40 Days of study

A human being lives, but he is given life.

Ephesians 5:22-33

Ephesians 5:22-33

New King James Version (NKJV)


Marriage—Christ and the Church

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

My Thoughts:

  1. Ok let’s start with (v. 22) today, and let’s see if I can dig myself in to a hole. We read “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord”
    1. So what does this mean? Does it mean that wives have no say in the home and should just do what they are told? “NO” it does not. This type of submission is not the type given by someone of lesser value, but rather someone of equal standing. A voluntary submission in the respect in which the man was qualified by his Maker to be head (Gen 3:16).
  2. Ok time or the men (v. 25) we read “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her”.
    1. The response of the husband is not to give commands, but to love his wife as Christ loves us. By doing this we will have a true partnership not a dictatorship. Just as Christ stands over the Church the husband should stand over the house hold and supply the family needs (1 Tim. 5:8), (1 Cor. 7:33), (1 Peter 3:7). For the type of love we are talking about here refer to (Matt. 5:43).
    2. “and gave Himself for her” here is the supreme test of love, is the husband will to forgo his happiness for the women he loves so she may have it. In this way the husband can imitate Christ and give up comfort and personnel pleasures to obtain them for his wife.
  3. Let’s finish with (v. 33) “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
    1. “I do think that both men and women should see this passage as a reflection of our relationship to Christ. If you cannot treat the one person on this earth which loves you with all their heart, with the love of total submission. Than how can you love Christ that much?
    2. So I see this as a test. A test of love for not only your spouse but test of love for Christ.

Though of the Day

Today I would like to leave you with an Ellen White quote from her book entitled “The Ministry of Healing”

“Though difficulties, perplexities, and discouragements may arise, let neither husband nor wife harbor the thought that their union is a mistake or a disappointment. Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other. Continue the early attentions. In every way encourage each other in fighting the battles of life. Study to advance the happiness of each other. Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance. Then marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be as it were the very beginning of love. The warmth of true friendship, the love that binds heart to heart, is a foretaste of the joys of heaven”


Personal Reflection and Discussion

  1. Compare the following verses and tell me what you think; (1 Cor. 11:3), (Col. 3:18), (1 Tim. 2:11, 12), and (Titus 2:5).
  2. What is Paul saying to you in regard to relationships between Men and women?
  3. What other things do you see in the text?

Prayer Activities

  1. Call your Partner and discuss this devotional.
  2. Continue to have a prayer list and let the new people know you are praying for them.
  3. Pray with them and ask for the following;
    • For God to bring understanding of Him to your life.
    • For God to strengthen your relationships with others.
    • For the individuals on your pray list.
  4. I felt this was a very fitting verse for today’s prayer verse (Song of Solomon 5:2).


About bobh6

I am Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Texas Panhandle

11 comments on “Ephesians 5:22-33

  1. kamkakes
    August 18, 2011

    Wow this is amazing!

  2. Pingback: Ephesians 5:22-33 (via 40 Days of study) « kamkakes

  3. Rosi
    August 18, 2011

    These verses are so very easy and yet so very hard. Love, a true abiding love, is probably the hardest thing to do. Loving your family is easy enough. Loving your church is easy enough but loving your spouse is a whole different story. I was not the christian I am today when I was married. My ex was not a christian at all. So I am cetainly not able to comment on this with know how. Still if you and your spouse ask for the manifestation of the Holy Spirit every day and love the Lord, these verses make sense and should be followed. To be loved as Jesus loves the church would be such a beautiful thing. I know a lot of men use these verses to keep their wives under their thumbs but it says quite plainly this is not the way it should be.

    • bobh6
      August 18, 2011

      I agree Rosie; even in the Christian very seldom do we find love like this. But I do think it is possible and when we do it shows itself to the world. Just look at the two old people holding hands and kissing in the park after 50+ years. This is what we should all strive for in our relationships.

  4. Amalia
    August 18, 2011

    I’ve been asked why I submit (or listen) to my husband and I answer… out of love and respect for him. He works to support the family, that in itself should be enough, but to add to it he’s good to us, loves us and I trust if something were to happen he would protects and help us. Even though I like to ask his advice often, where it may appear I’m asking his permission, he encourages me to do what I think is best and ultimately what makes me happy. Because he trusts me so much, and values me even more… which I think is in part because I make so many decision; I love and respect him even more. This to me is how Christ is head over the church (us). The freedom of will, we all have, reveals God’s his trust and love for us. We all value our independence; but we shouldn’t take advantage of it. The Bible always say we should or shall; not that we have to do anything. It says all things are permissable, but not all advisable. Ultimately, I submit to God for the same reason… I trust and love Him.

    The interesting thing I didn’t see that in our marriage till after I had a healthy idea of what submitting was. As I learned it better I than was able to stand up for the things I did want, that he didn’t want. Initally, it was a challenge on both sides; till we learned to not want so much and instead give in more often. We also had to learn to step back and trust the other. One of the most important lessons we learned was first love and value ourself in God; then turn around and love and value the other in God. Rather than being in competition we could see how we complemented and enrich each other. Submiting is not just for the other person, but a benefit for us. It’s amazing how just submiting in one area, makes us more respectful and thankful in other areas. I’m sure the world could use more of that.

    • bobh6
      August 19, 2011

      To me the verses all came down to just a few word; Love, respect, freedom and trust. without these things on both sides, a marriage will not last.

  5. Victoria
    August 18, 2011

    Like many others, I struggle with the concept of submission. Though I am not married, this is a topic that I have talked a lot about with friends and family.

    For me, it all comes down to two things: trust and freedom. I do not believe in doormat humility and I do not believe in being a mindless servant – that’s not what this passage is about. As a woman, I struggle with the concept of submission because it is very difficult for me to picture a relationship where I trust a partner implicitly, enough to allow him such influence over my life (I don’t think this is something only women struggle with). We see example after example in this world of husbands and wives who hurt each other, abuse each other, ignore each other, take each other for granted. I think there is a strong message in our society (in both men’s and women’s movements) that we need to protect ourselves from falling “victim” to a person of the opposite sex. I often find is so difficult to submit to God, who is perfect, full of grace and concern for me. How much harder then would it be to submit to an imperfect man? But, it is very possible that I am operating under an incorrect definition of “submission.”

    I once asked my father, who has been married to my mother for over 30 years, what made his marriage work? I was surprised when he answered, “Freedom. We give each other the freedom to be who we are. At the same time, we take care of each other.” I loved this answer! To me, one of Christ’s most vital messages to this world was one of freedom (freedom from the deadly weight of sin). He promises us freedom as members of His church. Thus, if wives are to husbands as the church is to Christ, then to me it makes sense that there should be an element of freedom (found in perfect love) in marriage. In this world we often see submission as an issue of one person having power and control over another. But what if submission is really about the freedom found in perfect love (which we only have a glimpse of here on earth)? Who wouldn’t want to submit to that?

    In my imperfection, all I can do is continue to pray for faith and wisdom concerning these manners. I hope I have not been a stumbling block to anyone in this reply.

    • bobh6
      August 19, 2011

      I would like to start out by saying welcome Victoria, we get many people that stop and read our postings but I like when we have others give us their inputs as well.

      I agree that we should never go in to any relationship with the idea that we are just to be a mindless servant. The role of men and women were very different during the times of Paul and I think that is why we see him putting a greater emphasis on the role of the husband, and that emphasis being to love (agape) her sacrificially as Christ loved the church. That is a very high calling for the husband. Also, note that Paul uses the word Saviour here and not Lord, I believe this could easily be a pointer to the fact that Paul does not have authority in mind here. Paul was completely convinced that men and women stood on equal ground as both were created in the image of God and both were recreated in the image of Christ.

    • Amalia
      August 19, 2011

      @ Victoria I think the word submission has a ugly reputation. Maybe we shouldn’t be stuck on the word and the pre-concieved ideas that goes along with it, we should instead be reminded of the love of christ for us (I guess that would be agape love) and also be reminded of why we first fell in love with our husband in the first place (that is, when you do get married :). The right mindset makes it a natural response.

      • bobh6
        August 20, 2011

        We focus on the word “submission” and not on the love and understanding that I believe that Paul was trying to get across. Every one of these verses focused on the male role more than anything else, I think that is because men can lose their focus very easily and that is the key to Chapter 5 and half of 6.

  6. Gordon
    August 25, 2011

    This really is a thing I have to find more information about, many thanks for the post.

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This entry was posted on August 18, 2011 by in 40 days, Ephesians, Prayer and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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