Putting It Together - Day 3
Dear Lord, You are amazing! Your power and authority are utmost. Help me submit to others as I bask in your love. Amen.
Read: Ephesians 5:21-22, 25a (NIV)
“21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
“22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
“25a Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Husbands, if you want to really start an interesting conversation, quote to your wife only verse 22 from above and see how it goes! That is the temptation for husbands sometimes, isn’t it? I can hear it now, “But, honey, it’s in the Bible!”
Sometimes, what is not seen with verse 22 is that even though verse 21 is in a different section than verse 22 (as read in the New International Version, NIV) they are inseparable in meaning. They must be paired together in order to understand what Paul is writing to the Ephesians. Husbands and wives are called here to “submit to one another.” This is not intended to be a relationship where one is lording over the other. We learned about this in Day 1 of this week’s devotional in Matthew 20:25-28.
Instead marriage is intended to be a relationship with Christ as the center and Christ as the example. See how verses 21, 22, and 25a are related. Wives are called to submit to their husbands in a way that reflects the way we are to submit to the Lord. Are we called to submit to Christ only when we like what He has to say? No, we are called to submit to Him always. In the same way, wives are called to submit to their husbands always.
At the same time, husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Did Christ use his position for His own good or to manipulate others? No, He only used it for good and to bless others. In the same way, husbands are called to use their position for good and to bless others.
Paul’s words to the Ephesians above are quick to read but often very difficult to follow. Wives, in what ways do you find yourself not submitting to your husband? In what ways are you submitting? Husbands, in what ways do you find yourself not loving your wife as Christ loved the church? In what ways are you loving as Christ loved? Ask you spouse to answer your question from their perspective and be open to hearing the response.
Try reading from Ephesians 5:21-33 to gain even more depth to how God calls us to treat the marriage relationship.
Dear Lord, you challenge me with your Word, especially where I feel vulnerable and uncomfortable.. Help me to love and submit to my spouse in a way that honors your call to us. I praise you for your goodness and the gift of your Son! Amen!