Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
CHRIST IN MARRIAGE
Dr Thomas Philip
Orlando MTC, FL
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Apostle Paul starts his epistle to the Ephesians with God's plan to save the world from its sinful condition through Jesus Christ and the resulting new faith community (the church). This community is called to live by Christ's standard, not by the world's standard. It should exhibit unity and peace in Christ. This is possible only through mutual respect and submission among its members. The passage for today's devotion is a practical application of this principle.
The NIV Bible has placed this passage under the title “Instructions for Christian Households.” Marriage is the starting point of any household. In a marriage the wife is to submit to her own husband as she does to the Lord, and the husband is to love his wife, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. This relationship does not make the wife subordinate or her husband superior. God created woman from a rib taken from the side of man (Gen 2:21,22) so that she would stand by his side allowing him to lead in their journey together. Also, “submit … as you do to the Lord” implies that she would look for Christ-like behavior in her husband's leadership.
The husbands have a greater responsibility in loving their own wives. Their love must be modeled after Christ's love to the church, which cleanses her and makes her holy. Similarly, a husband's Christ-like love should lead his wife to a holy and blameless life so that she would be beautiful not only to him but also to Christ. First Corinthians 13:4-7 paints a beautiful picture of pure love which we all should strive to attain: Love is patient and kind, while without envy, boastfulness, pride, dishonoring others, self-seeking, quick anger, keeping record of wrongs or delighting in evil. Love always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. It would be easy for a wife to submit to a husband who shows such love.
It is not that wives only submit and do not love; and similarly, husbands love only but do not submit. The message of this epistle makes it clear that mutual love and submission are vital ingredients of healthy marriages. A society used to disposables may not find any merit in it. But we are called to live by Christ's standard. It will have its rewards.
Dear LORD, grant us humility to love and respect others. Help us to model Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives. Help our marriages go strong until death do us part. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness". Philippians 2:5-7
Mutual submission and love, with the mindset of Christ, is the recipe for a lasting marriage.