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Husband-Wife Relationship

Ephesians 5: 21 – 33

June 12, 2023

The most important relationship within the family is the relationship between husband and wife.

We thank God for his protection, grace and mercy for the fantastic, meaningful experience with God through the Family Camp. I hope that all of us came back feeling refreshed and renewed by the Word of God.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph 5:21)

My prayer is to continue with the theme of Family. And the most important relationship within the family is the relationship between husband and wife.
Ephesians 5:21-33 discuss extensively on how the relationship of husband and wife can be modelled from the relationship between God and his Church. Here is the passage.

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

In the passage, it is clear for the wives to submit themselves to their husbands, just like how the church submits herself to Christ. Its purpose is to act as a beneficial and loving rule to enable growth to take place. The wife’s submission to her husband is a loving act to allow change and growth to take place in the family and with God, to allow the husband to express himself to his wife.
It is also clear for the husbands to love their wives, just like how Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. The passage did not say, “Rule your wife.” Because the authority that husbands have over their wives is not an authority to rule but an authority to love. It is this authority of love from the husband that every wife is submitting herself to. To learn about the authority of love, husbands need to learn from our Lord Jesus Christ Who is the perfect example, Who takes good care of us and even sacrifices Himself for the love of the Church that Church might be holy.
I think I still have a lot to learn, a lot to grow and a lot to prune on how to be a husband to my wife, Jinlin even after more than ten years of marriage. I am no example to all of you. But I think we can struggle together to build our families on the foundation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

By Ps Joseph Chen