Summary: God's original plan for marriage was partnership. That was lost in the curse of sin. Christ came to redeem family and marriages and outlines the results of that redemption in Ephesians 5.
Family Strong I
Ogden Nash, known for his short, witty poems which often carry much wisdom has written:
"To keep your marriage brimming / With love in the loving cup / Whenever you're wrong, admit it / Whenever you're right, shut up!"
A pastor, after counseling a husband and wife in marriage trouble, told his wife, “I am so glad that God put Bob and Kate together so only two would be miserable instead of four.”
Our passage today is one of controversy. However, it shouldn’t be. If you listened to the radio program this morning, then you are about to hear a quick review of the program.
God created the world and all that is in it. He planted a garden in the midst of his creation called Eden. He formed Adam out of the dust of the earth and place him in the garden.
Then He created the first parade. All the animals God created paraded past Adam. Since God had given Adam dominion over all the animals, he also had the privilege of naming them.
Undoubtedly, one of the things Adam, a very intelligent being, noticed was that each animal had a mate. The pattern of God’s creation was for each living, breathing creature have a mate. But Adam had none.
God announced that it was not good that man did not have a mate, and none of the animals were suitable for him to have one. None of them were as special as the crown of God’s creation, mankind.
So God placed Adam into a deep sleep and did surgery. He took out a rib and healed him back up. With the rib, he created Adam a mate.
All of this was to emphasize how special this beautiful creature was to be to him. She was not like the animals of which he was given dominance. She would be a partner to him. A wife’s relationship to her husband would trump even the special bond a mother has with her son or a daughter has with her dad, when things go right.
This was not lost on Adam. He said, “Wow, this creature is like me, for she was taken out of me. I will call her ‘taken out of me” or woman.” Gen. 2:23.
Later, things went terribly wrong and all got distorted. Eve was deceived into disobeying God, and her partner, Adam, voluntarily joined her in the fall. Adam valued his relationship with Eve more than his relationship with God.
Since this was the root of Adam’s sin, it would be part of the consequences, much like our Wednesday night group is learning about how David’s consequences were manifested.
God told Eve after her fall that she would have pain during childbirth (Gen 3:16). In other words, her valued home would be under attack even in the most joyous, celebrated moments.
Her passion would still be for a partnership with her husband (her heart would be towards her husband), but his response would be selfish. She could lavish him with all honor, respect and authority, but he would be weak in that he would use it for his own comfort and control. The partnership would be attacked because there would be unequal giving into the partnership by the husband and the wife.
As a matter of fact, that God said a husband would seek to rule over his husband like the dominance he had over the animal kingdom, men would tend to treat their wives like they treat their animals; their possessions.
Now wives, don’t be elbowing your husbands right now, please. It may distract them, and you and I both want them to listen to this, right?
If you would like a copy of that radio program where we went over the scriptures for that, please mark your paper and we will make sure you get one.
And… as we mentioned on the radio program, the good news is that Jesus came to redeem souls, marriages and families. Today’s passage is the best N.T. instructions on marriage, so we begin reading in verse 21.
Eph 5:21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Pray).
I. Dual submission.
Here we can see it. Nothing stated after this statement nullifies verse 21. In light of how marriage was founded, in partnership, we launch this family passage with dual submission.
Paul did not say, “submit yourselves to one another unless you are married to each other.” For a marriage to be a partnership, each partner must have a beneficial and a benefited role in the relationship. Look at those roles.
II. Wife Submission…
Eph 5:22-24 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.