LOVE AND RESPECT

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”  – Ephesians 5:25, 33 NKJV

The dynamics of marriage are some of the most debated topics in the world today. These days, there are diverse opinions on what marriage should look like. Some of these opinions stem from the experiences of people, shaped by culture or societal expectations.

On the topic of marriage, the best person to seek its meaning from is its creator, God. Marriage is God’s idea, and its principles are outlined in His word. 

Marriage is a pivotal institution, as is seen at the beginning of creation between Adam and Eve and also at the end of age in the marriage supper of the lamb between Christ and His Church (Genesis 2:18, Revelations 19:7–10).

To have a successful marriage, two major principles must be employed: love and respect. These two must be constantly present in the relationship between partners for it to work.

In Ephesians 5:21–33, Apostle Paul likens the marriage relationship to the relationship between Christ and His Church. The husband is admonished to love his wife as Christ loves the church, and the wife is admonished to submit to her husband as to the Lord. What does this mean?

In Christ’s relationship with the Church, He expressed His love by laying down His life for her salvation. The Christian husband is expected to do the same (Ephesians 5:25). Not literal death but expressing unconditional love to his wife in all instances, making sacrifices for her growth and that of the family. This love goes beyond feelings to discernable action. The Amplified version puts it this way:

“Husbands, love your wives [seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love], just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25 AMP

For wives, the call is to submit (Ephesians 5:22). In every society in the world, we see hierarchy employed to create order. In the same vein, marriage is not exempt. Submission in marriage is to create order and direction. The role of hierarchy is not to exalt one above the other; rather, it is to put the home in order, as two people can’t successfully head a home.

Contrary to popular opinion, submission in marriage is not synonymous with subjugation. Rather, it means confidently following your husband’s lead. 

Remember, marriage is best done in God’s way. It thrives when God’s principles are applied, with partners playing their God-given roles, loving and respecting each other.

Bible Reading Plan:  Luke 6:17-49

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