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Husbands and Wives, version 2

December 04, 2016

God has arranged for a marriage to be between a man and a woman. Jesus said that the two shall be one flesh. This means that each partner in the marriage is a part of the whole, and what one does affects the other. Men should cherish and nourish their wives, showing them honor, recognizing their value. Wives should revere their husbands, holding them up and praising them. Man is given the role of head of this relationship. This does not mean the wife is a slave, a servant or a second-class citizen. She is bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. The two shall be one.  - Bernie Parsons



Husbands and Wives v2


a sermon by Bernie Parsons


Presented to the Globe church of Christ on 12-04-2016

Presented to the Load church of Christ on 12-11-2016



In my last lesson I showed God as the ultimate authority for our doctrines. I showed a scriptural line of authority consisting of God > Christ > Man > Woman. All those below God are to obey the commandments and instructions of God. There is a reason that we call Him Almighty.

In that lesson I also pointed out that God has appointed men to teach in the assemblies of the church, but women are to remain silent. Because of that, some think that God is making women second-class citizens. Others blame Apostle Paul. Some even blame me for being out-of-date.

Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Paralleling our study last time regarding the line of authority, we see that the wife is to be to her husband as she is to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”

A husband is to love his wife in the same way that Christ loved the church – he should be willing to die to save her, if necessary. His love for her should match the love he has for himself. He nourishes her – that is, helps her to grow and mature. He also cherishes her, or warms and fosters her. He does not suppress her or regard her as less than himself – instead, he builds her up. The two are one flesh – when he improves her life, he improves his own.

As Christ and His called-out are one body, with Christ as the head, so are husband and wife one body, with the husband as the head. Because of this truth, a man leaves behind his parents and is joined or “adhered, or glued, to” his wife, as the Greek word suggests.


Ephesians 5:32 “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."


The man is to love and esteem his wife, and she is to be in awe of, or reverence, her husband. With the woman raising up her husband, her head, he in turn lifts her up through helping her to grow and be productive. They both benefit from this mutual relationship.


Apostle Paul distilled this same message into brief comments to the Colossians.


Colossians 3:18 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”


Here, the Greek word for “submit” comes from a compound root word which means to “arrange under” or “appoint under”, or to subject oneself to, or submit. Christian women are to willingly submit to their husbands as their heads. Similarly, the husbands are not to be sharp or acrid – that is, bitter – against their wives. Instead, they are to love them and hold them in esteem. Recall that the two shall be one. A husband holding his wife in high regard and love, helps himself.


And we have the following instructions from the apostle Peter.


1 Peter 3:1 "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”


Peter uses similar language as the Apostle Paul. The word “subjection” is again from the same Greek compound root word which means “arranged or appointed under”. In spiritual matters, as we saw last time, women are to draw their authority for doctrine from God. Yet, in material matters, wives are to submit to their husbands. In this way, a believing woman can obey God spiritually but submit to her husband’s leadership in material matters if he is not a believer.


Peter asserts that a believing woman who is submissive may convert her unbelieving husband who notes her life is one of righteousness and obedience to God, while honoring her husband.


1 Peter 3:3 “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

As we studied previously, believing women are to be adorned properly, not putting undue emphasis on elaborate hair styles, or expensive jewelry and clothing. Rather, she is to decorate her inward self, reflecting a woman who subjects herself to the commandments of God.


1 Peter 3:5 “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”

Peter calls upon ancient righteous women as a witness to the contemporary women of his time. Holy women who trust in God have always adorned themselves in righteousness. Those ancient women willingly subjected themselves to their husbands. Peter points out that Sara called Abraham, “Lord” – from the Greek meaning “lord, or master” as the one in charge, not out of fear of harm but out of respect and honor for the one that God has appointed to be her head.

1 Peter 3:7 “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered."


Husbands are to treat their wives with dignity, showing them honor, recognizing their value. Remember, the two shall be one. This is clearly not a master/slave relationship, nor one of owner/property, as some professed Christians erroneously conclude.


Peter describes a relationship between a man who recognizes the value of his beloved wife, takes care of her, and treats her with tenderness and kindness; and, a woman who looks up to her husband, and lends him her assistance and moral support. She submits to him.


In a world where men have to work hard to plow the fields, hunt for game, tend to flocks, and take other actions requiring physical strength and stamina, the women stand out as a weaker version of the human race. The man realizes this, and treats her accordingly. He recognizes that his wife plays a complementary role in their marriage – the two shall be one flesh.


Feminism violates the natural order that God has established. Their claims and attacks only work because we live in a lax, wealthy and fairly protected society and economy. Should society revert to a situation where hunting, plowing, flock tending and other physically demanding work is once again required, feminism will disintegrate because it is based on a false premise.

God’s way is the right way. Man – or woman – cannot improve upon it.



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