Monday, May 18, 2009
Marriage Monday-Love Those Ladies, Respect Those Men
Eph 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
Eph 5:23 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.
Eph 5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
Eph 5:26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,
Eph 5:27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Eph 5:28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Eph 5:29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—
Eph 5:30 for we are members of his body.
Eph 5:31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."
Eph 5:32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
Eph 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
It’s Monday and time for more encouragement for marriages. One of the great compliments of the weekend from a reader was that he felt that some of the website’s best blogs were when scripture was the centerpiece not the entrée. I love how that was said. I am by nature a storyteller, but I also find how much I like when I create the stories around the scripture I am using rather than vice versa. So it is something I totally agree on. Several of you felt the same way, so I will strive to make it so in the future.
Today’s selection is from Ephesians and one of my favorite sets of scripture is taken out of context so often that it actually gets offensive, especially to women. I’ve heard pastors, as well as groups of men, usually older for some reason, like the idea of stopping at verse 24. Because to that point, it appears to sound like submit, realize that men make the decisions and give over everything because he’s the man.
But stopping there really takes the heart out of what that scripture is saying. Verse 25 alone tells us to love our wives just as Christ loved the church. Do you really think that Jesus walked around changing lives of women in so many other New Testament scriptures that he would allow Paul to just say, “Yeah ladies, shut up and serve.” Not a chance.
Verses 26-27 talks about how God wants us presented to him as a church. Paul describes the church in unit form in these verses so that we understand verse 28 is how the couple is a unit. A man is to love his wife as himself. I don’t know about you, but I like to treat myself pretty well. So if I treat my wife any less than I treat myself, it is sin, period. That’s pretty convicting, especially when I go spend money on anything and then begin to worry every time my wife walks out the door with a credit card in hand.
Verse 31 is also a fun verse. How many couples today live with family members because they want support? You know, the couple lives with mom and dad so that they have child care, an extra car and better groceries. I may get in trouble for saying this, but I would urge you parents to tell your kids to “Get out!” Once they are married, they are no longer your responsibility. Now it would be totally two-faced of me to say that family never helps you out, but sometimes the reason there is so much strife is because the parents are raising two generations, the couple and the grandkids. That shouldn’t happen.
In verse 32, Paul makes the connection again saying that it’s a profound mystery. What he’s meaning isn’t that he finds it amazing that Christ loves the church, but that the mystery is that men are to love their wives and women are to respect their husbands, in spite of what is going on in the world. So men, love those women as much as you love you. Ladies, give those men a little bit of what Aretha was asking for, R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
I love you guys!
PS-The video for today is Mindy and my first song that we danced to at our wedding in 2002.