Summary: This sermon gives some basic biblical principles of marriage.

Marriage is the most intimate relationship we will ever have. As much as we need other relationships, the marriage relationship is the most intimate, and perhaps the most complicated. It affects our other relationships as well. Kids, work, friends, and family. This controversial passage has been misused over the years. Christianity is thought to be male dominated. Practice – maybe. Theory – No.

Read Ephesians 5:22-33.

3 verses on wife to husband, and 9 verses on husband to wife.

I. Wives.

Paul is not saying men and women are not created equal. There is a hierarchy in marriage and family. Lack of understanding has led to misinterpretation.

A. Submit.

This is the most controversial part of the passage. It must be seen in light of what Paul says to husbands.

B. Headship.

Pastor Warren Wiersbe says, “Headship is not dictatorship.” Headship in Biblical thinking has to do with being first rather than being in charge. The concept of headship is no about authority and dominance, but about love and leadership.

While the husband cannot really save the wife, the way Christ saves the Church, but husbands can go along way to influencing their families to the positive or negative.

II. Husbands.

As noted earlier, Paul spends 3 times as much ink on husbands. When I was in school, the teacher spent the most time on what was often the most difficult thing to learn.

A. Love.

Husbands are command to love their wife no fewer than 4 times in this passage. Wives are told to submit twice.

Barclay says, “The husband is head of the wife—true, Paul said that; but he also said that the husband must love the wife as Christ loved the Church, with a love which never exercises a tyranny of control but which is ready to make any sacrifice for her good.”

B. Nourish.

Paul says that husbands are to love their wives and their own bodies. We don’t starve our bodies. We care for our bodies.

C. Cherish.

Holmes says, “Here is love that leaves self-gratification out of the relationship.” We don’t live for ourselves.

III. United.

Paul quotes Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Notice it says to leave father and mother. That doesn’t mean that we forsake our parents, but it means that we create our own life. One of Dr. James Dobson’s “Twelve Marriage Killers” is interference from in-laws. This is especially true with a close parent/child relationship.

A. One Flesh.

Marriage is the closest, most intimate relationship of all. The only relationship that supersedes marriage is our relationship with the Lord.

Barclay writes, “He is united to her as the member of a body are united to each other; and would no more think of separating from her than of tearing his own body apart.” The reality of this flies in the face of recent trends in increased promiscuity.

B. With Christ.

Marriage is a three-way relationship between husband, wife and Christ. Christ should be the center of all we do.


The key to a successful is found in verse 1 of chapter 5 – imitate Christ. Christ doesn’t domineer over the Church.

Holmes says, “Overall, the relationship between husband and wife is one developed through submission.” Back to verse 21. Holmes says, “Wives are called to submit to their husbands, but husbands are call to die!”

God definition of love is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. Read it. Do we fit that definition within the context of our marriages? Are we imitators of Christ. Marriage is about mutual submission, love and respect. Are you willing to commit to that in your marriage?

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