Every time I read the passages about love and submission in the family between husband and wife, I cannot help it but remember the comments I sometimes hear from ladies. “It’s easy for a guy. He is only commanded to love his wife. Why do men get to have an easy task?”
During today’s Bible study in Sacramento, we looked at such passage again. Let’s read these verses first. Paul writes to Ephesians in 5:22-30,
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 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. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
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, 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. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.
Today in our class, we conclude the study of the letter written to Ephesians. We studied this letter with the guidance of a 40-minute course called “How Do You Walk the Walk You Talk?”, and today’s lesson displayed to us how our relationships would manifest that the Holy Spirit lives in us.
What is the role of the wife, according to this passage?
Wives are commanded to be subject to their own husbands, as to the Lord. And they are given an example of a church submitting to Christ. Since this article serves another purpose, I will not go into further detail on what this word “subject” or “hupotasso” means. I invite you to study lesson #6 from the same course we have just studied or the course on “Marriage Without Regrets”, which also covers the role of a wife, the role of a husband and a separate lesson on being subject. Submission is not in fashion these days, yet God gives each person his/her own role in the family.
What command is given to the husband?
A husband is commanded to love his wife, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her. Husband is also given a role model for his behavior toward his wife, and it is Jesus Christ:
- He loved the church and
- gave Himself up for her
Verses 26 and 27 show the final purpose Christ has while loving the church:
- to sanctify her
- having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word
- to present to Himself the church
- in all her glory
- having no spot or wrinkle
- or any such thing
- that she would be holy and blameless
If you further study about the word “love” in the course our class has just finished studying, you would learn that this is a present active imperative verb, which simply means that this is a command given to the husband to extend his love habitually toward his wife. Not for a day nor for a year, but a habit over the course of their lives.
Why I am happy to be who I am created to be
While studying about the role model God gives to husbands, we realized the weight of the great responsibility placed on them. The final purpose of love is sanctification, studying of God’s Word in order to be cleansed, and being presented before Christ in all glory, with no spot or wrinkle, and being holy and blameless. May our Lord Jesus Christ give husbands and wives His mercy, wisdom and support so that the roles in the marriage could be happily lived out!