.....and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man.'
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." Gen. 2:18, 21-24
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything.
And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God's word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church. And we are his body.
As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. Eph. 5:23-32
But, wait a minute, don't you believe in "mutual submission" the way Paul teaches in Ephesians 5:21, "Submit to one another"?
Yes, we do. But "the way Paul teaches" mutual submission is not the way everyone today teaches it. Everything depends on what you mean by "mutual submission." Some of us put more stress on reciprocity here than others. But even if Paul means complete reciprocity (wives submit to husbands and husbands submit to wives), this does not mean that husbands and wives should submit to each other in the same way. The key is to remember that the relationship between Christ and the church is the pattern for the relationship between husband and wife.
Are Christ and the church mutually submitted? They aren't if submission means Christ yields to the authority of the church. But they are if submission means that Christ submitted Himself to suffering and death for the good of the church. That, however, is not how the church submits to Christ. The church submits to Christ by affirming His authority and following His lead. So mutual submission does not mean submitting to each other in the same ways. Therefore, mutual submission does not compromise Christ's headship over the church and it should not compromise the headship of a godly husband.
Where does authority come from? You are familiar with the trial of Jesus. The Sanhedrin had brought Jesus to the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate. Pilate asked Jesus where he was from (John 19: 9). When Jesus refused to answer his questions Pilate appealed to his authority. ". . .Do you not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release you?" (v. 10). Jesus was well within His authority to think thoughts of non-existence and Pilate would have disappeared. Jesus could have said; "well since you brought up the subject of authority, and since all authority has been given to me, I think I will turn your lungs into gills so that you can't breathe air, or I will simply give the command to your heart to stop beating." No. "Jesus answered, "You could have no power (authority) at all against Me unless it had been given you from above."
Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin." The ordered arrangement of power and authority comes from God. How people sinfully exercise that authority and power will be judged by God. Jesus was trying to let Pilate "off the hook". Jesus was acting as a Savior towards Pilate even when Pilate was on his "authority or power kick".
Authority comes from God. Responsibility for that authority rests with you. Wives are responsible to submit to their own husbands. God has given authority, headship, leadership to the man. But men are responsible to God to exercise that authority in a sinless fashion. Women have a twisted sinful inclination to usurp the authority of men. Men have a twisted sinful inclination to Lord it over women, to lead with their feet rather than with their heart. For a woman to rebel against her husbands leadership is bad. For a man to twist scripture and brutalize women is evil. A man who fails to love his wife is guilty of a far greater sin.
Why is it a greater sin? Because greater authority brings greater responsibility. There is an old Italian proverb: When a wife sins the husband is never innocent. To whom much is given, much is required. Men, you will answer to God for your treatment of your wife. This section of scripture exists not only to provide a framework for authority in relationships, but also to prevent men from making the huge mistake of disobeying the Lord Jesus Christ.
The same Jesus who provides the context for authority also provides ample example for service to them. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to devote much more space to the role and responsibility of the man than to the woman. He sets a very high standard: men are to love their wives. To love means so many different things to different people. So Paul includes a measuring rod. A frame of reference. The degree to which a man is to love his wife is as "Christ loved the church".
Does that mean that the "feelings" that Jesus feels for the church are the feelings we as men are to have towards our wives? Perhaps our feelings are a part of our love, but the greater implication is the way we act out that love, live out that love in an arena of demonstration. You who love your wives might think: no problem. I love my wife. But, do you? Do you love them with a spiritual love? God established marriage for a number of reasons. For one thing it was meant to meet emotional needs for companionship "It is not good that the man should be alone" (Gen. 2:18). Marriage has the social function of family and raising children and propagating the race (Gen. 1:28). Paul indicates that there is a physical reason or purpose in marriage---to help man and woman fulfill the normal desires that God has given to each of them "let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" (I Cor. 7:1-3).
Here in the 5th chapter of Ephesians the spiritual reasons are given: Paul makes the pattern for a husband's love, the love of Jesus Christ for the church. During the 1800's children had a "copybook" that they would use to learn "cursive" writing. Children would copy the letters "exactly" the way they appeared in the book. That is why you look at writing from that era and it all looks so much alike. They patterned their writing in one way. Husbands are to make Jesus their "copybook". A Sacrificial Love (verse 25) A Sanctifying Love (verse 26-27) A Satisfying Love (verse 28-33)
The Apostle Peter told husbands to live with their wives, "dwell with them; with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered" (I Peter 3:7). "the grace of life". That's what Peter called marriage! Isn't it a beautiful description? Marriage should be something that gets better, richer, deeper and more satisfying day by day.
But it is not so in our culture. The murder of O.J. Simpson's wife has brought out a flood of liberal politicians proclaiming that all married women are at risk. They used the opportunity to introduce a 2 billion dollar federal Violence Against Women Act. The Washington Post in a recent article reported that 37% of married women are abused each year. (This figure came from a survey that counted as abuse any time a husband "stomped out of the room or house or yard") There is a serious reality of abuse. " About 180,000 of the 57 million married or cohabiting women in America receive help from a doctor after being abused by a husband or boyfriend." (World volume 9, number 3 July 30th 1994) In ancient societies women were treated little better than slaves. Orthodox Jews would begin morning prayers with; "Thank you O God that I wasn't born a slave, or Gentile or a woman."
Marriage had deteriorated to the point that those who embraced the Liberal Jewish School of Hillel would divorce their wife for something as silly as putting to much salt on the food. If a woman spoke to a man in a public place who was not her husband; it was considered reasonable grounds for divorce. In Jewish law a woman was not a person but a thing. She had no legal rights. She was a possession of her husband. The Greeks and Romans were worse. Many Greek men kept concubines for physical pleasure and social interaction. Wives simply raised children and ran the affairs of the household. Xenophon said it was the husband's aim that a wife "might see as little as possible, hear as little as possible and ask as little as possible". Modern men are little different. One man said; "my wife is an angel. She's always up in the air, she's usually harping on something; and she complains about the one outfit I've given her to wear."
One woman went to see a marriage counselor. He asked her; "what's the problem?" She said; "It all began when he wanted to be included in the wedding pictures". Do you realize that originally a wedding ceremony was little more than a kidnapping? The groom would take the bride. Today's ushers and best man used to be warriors who accompanied the groom when went to capture his bride. And the gifts the groom presented them with for helping him capture her has become the tradition of the groom giving gifts to the wedding party. In rural Japan, a man's wife is chosen for him by his parents and he doesn't know who she is until after the marriage. Though the custom is completely different in America, the end result is the same; he doesn't know who she is after the marriage.
Sacrificial love (Verse 25 of Ephesians 5)
Taken at face value these words were a shocker. Men wereto Love their wives as Christ loved the church. What does that mean? Sacrificial love. I think most men would like to believe they would die for their wives. William Tanner was such a man. He and his wife Mary were crossing a railroad track some years ago when Mary's foot slipped and got wedged between the rail and wooden crosswalk. Desperately she tried to get loose as a train approached a curve. Her husband attempted to free her. As the express came closer with its brakes screeching, Mary realized that it just wasn't going to stop in time. "Leave me, Bill! Get out of here!". His efforts to free her were useless. He arose and quickly put his arms around her to protect her as much as possible. While the bystanders shuddered in horror, the train thundered over them. It was reported that just before the train hit them, they heard the brave man cry, "I'll stay with you, Mary".
Most men are never placed in that position. But all men are placed in a position to die. To die to self. We as men are called to set aside our petty self-centered demands and begin to live sacrificially for our wives. That is exactly what Jesus did. "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Phil. 3:8). No wonder Jesus adopted the O.T. picture of "Bridegroom". In the O.T. Jehovah was the bridegroom of Israel.
Men are selfish. Guy's don't look so shocked. Ladies thank you for not shouting Amen! You think you would be willing to throw yourself in front of a speeding train? Then why is it so difficult to just go the grocery store or the worst of all tortures? Shopping with her! What to do? Die to self. Billy Graham said "You have an ego--a consciousness of being an individual. But that doesn't mean you are to worship yourself, to think constantly of yourself, and to live entirely for self". If you live in a marriage relationship where you deny yourself nothing, insist on everything, will compromise on nothing then you will have a terrible marriage. Deny yourself, or be denied a wholesome healthy marriage.
Pray with your wife and for your wife. Sacrificial love does that. The Bible says that Jesus prays for you. He is seated at the right hand of the Father where "HE ever lives to make intercession for you. We have an advocate (attorney) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteousness.
Pay attention to her. Live with her and understand the way she is. Does Jesus pay attention to you? Years ago in the Midwest the story was told of a farmer and his wife who were lying in bed during a storm when suddenly a funnel of a tornado lifted the roof right off the house and sucked their bed away with them still in it. The wife began to cry. The farmer called to her that this was no time to cry. But she called back that she couldn't help it, as she was so happy. It was the first time they had been out together in 20 years! Jesus rejoices in our presence. He delights in meeting our needs.
Like Jesus he will remain faithful to her. One thing that the church can always count on is the faithfulness of the groom. Men who fail to honor their commitments to their wives slap Jesus in the face. Few things burn the marriage bridge more completely than infidelity. Trust, respect and affection are all linked and are the pillars that support the unity of that which we call marriage. Men your love must be sacrificial, a dying to self-love;; a praying love which lives in continual intercession, and an attentive love which lavishes time and care.
A sanctifying love (Verse 26 of Ephesians.5)
What did Jesus' sacrifice accomplish? The sanctifying of the church. To be "sanctified" means to be set apart. Men are not supposed to "use woman" but love them and serve them so that they can serve Christ. Paul will give us three important pictures to communicate this truth. (1) a Hebrew picture. (2) a prophetic picture (3) and a marital picture. In verse 26 there is a deliberate picture of the bridal ritual bath. The Jewish maiden would rise at dawn on her wedding day; the day each bride dreams about. Her bridesmaids join her in the nuptial bath. After she bathes she puts on here embroidered linen wedding dress and first century Birkenstocks (wedding sandals). She waits for her beloved, breathless, without spot or blemish. Spots are caused by defilement on the outside, while wrinkles are caused by decay on the inside.
The church today is certainly not perfect. It has spots and wrinkles. The spots are caused by the defilement of the world. When the church becomes defiled with the world and by the world, she needs to be cleansed an washed. The Bible, the word of God is the detergent, the cleansing agent. "Keep yourself unspotted from the world " (James 1:27). Strictly speaking the church should have no wrinkles. Wrinkles are evidence of old age caused by decay on the inside. As the church is nourished by the Word it should cause the wrinkles to disappear. THE WORD of God should be like Heavenly Oil that smoothes out the wrinkles.
Like a beautiful bride, the church ought to be clean and youthful. 2. Verse 27: Here is the prophetic picture. (2) Paul here paints a picture here on the earth. The lovely bride. We are washed by the preaching of the gospel, the embracing of the word. We receive a glorious baptism, into the Spirit where we enter the Body of Christ. We receive a glorious Baptism by the Spirit for power and service. We are baptized in water which represents the complete washing that Jesus accomplishes and we are raised to new life. Then the picture switches to the return of Christ where a pure and clean bride is presented to Jesus. The official wedding is ready to begin.
The sealing of the romance of the ages. (3) Here also is the marital picture. The picture is of a woman who has become more like Christ. Her salvation and sanctification are solely the work of Jesus Christ. And yet a prominent part of her loving growth has come from her husband's example. He has been a humble partner in developing her beauty. When you are a man of God, richly indwelt by the word of God, filled with the Spirit of God, you have the tools to cooperate with God in the perfection of your wife.
Satisfying love Verse 28 &29 of Ephesians 5)
This verse does not teach "self-love". We know from life that we love ourselves. Self-love proponents would do well to memorize this verse. People do love themselves. Some will say "no I hate myself". An example is the woman with the weight problem. That a husband must "first love" himself in order to love his wife. Wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible not only suggests but states that we do love ourselves. The Bible says that the two shall become one flesh. Men who love their wives love themselves. When you are being kind to her you are being kind to yourself. When you are being unkind to her, you are being unkind to yourself. What ever you do to her, you are in effect doing it to yourself. Do you want to call her by some ugly name? Then you are diminishing yourself. Do you call her stupid? Are you questioning her judgment? Remember, it was the same mind and judgment she exercised when she married you!
A person feeds and clothes and looks after himself. Husbands when you are taking care of your wife you are taking care of yourself. The key words are nourish and cherish. These are not just externals, doing things on the outside but also on the inside. Christ's Bride and Christ's Body are the same! Paul fuses the two. Husbands are to love their wives sacrificially, and husbands are to love their wives like their own body. Because Christ loves us and we are His Body. In a way that is mysterious and wonderful we are in Christ in a permanent and indivisible manner. Here Paul quotes Genesis 2:24. The two shall become one flesh. This is a statement of both spiritual truth and satisfaction.
So many people who are asked "are you one flesh; they say yes; what we are trying to decide is which one! A man's love nourishes his wife just as Christ's love nourishes the church. How many times have you heard someone say; "I'm starved for love?" "There should be no starvation for love in a Christian home, for the husband and wife should so love each other that their physical and emotional, and spiritual needs are met. If both are submitted to the Lord, and to each other, they will be so satisfied that they will not be tempted to look anywhere else for fulfillment." (Warren Wiersbe p. 51)
The church is a beautiful union of Christ and redeemed sinner. This was formally something unknown. A mystery in the Bible is something that was hidden in the past but is now revealed. It was hidden in the past about the true nature and identity of the Church. No one would have believed that God would unity both Jew and Gentile into one Body who would become His forever Bride. In the same mysterious way that a man and a woman become "one flesh", so too the church is joined to Christ. Paul has painted a beautiful picture in the Book of Ephesians. The church is a Building; of living stones. The church is a Body; one new man; Jew and Gentile; slave and free. The church is a Bride, without spot or wrinkle; a cleansed and consecrated lover; object of affection and eternal care. Pay close attention to the word "respects". Phobetai, literally means fears. The fear is not limited to unreasonable concern. We are called to "fear" God. Does that mean that we live in constant dread of His punishment? No fear has the broad meaning of simple respect, through reverence right up to adoration. The love that Jesus has in mind for husbands is the love that sacrifices; and serves; the sacrifice and service should have the end result of your wife being all that Jesus has called her to be.
Look carefully and consider what Paul says. Paul does not stress authority over the wife, but love towards her. The authority he has defines his responsibility towards her. In our mind authority typically conjures images of power and control, dominion, perhaps even oppression. If you have labored under the false idea that a godly husband is a man who is domineering,tyrant who makes all the decisions alone than you are wrong. A man who issues commands and expects mindless obedience, inhibits and suppresses his wife, and prevents her from growing into a godly woman for Jesus Christ; who links success to him and not to her, then you have misunderstood everything that Paul has written.
Men your headship is to initiate and lead. Your power is the power to woo and win by love. Headship should never be confused with dictatorship. You are to care, not to crush. You are to serve, not smother, you are to facilitate and not frustrate your wife's spiritual growth and not destroy the work of God in her life.
The standard is the cross. Most of the marriage books should be in the atonement section of the theology books. Men if you will be all that you can be in Christ she will love you.
The teachings about the Lord's will concerning the wife's submission to their husbands by people like Bill Gothard, for example, are, for the most part, exactly correct. Sadly, many women do not follow these teaching from the bible and become rebellious, and suffer the consequences. Sadly, people like Bill are preaching a different Jesus and a different gospel, so they don't teach us the truth about the real God and the real Jesus, and therefore many of us have very faulty foundations.
I greatly sympathize with the many women who have suffered because their husbands, whom they themselves chose to marry, were sinful and prideful and warped and misused the teachings of the Bible. Yet the great danger is that we, as people, not just women, are rebels at heart, because we are used to rebelling against God to get our way, to fulfill our selfish desires, and therefore wives so very often carry on rebelling against their husbands. No husband will yet be perfected, so therefore if a woman allows herself to rebel against her husband for any reason she will usually continue to do so, and she will be commended and encouraged and rewarded by the world and the hypocrites in the 'church'.
The Bible warns us terribly about such rebellion, so we will suffer if we don't learn how to humble ourselves and become obedient. A wife must not leave her husband, but if he is abusing her and she has been truly drawing close to God, God may lead her to leave him, but she must remain unmarried (unless her reason for leaving was his sexual sinning). Paul, by the Spirit, wrote, Phil 3:18 "For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things." These modern day rebels don't submit to their husbands, they don't fast much, they watch tv and indulge in godless chatter with the world, they are heading for total ruin and destruction.
Most women are not following Jesus properly so they don't submit to their husbands properly, and they blame their own rebellion on their husbands. The husbands are responsible for their own sins, but the wife will bear the brunt of her punishment for her own rebellion. God's way works, my wife can testify. If the men would lead their wives properly, the wife could learn to trust the Lord to submit to her fallable husband. The men are often mostly to blame in these issues, because we often do not love our wives properly and lead them properly, but that does not save a rebellious wife's soul who gives in to the flesh.
5 Tablespoons of
1 Cup of Tolerance
1/2 Cup of Sweetness
4 Tablespoons of Like
6 Tablespoons of Love
1/2 Cup of
4 Tablespoons of Sensitivity
Season with Desire, Need, Commitment
Start with the basic ingredients of Love and Like, seasoned with Desire, Need and Commitment, then add 1/2 cup of Gentleness and stir until soft, but peaking. Add tablespoons of Sensitivity until very smooth, then continue to add Tolerance until all the lumps are gone. Mix "briskly" until thick. Cook slowly - for too much heat too quickly, may scorch it, damaging your previous efforts. If this occurs, remove the outer shell, re-stir and add the desired ingredients to accomplish smoothness, but peaking. Re-cook per directions, and remember - Only the outer shell was damaged, the basic ingredients remain. The quantity may be slightly reduced, but not the quality. Apply maximum pressure until completely done and firm.
Take 2 hearts (Yours
and his will be
Mix them slowly until well blended.
Pour in compliments like cream.
Arguments - Remove and steam.
(Never stir them twice.)
Add clean jokes and laughs for spice.
Stir in mutual dreams and wishes.
And sprinkle lavishly with kisses.
With just a pinch of salty tears,
This love should keep for years and years.