“Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:21
“Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”
I heard some of this before in a sermon and thought it was interesting enough to share.
We hear the verses mentioned above quite often. However, some tend to focus more on the SUBMIT part of the wife and less focus is put on the LOVE part of the husband. Notice that the wife is not commanded to love her husband. You won’t find those words anywhere in the bible. Isn’t that interesting?
Yes, we are all commanded to love one another, but husbands specifically are commanded to love their wives. So much so that if they don’t treat their wives right their prayers will be hindered!! 1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
But our great God knows what He is doing. He knows it is easy to submit to someone who truly loves you – especially if they love you the way Christ loves the church. How does Christ love the church? Well, He loved us first. (1John 4:19) He sacrificed His life for us. He is compassionate and faithful. (Lamentations 3:22, 23) And these are just a few examples of how He loves us.
The Bible also gives a great definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. “Love is patient; love suffers long, and is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Bears all things, believes all things, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
This love thing must be pretty serious if He had to spell it out for us like this. In fact “love” is a major theme in the entire Bible; some would say it is the only theme in the Bible. We are given explicit details on what love is and is not. We find no such detailed instructions on how to submit, though. Why is that? Is submission just intrinsic for women? Or did He just know that when loved correctly submission is quite natural?
Bottom line, God knows what He is doing and He holds marriage in high regard –Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled. Matthew 19:6 So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man tear apart.”
When you hear those couples who have been married for 50+ years talk about the “secret” to their marriage, you will hear them say the same exact things you find in 1 Corinthians 13.
“We never gave up. Not even through unemployment and other trials. ” – which is “Love bears all things.”
“We didn’t go to bed angry with each other” – which is “Love is not rude or easily angered”
“We apologized to each other and forgave each other” – which is “Love keeps no record of wrongs.” (Also in 1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.)
“We listened to each other and sacrificed for each other.” – which is “Love is not self-seeking and always protects.”
“Divorce was never an option for us.” – which is “Love perseveres.” (Also In Malachi 2:16 you will find “I hate divorce,” says the Lord God.)
There are no marriage secrets – it is all explicitly laid out for us in the Bible, as so many things are. Are we following it?
by Beatrize Valerius
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