“And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of 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 who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of 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. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:21-33
So remember Paul was speaking into a culture that was very male dominated, to the point that women and children were viewed as objects/property and where all kinds of sexual abuse as perversion were acceptable. His “and further” at the beginning of verse 21, tags today’s scripture passage to all of chapter 5, where he speaks of not tolerating moral failure and other such sinful lifestyles.
So in this section, Paul speaks how to do home differently. He starts with the concept of mutual respect and submission in marriage. This would have been a totally new concept in that society! Specifically to the wife, Paul speaks of submitting to her husband, as she would to God. Doing so would not not cause the wives of this church oppression–in their culture THEY WERE ALREADY OPPRESSED! It would result in freedom because to the husband he wrote to treat your wife as Christ treats the Church. Jesus loves the Church-He literally gave His life for her! Remember, “He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word . . .” Again men of the day ruled their homes with iron fistedly. Jesus paid the ultimate price to make His Bride beautiful. He asks the men to care for their wives in the same way!
Paul’s asking the couples of the Ephesian church to give their city a good example of what a loving relationship between Jesus and His church looks like. He asks us to do the same!
Paul concludes this passage by saying that the marraige relationship–the one of mutual submission, love, service and sacrifice between a loving husband and wife, “is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
The later part of the Book of Revelation, beginning in chapter 19, paints a picture of a prophecy of a conclusion of how God “so loved the world that He gave His Son”, so that any and all could be given eternal life in Him. It pictures that coming day when the Church and Jesus are one and when we live together in a new heaven and earth that represents the living conditions of the perfect life of that Adam & Eve lived in the Garden of Eden in Gen 1-3. It’s a beautiful passage, painting a beautiful picture of what Heaven will be like! Our homes should offer a similar refreshing picture to a world that suffers the oppressions of sin and the curse!
Think about it!