God’s Good Word: Ephesians 5:22-33

Our gracious God created marriage for the mutual blessing and fulfillment of men and women as they express their love and respect for one another in the security of marital bonds.  Marriage is the appropriate means of fulfilling sexual desire in a loving secure relationship and gives a safe place for bringing children into a secure and loving family.  However, just as the world has hijacked the church and transformed it into a complacent adulterer that loves the praises of men rather than the praises of God, so too it has turned marriage into a breeding ground of depravity and mutual perversity.  Only through Christ is the glory of marriage actually realized as self-sacrificial mutual love and respect epitomizes the gracious love of Christ for His church redeemed through repentant faith in Him.

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  23 For the husband is the 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, 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.  Ephesians 5:22-33 

The verse that speaks about marriage joining a man to his wife is taken from Genesis chapter two after God had created Eve as his helper, comparable to him.  When God presented Eve to Adam he said:

23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”  24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.  Genesis 2:23-25

This is marriage instituted by God between a man and a woman, between a biological man and a biological woman, there is no other union that constitutes marriage as created by God.  God looked forward to that special relationship between His Son Jesus Christ and the church which is represented by marriage between a man and a woman.  The husband represents Christ and His love for His wife the church.  The wife represents the church and her willingness to submit to her Lord Jesus Christ, her husband, for His praise and glory.  As a husband sacrificially loves his wife, he depicts the love of Christ that drove Him to sacrifice Himself for the salvation of His beloved wife, His church.  As a wife respects and submits to her husband she reflects the behavior of the true church in relationship to Christ, obeying Him by doing what He says in His Word.

The unredeemed flesh chafes against this holy calling of God upon husbands and wives so that brokenness and divorce become the end result of many marriages.  Jesus Christ addressed this problem with the passage out of Genesis and through the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians.

3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”  4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”  7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”  8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.  9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”  Matthew 19:3-9

God creates marriage and brings a man and woman together through the marital bond.  The joining of a man and a woman has always been about the two becoming one flesh which is God’s holy design for marriage.  It must not be broken.  The fact that marriage represents Christ’s relationship with His church makes marriage holy and inviolable.  Only when the marital bond has been broken through the infidelity of a spouse is there grounds for divorce.  Even being unequally yoked with an unbeliever is not grounds for divorce if the unbeliever is content to stay with the believer.

10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord:  A wife is not to depart from her husband.  And a husband is not to divorce his wife.  11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.  And a husband is not to divorce his wife.  12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say:  If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.  13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.  14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband:  otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.  15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases.  But God has called us to peace.  16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband?  Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?  1 Corinthians 7:10-16

This passage proves the holiness of marriage because unbelievers are sanctified by the believer’s faith so the children are holy.   God demonstrates His reign over this institution that He has created through sanctifying the unbelieving spouse through the faith of the believer.  How can any within the visible church even deem to favor homosexual marriages, or marriages where one of the participants has changed their outward sexual appearance?  How can such a perverse union be thought to in any way represent Christ’s love for His church?  It is one thing when the world goes amiss and embraces such wickedness, but for the church, which purports to follow Christ, to endorse and approve of such a wicked perversion of God’s institution, proves the apostasy of this age.

18 Wives submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.  Colossians 3:18-19

Lord Jesus Christ may our marriages reflect the love You have for us, and the joy that comes from obeying You in all things.  May You return soon for Your church.  Amen!

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2 Responses to God’s Good Word: Ephesians 5:22-33

  1. Lee says:

    Nice article and true. We have 52 years and counting. Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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