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Marriage as brewed by God
Bible Passage Ephesians 5: 21-33
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & books 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians, Genesis.

Marriage as brewed by God

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached December 20, 2023

21 And you will submit to one another out of reverence for the Messiah.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of his wife as the Messiah is the head of the church. It is he who is the Savior of the body.

24 Indeed, just as the church is submissive to the Messiah, so wives must be submissive to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives as the Messiah loved the church and gave himself for it,

26 so that he might make it holy by cleansing it, washing it with water and the word,

27 and might present the church to himself in all its glory, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind, but holy and without fault.

28 In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself.

29 For no one has ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, as the Messiah does the church.

30 For we are parts of his body—of his flesh and of his bones.

31 “That is why a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

32 This is a great secret, but I am talking about the Messiah and the church.

33 But each individual man among you must love his wife as he loves himself; and may the wife fear her husband.

People can have good relations with one another only as they consider one another. When they insist on their rights without considering others, they only destroy harmony and fellowship (verse 21). And I agree that this verse forms the preamble for the discussion on the roles of husbands and wives that follow from the next verse. The verse talks about submitting to each other. A Jewish man, in his morning prayer, would thank God for three things. These were that God had not made him a Gentile, a slave, or a woman. By Jewish law, a woman had very few rights. Her husband could divorce her almost as he wanted. It was the same in the Greek and Roman societies. A husband could leave his wife and marry someone else. He could do absolutely what he wanted to do. Divorce was not a rare event. What Paul was teaching would therefore be new. It would seem strange. The word ‘submit’ has a new meaning.

God made men and women equal (Galatians 3:28). It is important to remember this. In the New Testament, they are equal in Christ. This means that to God they are equal. To submit to each other is for everybody. We saw this in verse 21. It therefore applies to husbands and wives. All are worth the same to God

Paul illustrates the principle in certain family and social relationships.
The Bible tells us in Genesis how God first made man and woman. God made man the head of the family. God also gave the wife her place in the family. That place is by the side of her husband to help him. The wife should not be against her husband. By her own choice, she should submit to him. But to submit is not something only for a wife. She should submit as Paul asks each person to submit in verse 21.

There needs to be agreement and unity in the family. This requires a leader. God has given the husband and father the authority to be this leader. So Paul says, ‘Wives, submit to your husbands, as you do to the Lord.’ A wife submits to the Lord and she submits to her husband. The two relationships are different. For example, she might do something for her husband. She should do it as she would do it for the Lord.

In union with Christ, people within these various categories share the same spiritual status (Gal 3:28). In the church, not much difference exists. They all become one and united in Christ.

If a family is to enjoy genuine contentment, it must have leadership, and this responsibility rests with the husband. As the church submits to Christ, the wife is to submit to her husband (verses 22-24). Christ’s headship of the church, however, was shown not through the use of force, but through the sacrifice of Himself for her, so that she might be pure and faultless (verses 25-27).

Likewise, the husband’s headship of the wife is shown not by forcing his authority upon her, but by treating her as equal with himself (verses 28-29).

The husband is expected to love the wife. With this love, you do not think about yourself. With this love, you want only the best for the person that you love. It is the kind of love that we read about in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. This is the love that the husband should show towards his wife.

There is unity between husband and wife, as there is between Christ and His church. This unity is the basis of the relationship (verses 30-33).

In verse 31, Genesis 2:24 is quoted as ‘A man will leave his father and his mother. He will join his wife. The two will become one body.’ This is God’s plan for marriage. It is the most important statement in the Bible about marriage. It tells us that it is wrong for a man to have more than one wife. It is wrong too for a man to have sex with any woman who is not his wife. It tells us that God does not like divorce. Here is God’s perfect plan for marriage. It is that a man and woman should stay together for life.

Before marriage, a man or woman share their lives with their parents. However, after they marry, they do not share their lives with their parents in the same way, though they still have a duty towards their parents. The parents have allowed their children to leave. They have ended all their rights over their children. God has now joined the husband and wife. You cannot separate them again. The two persons become ‘one body’. God blesses their life together and they bless each other.

🔷 Marriage was instituted by God and Christ must be the foundation on which all marriages are built

🔷 There must be mutual love and respect from both husband and wife to one another

🔷 Partners in marriages must learn to set boundaries even with their own parents

💥 Pray for your marriage
💥 Pray for a couple

Marriages must allow Christ to lead and all shall be well. If the partners do it the way Christ would want it, or how Christ would like it all shall be well. Would you want to turn your marriage back to God?

In series Bright Morning Reflections