Summary: Series on Marriage.
Celebrating Marriage #101 -- Pt 3
Introduction: What makes a successful marriage?
There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage. Martin Luther
It was the only ambition I ever had - not to be a dancer or Hollywood movie star, but to be a housewife in a good marriage. Doris Day
The secret of a good marriage is forgiving your partner for marrying you in the first place. Sacha Guitry
"Nowadays it's hip not to be married. I'm not interested in being hip." -- John Lennon
"As for his secret to staying married: 'My wife tells me that if I ever decide to leave, she is coming with me.'" -- Jon BonJovi
Then there is also the humorous side to marriage:
"Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet to see who they really are." -- Will Ferrell
"We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops." -- Henny Youngman
"There's a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking. It's called marriage." -- James Holt McGavran
"Our Commitments to Marriage"
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
I. Our Commitment to Facts
a. The structure for marriage
Make no mistake, one of the most maligned portions of the Bible is found in this text. It is the section that deals with the relationship between the husband and the wife. Let's read it together:
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
This text has been twisted and distorted by those outside the church and unfortunately some inside the church. The culture takes a few bad examples of this principle in practice and uses it to badmouth the church, the Bible and Christians in general. Can I very quickly clear up a couple of things? First, the word "submit" is found one verse earlier and admonishes all believers to submit themselves to one another; but what about submission in marriage?
In Ephesians chapter six, Paul instructs slaves to obey (hupakouete) their masters (Eph 6:5), and children to obey (hupakouete) their parents (Eph 6:1); but the word used in relation to wives in Ephesians 5:21-22 does not mean obey, but to be submissive (from hupotasso.) The New Testament does not teach that the relationship of a wife to her husband is one of subservience, but of submission. Furthermore, it's not just the wives that should be submissive. Hopefully this next bit is not too hard to follow . . .
In Peter's first letter he tells all his readers to submit to every secular authority (1 Pet 2:13).
Then he tells slaves to submit to their masters (1 Pet 2:18).
Then he tells wives, in the same way, be submissive to their own husbands (1 Pet 3:1).
Then he says, "Husbands, in the same way live together with your wives . . ." (1 Pet 3:7).
There is no verb in the Greek of verse 7, so the theme of submission continues. Check for yourself and compare the very similar language in 1 Peter 3:1, 7 and 5:5