LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Thursday, April 26, 2007

CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT!

Ephesians 5:22 "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord"

Remember the key to interpreting a passage of the Bible: context, context, context. An examination of the context will make the meaning of this passage clearer. Paul is in a lengthy discourse in which he is challenging the young Ephesian Christians to think about the way they live their lives. They are no longer to continue living the way they used to live before they were Christians. They are to live differently from the Gentiles who live around them. (Ephesians 4:17) Now they are to live like Christians. Their marriages are supposed to be different. Their marriages are to be a testimony to their Christian faith.

Paul mentions many ways in which their lives must change. There are so many things to be considered that it seems impossible! They must be wondering how in the world they are going to make so many and such significant changes in their lives. Paul explains that as well. He knows these young Christians will not be able to change their lives so drastically in their own strength. So Paul tells them that their only hope is to depend on the strength of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18) They need to be filled with the Spirit and the Holy Spirit will give them the strength and guidance to live like Christians.

One of the big changes that must take place is in their relationships. Before they became Christians they just looked out for themselves. They were willing to do whatever it took to advance themselves, enrich themselves, and improve their own standing in the community. But Paul tells them that they have to change all that. Now that they are Christians they need to learn to submit to one another. (Ephesians 5:21) They need to willingly surrender their own rights and will for the benefit of the body of Christ. The nature of Christian relationships is to give preference to one another. Christians want to put others before themselves.

This is the context of the verse we are studying, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” When he speaks to Christian wives he is telling them they are to no longer live like Gentile wives. Their old perspectives on marriage have to be taken off and they have to put on Christian perspectives. They should no longer do whatever they want within their marriage; they should be filled with the Holy Spirit and live like women who are following the Spirit. In their marriage relationships they should willingly seek to promote their partners by serving them.

4 Comments:

Blogger Bluecollar said...

"They should no longer do whatever they want within their marriage; they should be filled with the Holy Spirit and live like women who are following the Spirit. In their marriage relationships they should willingly seek to promote their partners by serving them."

This is good stuff.

The Holy Spirit: Empowerer, Energizer, Leader.

April 26, 2007 11:30 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Husbands, love your wives. I believe this means that husbands should listen completely to their wives and consider their views, but in some cases he must make a decision that goes against her opinion. In this case Scripture authorizes the husband to break the tie and the wife is called to submit.

Dave, is this correct?

April 26, 2007 5:39 PM

 
Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Jazz Guy,

You really know how to come up with the tricky pastoral questions! Can I cop out for a few days until we get to the husbands part of this text?

Such a great question really deserves some thought. However, I am loathe to make a decision that goes against my wife's wisdom. My wife and I tend to continue discussing until we come to an agreement. Of course, we have only been married six and a half years. I can forsee the possibility that we could come to an impasse.

My late wife and I came to two impasses in 22 years of marriage. Once I went with what she wanted. Once we went with what I wanted. God in his sovereignty used both decisions for good.

Still doesn't answer your question, does it! In both of those situations, I made the final decision.

How's that?

April 26, 2007 10:40 PM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Jazzy: "In this case Scripture authorizes the husband to break the tie and the wife is called to submit."

This is how I see it. But be prepared to eat crow! ;-) Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Truly, this IS how I see it. And hopefully the husband has made the correct decision and the wife will learn from it. Same goes for the husband. If he sees that he should have listened to his wife, then he should learn from that. I think that we must put away our pride in these instances so that we can learn from each other.

April 29, 2007 1:53 AM

 

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