I have to admit that I find going through these verses a little intimidating. One reason is because I do not by any means consider myself an expert on marriage. Another reason is because these verses have always been verses of controversy in the American church (especially the wives submitting to their husbands). The American culture is built on the fact that every person has rights, and I am glad that I have been able to grow up and exercise freedom of religion and thought. However, because we have these rights the idea of submitting is counter-cultural. Today's post really builds on what I explored yesterday, and with that said I am going to ask you to read yesterdays post if you haven't already (I also apologize because I rarely ever ask people to back track and read another post of mine). I shared some things I learned about submitting that I am continuing to look at today. With all that said, please read Ephesians 5:25-30.
Going with the idea that these verses are written in context of the book of Ephesians, we can see that Paul references the fact that we are all part of the body of Christ. I also want to look back at verse 21 where we are told to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. The submitting isn't one sided in the marriage relationship, it just takes on a different look for each role in the marriage. For wives, we learned that submitting means to voluntarily follow our husband's lead. I love the idea that just as we are yoked to Christ, in the marriage wives are yoked to their husband. With that word picture in mind, what does that mean for the husband?
If you notice as you read through these verses, Paul talks about what Christ has done for the church. Christ is the model for how husbands should be treating and relating to their wives. We see that the reference to the body is used again and that Christ loved the church so much that He sacrificed Himself to present the church as holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives. This doesn't mean that a husband is going to spiritually save their wife by sacrificing their life; however, the idea of loving through sacrifice is something to consider. Consider the idea that once a husband and wife are united, they are yoked together and one.
With the idea of yoke, the role of the husband is very different from the wife. The wife learns that submission means to follow the lead of the husband, but the husband learns that he must care for his wife. If the leader in the yoke leads without caring about the partner, they may find themselves just dragging their partner along. That doesn't work, just as the wife not following doesn't work. The husband will find that if he doesn't love and care about his wife, he will not be caring for himself as well. So, in a sense, the husband finds that when he loves and cares about his wife, he is submitting to the needs of the wife. Remember that submission can mean to carry a burden and to assume responsibility. This may mean that the husband will have to sacrifice some things so the wife is able to share the load and follow. When thinking of the sacrifice Christ made so we could follow Him, we can understand why Christ wants this in our marriages.
Husbands, do you love and sacrifice for your wife?
Linking up with On Your Heart Tuesdays.