Wives & Husbands & Relationships

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. 24 Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, 27 so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind--yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32 This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. 33 Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:21-33)

Basic Teaching on the Relationship of Husbands & Wives: Be subject to one another. Be available to each others needs. Be servants to one another.

Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:26-28)

This passage is not about one "lording it over" the other. It is about husbands and wives being subject to one another. Wives, be subject to your husbands. Be available to their needs to serve them - as you are to the Lord. Wives respect your husbands. (verse 33) Husbands be subject to your wives. Husbands love your wives in the same manner that Christ loves the church.  Christ does not come to "lord it over us" in the way the world operates, but comes to serve us. Jesus is head as servant of all! Husbands love your wives as you love yourselves. In fact, husbands love your wives as Christ loves, being willing to give your life for her! Husbands and wives, leave your father and mother! The two of you become one flesh. This is a great mystery! It is like the union of Christ and the church! It is a mystery, because while you become one flesh, you also remain individuals with your own callings from God.

Questions For Reflection & Sharing

  1. How is decision-making to happen in a marriage? What does "leadership" look like in a marriage? (Consider what it is like in the Body of Christ.)
  2. How do husbands and wives live as one without giving up their own God-given identity?
  3. How can husbands and wives serve one another and work for one another's benefit?
  4. How can husbands and wives help each other in knowing God's call in their lives?
  5. How does the marriage relationship form the basis for raising children? How do children learn from this relationship for their own relating to others?