“Just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, and that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless”, Ephesians 5: 25b – 27.
Marriage is a reflection of the relationship between Christ and His church. Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. Here, the husband is likened to Christ and the wife to the church. Christ gave Himself up for the church to cleanse her.
The husband should love the wife in like manner; self-sacrificing, profusely, patiently and sincerely. He is called to be faithful, caring, generous, kind, protective and considerate; ready to assist his wife to fulfil her own dreams. He should endure privations, sufferings and work hard to provide for his wife and his family. “ But if any man have not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel”,1 Timothy 5:8. A Christian husband has a divine mandate to love his wife irrespective of her inadequacies and failings.
Christ sanctified the church and cleansed her that she might be holy and blameless. A husband has this duty towards his wife – helping her to be holy and blameless. Husband, you cannot give what you do not have. If you are not holy and blameless, how can you help your wife to be?
Wife, you are called to be submissive to your husband, just as the church is subject to Christ. “As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything”, Ephesians 5:24.
For some women, it is easy to be submissive when all is going well with their husband; when he has a good job, flourishing business and generously provides for his family. Will this same woman be submissive if there’s a negative turn in the man’s fortune and he is no longer able to bathe her in luxuries?
The Christian woman regardless of her socio-economic status is called to be submissive to her husband, irrespective of his status, age, background and faith. “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives”, 1 Peter 3:1
Her submission does not make her any less equal or inferior to her husband. In actual fact, in submission and gentleness lies the strength of a wife. This is a truth that women should put to work.
Am I walking in submission according to God’s dictate? Do I make it difficult for my husband/wife to walk in humility by my words and deeds? Does my marriage reflect the love of Christ? Do I see my spouse as a companion or a servant? Do I honor him, her?
Think of two things you will start doing differently from today to make it easier for your spouse to love you. It can be something as simple as praying for him/her. Go ahead and do them and see God transforming you and your marriage.
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