No where does the devil fight us more, than in our marriages. The marriage union is a beautiful type of the covenant relationship between Christ and the Church. The devil knows that if he can tear down the sanctity of marriage that he has chipped away at the very institution God ordained in the beginning. His first mission was to cause division between the wife and the husband and he has not stopped the assault.
Ephesians 5:21-33 (Hover for partial passage or click to read full passage)
22 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
This concept of submission in the marriage union is becoming scarce. This is the age of rebellion, not submission. Women are pushed to become independent and self-reliant. This is not the plan of God.
25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”
Likewise, there is a void of true love expressed on the part of the husband toward the wife. We don’t have the time nor space to adequately look at all the reasons why this is the case. For now, we will just acknowledge the fact that in general, husbands do not honor and respect their wives as Paul commands. Our model is “as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”. Many husbands today take and demand rather than give.
It is simply this: READ YOUR OWN MAIL!
Yes, you read correctly. It was several months ago that this revelation hit me. Too many husbands complain about their wives’ lack of submission. Likewise, too many women bemoan the fact that their husbands are not affectionate and tender toward them. The trap is to read your spouses mail!
The sinner should not be reading in the epistles trying to figure out how to be saved, right? Why? Because, the epistles are written to those who have already obeyed the plan of salvation as preached in the book of Acts. The sinner MUST go to the book of Acts to understand what they must do to be saved. I contend the same is true of Ephesians 5:21-33. When it says “Wives”, what comes next is written directly to the wife! When it says “Husbands” he is talking specifically to the husband!
Paul concludes in chapter 5 with this: 33 “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
Our marriages will become unbalanced and un-united when we begin pointing fingers of accusation. When we are focused only upon what our spouse should be or should not be doing. I firmly believe that if my wife is not submitting (which is not the case) it is NOT my duty to demand submission of her. First of all, it won’t work. Secondly, her obedience to the command is between her and her God.
However, my response to a lack of submission should be that I follow more closely to the model of Christ loving the church. I begin to GIVE myself to her. I start putting her needs and desires above mine. I attend to her wants with as much passion as I would naturally attend to my own. It could be, that the woman’s lack of submission is a direct result of the husband not giving himself to her and vice versa.
I am not taking away from the role of the husband as the spiritual leader in the home. On the contrary, I am emphasizing the fact that the husband is the “leader” not the accuser. Not the finger pointer. Not the tyrant who must get his way. Why don’t we focus on our responsibility and rest assured that God’s way works.
When we feel like our marriages are suffering, let us try God’s method instead of our own. It comes with a lifetime guarantee!