Christian Universe ™
Husbands And Wives
January 05, 2014
Although feminists would like people to believe that the scriptural teachings about the relationship of husbands and wives, as well as men and women in the body of Christ, is old-fashioned and out of date, the word and will of God does not change. There is a relationship created by the Almighty God, our Creator, between husbands and wives that is to be recognized, understood, accepted and lived. It is one of mutual love and respect, while maintaining two distinct roles. Why does anyone want to change what God has established?
Husbands and Wives
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Load church of Christ on 01-05-2014
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 01-12-2014
Since we are beginning a new year, I thought that it would be appropriate to review the relationship between husband and wife, as ordained by God Almighty.
"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.
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.
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 apostle Paul began this discussion of Christ and his called out (church), choosing to compare it to a married couple, stating that the relationship of a woman and her husband is like her relationship to the Lord. The husband is head of his wife in the way that Christ is head of the called out, and is savior of the body. As the called out is arranged or ranked under Christ, so are wives to be to their husbands in everything. Although not popular in our time, this is the word of God.
Paul then switched genders and spoke of the husbands’ relationships with their wives, telling them to love, or esteem, their wives – that is to prefer them and long for them. It is the kind of love that Christ had for the called out, that He gave His life for it. This tells me that a man’s love for his wife is to be so great that he will die to save her. That’s some pretty intense love!
After writing about how that Christ washed and cleaned the called out, Paul then stated a man should love his wife as much as his own body (as Christ loved His own body, the called out). Christ stated that “the two shall become one”, which means that when a man loves and respects his wife, he loves himself. The two are one, and his wife is treated as such by the man.
He does not hate his own flesh, therefore he nourishes – nurtures, grows to maturity – and cherishes – warms, fosters – it. That is, he provides the proper environment for it to flourish. Although the apostle writes that the wife is ranked under her husband, this additional comment certainly does not relegate her to someone who is to be used, abused, mistreated, or treated as less than oneself. As Christ and His called out are one body, so are husband and wife.
Because of this truth, a man leaves behind his parents and is “glued to” his wife, as the Greek word suggests. The man is to love and esteem his wife, and she is to be in awe of, or reverence, her husband. Although the man is ranked above her, he is to hold her in high esteem as well.
This same message is distilled into brief comments to the Colossians.
19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”
We also see Paul using this same ranking when he discusses the chain of authority. Some deny that the following has anything to do with authority or ranking, but it actually states it plainly.
1 Corinthians 11:1 "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."
When it comes to the assembly, we see the same kind of instructions given. A lot of preachers and religious folks will no longer acknowledge these truths, but they still stand.
1 Corinthians 14:34 "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."
And, the apostle Paul writes this to Timothy:
1 Timothy 2:11 "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."
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.
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.
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.
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."
Wives are to be subject to husbands, and husbands are to have love and compassion for their wives, helping them to grow in the relationship, and in life in general. This is clearly not a master/slave relationship, nor one of owner/property as some professed Christians seem to conclude. Instead, it is a relationship between a man who takes care of his beloved wife, treating her with tenderness and kindness, and a woman who looks up to her husband, and lends him her assistance and moral support.