The Story of Christ and His Bride
Ephesians 5 is a challenging chapter for the Western church. It speaks about “submission“ which is difficult to handle within a culture that lives and breathes independence. Add in the fact that this passage refers to wives, and we have a hot button topic!
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord…as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands…” (Eph. 5: 22 & 24)
But Ephesians 5 also mentions the word “love“. (Fitting considering yesterday was Valentine’s Day!)
“25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” (Eph. 5:25-27)
Ephesians 5 love is sacrificial love. Just as the very first man, Adam was held responsible in the Garden, we as husbands are also held responsible. Sometimes it’s not directly our fault or even remotely our fault, but this is the essence of God’s design for men.
We’re responsible because we’re men. So we need to step up.
And it is so worth it! By accepting this responsibility, we get to mirror Christ’s love for the church, in that Christ sacrificed Himself for His Bride even though He was completely innocent.
But Men, Let’s Be Careful.
We can’t read these verses with Hollywood delusions of sacrificing ourselves for our wives (though I believe it is the call if it comes down to it).
Sacrificial love for your wife may include something very different.
- Sacrificial love for your wife may include cancelling the cable package, including the NHL channel.
- Sacrificial love for your wife may include buying a Corolla instead of that F-250.
- Sacrificial love for your wife may include shaving your beard in the middle of January…in the Yukon. (That’s me.)
In my experience, every submissive wife that I have ever met has always been by the side of a sacrificial husband.
It just happens.
Through better or worse, good times and bad; the balance of submission and love.
Regardless of the world’s position, may we continue to seek God’s standard in our lives and our leadership.