Psalms 11-13; Ephesians 5

Ephesians 5:21-32 Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So [also] husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave [his] father and [his] mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.

Mary and I just celebrated 37 years of marriage.  This is a profound passage for meditation for married couples, and becomes increasingly profound for us with the passing years, as its meaning unfolds.  For some reason – perhaps as part of an agenda – certain people skip verse 21 Be subordinate to one another… and start a polemic based on verse 22 Wives should be subordinate to their husbands…  If you stop to thing about male-female relations in the first century, where in most cultures women were typically considered property, this is a revolutionary statement by Paul.  It really calls out men even more than women, exhorting them to love their wives as Christ loves the Church, which is total sacrificial love.  We live in a more and more “what’s in it for me” culture, and a Christian marriage well-lived is a contradiction to that, focusing on the good of the other more than the good of oneself.  And the good news here is that spirit of love spills over (“My cup runneth over!”) into our relationships with others.



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