God’s Plan for Oneness in the Home

Ephesians 5:21-33

This is part of the Ephesian letter that deals with practical living.  Here Paul continues to promote unity.   

Rejecting Domination 

Matthew 20:20-28 – Both Paul and Jesus rejected the use of forceful domination in relationships.  The kingdom of God does not work like the kingdoms of the world.  Believers should see themselves as servants.  In other words, be like Christ!  But it can be very difficult to have a different mindset than the world around us.

1 Timothy 2:11-12 –  Some women at Ephesus were used to having positions of power due to the great influence of the Diana cult in that city.  Paul is saying that no one should take a domineering approach to relationships in the church, men or women.  

1 Peter 5: 1-3 – Even elders are to lead with a humble spirit, using example more than commands. 

Regarding “Headship” 

1 Corinthians 11:1-3 – God is head of Christ, Christ of man, and husband of wife.  Subjection is to be the attitude of the whole church.  Does this really mean that the husband is to make all “discretionary” decisions?  The example of Christ as head is that he pours himself out for us, as the husband is to love his wife in Ephesians 5:25-30. 

Ephesians 1:22-23 – Christ is head over all things to the church 

Ephesians 4:14-16 – What is emphasized in this passage regarding Christ as head is what Christ gives to us in love, not what he demands of us.  From Christ as head flows power into every part of the body.  Every party is built up, growing.  Instead of life-taking, it is a life-giving environment.  

Ephesians 5:21-33 – Unity in marriage is based on the gospel of Christ.  Wives need to see the great potential that husbands can give to them.  To submit to one’s head is primarily to place oneself into a position to receive.  It is essential also to see submission as something that is voluntary; it cannot be forced.  To see Jesus Christ as my head is to recognize my utter dependence on him.  Wives should be able to depend on their husbands, and husbands should be willing and able to receive from their wives also.  God did not intend marriage to be a “tug-of-war!”  Before marriage, we strive to be complete on our own, with God’s help.  When we marry, we are choosing to be one half of a whole.  We sacrifice our independence.  Husbands and wives need to prayerfully consider what these passages mean for their individual marriage. 

Teachings on Marriage

See also Colossians 3:18-19 and 1 Peter 3:1-7. 

—Robert Lee, 4-1-07, a.m. 

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