Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.Ephesians 5:22(NASB)
Having been given a breathtaking description of our privileged position in Christ and the astonishing benefits of trusting His finished work on the Cross for our salvation, Paul outlines the importance of being spirit-filled and walking in holiness. He then guides us through the process of its practical application in our everyday lives, and in particular in connection with the relationships that we have with one another.
The spirit-filled believer should be a reflection of the holiness and love of the Lord, and should walk as children of the light in His wisdom and grace. But this can be severely tested when confronted with the pressures of the daily work-round and living in the confines of our own homes. And so Paul uses three relational connections as examples of how to walk in spirit and truth, and in wisdom and grace - so that our actions and attitudes render a service to the Lord, honour His name, and demonstrate the godly walk of a spiritual believer.
Servants should willingly submit to their masters. Children should obediently submit to their parents and wives are called to graciously submit to their own husband. How important this instruction is from the apostle Paul, and yet how much this teaching is resisted today, in a world that prefers to adopt the antithesis of this biblical instruction. But only when these relational principles are put into place by God's grace and carried out in practice, will these vital relationships reflect the holiness, love, wisdom, and grace of God.
Wives are called to submit to their own husband and not to trifle with the affections of the husband's of other women, but how often the precious, holy union of matrimony between a man and his wife is damaged when a woman (or man) seeks solace in the company of another, or by submitting to one who is not their own spouse!
This instruction to 'submit' is not an archaic practice that needs to be shelved, or which renders the wife under cruel subjection to her husband as is so often claimed today, but it is recognising that this is God's order. This is the way the Lord designed marriage to be. It is a beautiful reflection of universal harmony where Christ is the head of the Church Who loves His Bride so dearly that He gave His life for love of her.
How important that this beautiful illustration of Christ and His Bride is reflected in the special relationship that exists between a man and his wife. In the marriage union, both are equal in the sight of God and yet maintain His perfect order in their marriage and home-life, where the wife submits to their own husband and the husband love his wife with a Christ-like love.
"Who has found a virtuous woman?" is the question that is asked in Proverbs, but the wife that seeks to carry out these godly instructions in spirit and truth is giving true, spiritual service to the Lord. When she submits to her own husband as the Bible commands, her submission is a spiritual act as unto the Lord, which brings great honour to our Heavenly Father and becomes a catalyst that brings godly harmony to her marriage.
Heavenly Father, thank You for our homes and families and for the wonderful way that You have designed the different roles of husbands and wives which bring glory to Your name when applied in our home situation. I lift up all Christian marriages today and pray that in Your grace, many wives may see the beauty there is in godly submission to their own husbands. And in-turn, I pray that men may reflect the great love for their own wives that Christ has for the Church, Who out of love for us, gave Himself for us. In Jesus' name, AMEN.
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