Godly Marriage - Ephesians 5:22-33

Godly Marriage

My wife and I are coming up on our 16-year anniversary. We both are not experts on marriage, but our marriage seems to work for us. My wife is my best friend whom I share everything with and confide in. We communicate with each other, both good and bad, which seems to help us stay closer. We understand each other’s weaknesses and pay attention to the cues of struggle.

God calls us to love each other as Christ loves us. God paints us a picture of what our marriage should look like. 

How are you developing and strengthening your marriage? 

Ephesians 5:22-33
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 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. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Paul was just telling us to be wise in our walk with Christ. Be aware of this sinful world we are in and to not participate in fleshly desires. We are to build each other up and be submissive to one another in Christ.

However, Paul ups the ante here. He moves on to demonstrate how Christ wants our marriages to be. Paul provides us with roles and how we are to live with our spouses. Again, I am no expert on marriage, but I pray that my love for my wife translates to my wife feeling loved by me. We see in this passage that Paul is on the same page as Peter (1 Peter 3:1-7) because they are both on the same page with Christ.
Wives are to submit to their own husbands as the church submits to Christ. This is an example of obedience and respect for God. Wives are not inferior in God’s eyes. We all have equal access to the love of Christ and God’s will for our lives. But we are the bride of Christ and called to submit to Christ as the head of the church. Christ calls the church, and the wives, to be humble and submissive. God knows that we men need all the support we can get. We may play tough, but it is our wives who strengthen us. 

Paul then addresses the men as husbands. He expounds on the requirements of a husband. The responsibility is great, but the requirement is love. Are we demonstrating the love that our wives deserve? The love that Christ shows for the church? Christ laid down His life for the church, and are we doing this daily for our wives?

Paul says that husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. Marriage is a team effort, and in Christ, we are a union and one entity with the goal of glorifying God. When husbands love their wives, and their wife feels loved, the husband will receive in kind when the wife is submissive to God. But Christ demonstrated unconditional love to the church, so we as husbands must also demonstrate unconditional love to our wives.
Furthermore, in vs. 31, Paul talks about leaving our fathers and mothers so that our marriage can be our own unity. To me, all I think about is my children here. I get a humbling thought of ‘Am I being a good example of a husband for my children, and my wife and I setting an example of what Christ wants in a marriage?’ This is definitely a reality check that I need to work on. As my kids grow older, their perception of marriage is what they are exposed to daily. Therefore, am I loving my wife as Christ loves the church? Is my wife being submissive and obedient as the church submits to Christ? God calls us to be humble and submissive to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to lead us on the path God wants. Are we leading our children and providing them with the example of a marriage union between man and woman, husband and wife? This is even more important in today’s age when our children are being told that anyone can choose what or who they want to be and marry anyone they want. God teaches us that marriage is between a man and a woman, and we are to teach our children what the truth about marriage is according to God.

So, I encourage all married people to live according to the roles that God set in place for us. Love one another and build each other up as a functional team and union in Christ. As a result, you will be an example to your children and what God desires for marriage. We need to prepare our children for the day when they separate from their parents and form their own union as husband and wife in Christ.

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