Ephesians 5:22-33

The Marriage Mystery

  1. The Ground Rules for the Mystery Ephesians 5:15 (NASB), “So then, be careful how you walk, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit…”

The Ground Rules 5:15-18

  1. Walk wisely
  2. Redeem the time
  3. Understand God’s will
  4. Be filled with the Spirit

• As we talk about headship for husbands and submission for wives remember BOTH husband and wife are called to walk wisely, redeem the time (from corrupting influences), understand God’s will, and to be filled with the Spirit. These ground rules apply to the following teaching on marriage, parenting, and work.

• The Biblical ideal of marriage is this: A lifetime covenant between one man and one woman. This is what the Scripture celebrates.

  1. The Wife’s Role in the Mystery of Marriage. Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.”

• First, wives subject yourselves, or submit to your husbands AS the head of the marriage. When a woman marries, she voluntarily places herself under the authority of her husband.

• Second, wives submit to your own husbands as to the Lord v22, and as the church is subject to Christ v24. So, the wife is to see her submission to her husband in light of the churches devotion to Jesus.

• Ian Hamilton, Submission for a Christian is a voluntary yielding in love. It is not an acknowledgment that the person I submit to is superior to me and that I am inferior to him or her. When a wife submits to her husband, she is recognizing and embracing the fact that he is the God-appointed head and leader of their relationship and home.”

• Third, the wife is to submit in everything v24. That is “everything” in the wife-husband relationship, and everything that is in accordance with the will of God.
• A husband has no right to force his wife into sinful behavior of any kind. That crosses the line from submission to abuse.

• The fountainhead of headship and submission comes from the doctrine of the Trinity.

• 1 Cor. 11:3 – “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.”

• Kathy Keller (wife of the late, Tim Keller), “In marriage, the husband and the wife both take on the role of Jesus. The husband takes the role of Jesus as He’s the head of the church. The wife takes on the role of Jesus as He is the Son, submissive to the Father, for the sake of our salvation.”

• The Trinity is the model for the wife in submission and the husband in headship.

  1. The Husband’s Role: Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are parts of His body.”

• FIRST, husbands love your wives. Biblical headship is a loving headship.

• SECOND, husbands love your wives just AS Christ loves His bride – the church.

• Husbands must love sacrificially (as Christ gave Himself up for His bride - the church). • Husbands must keep their wives holy (don’t make her sin and protect her from sin). • Husbands must bath their wives in truth (Don’t let her believe lies and don’t tell her lies, or let her lie to herself. Remind her of the Good News of the Gospel).

• THIRD. Love your wife as your own body. So nourish and cherish her – AS your own body and AS Christ does for His body, the church.

• Sheila Wray Gregoire, “Your purity is not based on what you’ve done with your body. It’s based on what Jesus did with His.

• Doug Goodin, God's Design for Marriage, “Two words every husband must memorize and master are nourish and cherish… I am tempted to say that together they represent the husband’s entire job description. A husband holds two relational positions with his wife. One is vertical, the other horizontal. The vertical is his authority and responsibility as head, almost a father-figure. The horizontal is his partnership, friendship, and camaraderie with her. Nourish and cherish capture these two relationships.

• Christina Hoff Sommers writes, “History teaches us that masculinity without morality is lethal. But masculinity constrained by morality is powerful and constructive, and a gift to women.” The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies Are Harming Our Young Men.

• Kathy Keller, Headship ... is not used for yourself because that’s not how Christ used His headship. He didn’t use His headship to say, “You know, I’m going to sit here and you’re going to serve Me.” Jesus washed His disciple’s feet and said, “Look what I’ve done, and I’m the Master. I’m giving you an example, I’m redefining what leadership, what authority means. It means serving.”

  1. The Mystery Revealed. Ephesians 5:31, ”For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, as for you individually, each husband is to love his own wife the same as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”

• Paul concludes by revealing the mystery of marriage.

• Husbands play the role of Jesus, acting as head, lover, and rescuer.

• Wives play the role of the Church, acting as follower, helper, and admirer.

• Together they demonstrate greatest love and unity story ever told: The Gospel. • God’s mystery and design for marriage is that marriage is a Gospel demonstration where His love and truth rescue us from our selfish selves again, and again, and again.

• Marriage is a witness to the world of how we love of Christ, and how Christ loves us.