Updated: Feb 15, 2021
Text: Ephesians 5:22-33
Marriage is not easy. For marriages to be successful, they take effort. They take work, dedication, and it takes being intentional. Often in our culture today, marriage is discouraged or at the least put-off until we have pursued education, travels, or started in our career. Marriage, to some, is just not seen as very important.
The apostle Paul speaks about the relationships we share as husbands and wives and the importance of this relationship. In Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul talks about the beauty of this relationship as it relates to Christ and the Church. Honestly, reading this passage in our modern context can be difficult or at least challenging. However, we should not merely pass over the Scriptures because they may challenge our current conceptions.
The apostle Paul points us to the love Christ has for the Church as Christ “gave Himself for her” (ref. Eph. 5:25). He willingly did so looking to the best interest of the Church, to present Her as glorious. Christ sacrificed, served, loved, equipped, and encouraged His Church so that she is presented as a beautiful bride.
In the way Christ’s Church submits herself to Him, wives are called to this same relationship with their husbands. The Greco-Roman culture, during which Paul was writing, was a culture that emphasized male patriarchal leadership. Paul’s model for marriage is not based on this system. Paul’s model of marriage is based on a mutual love for one another.
In understanding this love, the type of love Christ has for His Church, we begin to understand Paul’s words here in Ephesians. Marriage is not to be demanding or dominating. Husbands are not to lord over their wives or abuse the relationship they share. Marriage is based on Christ’s love for the Church. It’s a love that nourishes and cherishes one another. A love that joins a husband and wife together as one.
Whereas many today discourage marriage, Paul demonstrates the beauty of marriage as it points to Christ’s love and intimate relationship with His bride, the Church.
Before we pass over difficult and challenging passages in the Bible, we should pause and look for the story of God being communicated to us. A story of His love.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.