this love on those in need. Through us we have the privilege of pouring Him into the void created in the life of those who suffer loss. True Christian compassion is produced by the love of God. The love of God is produced by the life of Christ. The life of Christ is produced by the gospel working actively in us.
I know everyone helping with the disaster isn’t a Christian. For some, it’s simply human kindness. That’s okay too and we should never down-play that or take it for granted.. I’m simply pointing out that Christian compassion is unique to every other type of compassion because the Source is unique..and so is the eternal opportunity for both the giver and the receiver.
Please continue to pray for the people in the affected areas in Oklahoma and those who are helping them.
Renewed Thought – Self craves no attention and actually prefers anonymity when the life of Christ is being manifested.
(Ephesians 5:22) “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
Contrary to what many people think, this is not a verse condemning women to an existence of inferiority. It is also not a verse permitting men to repress women. The context of this verse must be viewed in light of Ephesians 5:18 where we are exhorted to be “filled with the Spirit.” One of the results of being filled with the Spirit is spiritual order in the marriage relationship.
Order does not mean domination. I worked in a grocery story as a teenager. We had three managers. All three managers were allowed to tell me what to do. All three were equally as authoritative. All three were good people. But the “store manager” was the final authority. When it came down to making decisions about the store, all three had equal input but one person was accountable for the outcome. In order to avoid chaos and inaction, someone had to have the final say.
God’s order for the family works the same way. Both spouses are functionally equal. Both spouses have equal responsibilities. But in order to avoid chaos, or at the very least disunity, someone has to have final accountability. This is the order that God establishes to preserve the family. While it may appear to be a superior-inferior type of relationship, it isn’t The idea of submission only works if there is a relationship based on love and both are living Spirit-filled lives.
Renewed Thought – Godly submission isn’t about winning or losing. The basis of all godly submission for both spouses is love and the Holy Spirit.