Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Sacrament of Marriage
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”
Paul wrote to the saints of Ephesians to strengthen and encourage the churches in the area. The key word of the letter to Ephesians is found in ch 4: 4-6, one body and one spirit, same is the message to husband and wife in today’s passage. Throughout the letter to Ephesians, Paul focuses on sanctification, cleansing, holiness and unity.
Marriage is a sacrament ordained by God to unite a man and woman to be together and one. In today’s passage verse 26 says ‘to make her holy cleansing her by the washing with water through the word’. This points to sanctification and also to the sacrament of Christian baptism. Through the letter to Ephesians, Paul challenges us to a spiritual warfare to keep us sanctified and take a stand. He urges believers to function as living body of Christ on Earth. For the family, the implication of being in the body of Christ, the church, means mutual submission and love.
God’s intend of creation of human being is man and woman to be together. Genesis 1:27 says ’male and female he created them.’ Just as God the Father and God the son was one and Jesus came down to earth with a purpose as a person, man and women was one and later on separated as two bodies in order to become one through submission to one another and loving one another in unity. This leads to a glance of husband-wife relationship with God in the centre, similar to the triune God - for understanding purpose.
Paul Explains the wonderful things we have received through Christ to illustrate unity of purpose and show how each individual member must work together with one another. Submit our will to Christ and seek to love others. Both husbands and wives should submit to each other just as both should love each other. God have a purpose to everyone’s life, to husbands and to wives. God placed individuals in different spots for a reason, sometimes may be in difficult situations. When we submit to God, devil flees from our family lives. Submission to authorities is submission to God. Jesus when born in this earth, he took birth as a member of a family and grew up in a family submitting to the family set up and authority.
Just as Christ loved the church, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. This is the most unselfish love. Love gives birth to love, because Jesus first loved us we are obligated to love him.
Husbands and wives should love each other not because all aspirations and hopes between one another are fulfilled. Real love is loving each other in spite of infirmities. There may not be any husbands or wives never had any problems between them. In a society when the church was confined to the four walls, Paul urges that the church of Jesus Christ is people, as Jesus loved church, husbands love wives. In the midst of these, Paul challenges the believers to look to Jesus’ love, the love to the extend of giving own life for the sake of loved ones. He urges husbands to be initiators of this selfless love. Love in family is not an occational affair, but as Christians we need to practice to love each other always. We as husbands and wives are urged to live a life worthy to the calling - humble, gentle, patient, bearing with one another in love, compassionate, kind and forgive each other.
Prayer: Father God we thank you for sending your son, Jesus down to earth to demonstrate your love towards humankind, and his sacrifice on the cross for our sanctification, redemption and demonstration of submission to the will of the father. Help us to be imitators of Christ in this world as husbands, wives and family. Amen.
Thought for the day: Love binds a relationship
Thomas Varghese, St. Andrew’s MTC, NY.
Theme for the week: The sacrament of Marriage