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SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 5:24

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SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”


The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)


“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.   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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 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. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”


This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.


In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.

  1. The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
  2. The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
  3. The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
  4. The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
  5. The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
  6. The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
  7. The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
  8. The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-21)


The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RELATIONSHIPS (5:22-33). For those who are called to be married, there is no greater earthly relationship that can be enjoyed. Within a Godly marriage love, harmony, unity of heart and mind, and unconditional support are constants that only enhance our relationship with Christ.


Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:

I.        The Marriage Relationship – The Wife’s Responsibility (vs 22-24)
II.        The Marriage Relationship – The Husband’s Responsibility (vs 25-29)
III.        The Marriage Relationship – An Example Of Christ’s Great Love (vs 30–33)






Not only does the role of the husband in the marriage relationship a picture of Christ’s relationship to His local assembly, but now Paul teaches us that the assembly’s subjection to Christ sets the example for the wife in the marital relationship…


(Eph 5:24) Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.



Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ,

In this text, we are told that the local church’s relationship to her Head, Jesus Christ, should be one of “subjection”.


What does the Bible mean by the term “subject”? In actuality, the Greek word translated “subject” is the word “hupotasso” which is the same word that described the wife’s relationship to her husband in vs. 22. This word was translated “submit” in vs 22.


From our devotional in vs 22, we saw that being “subject to” or “in submission to” simply means to place under in an orderly fashion and emphasizes these two basic ideas:

1. it involves arrangement producing order, harmony and longevity of the family
2. it involves compliance, submission and unity
We can see these ideas presented to us in a practical way in 1 Corinthians 12:. In this text, the Lord shows us that as the church submits to the Lord’s desires in the use of spiritual gifts, it results in unity, harmony, order and an effective ministry for Him. This principle applies to every area of a local church’s ministry…


1Co 12:12-31 KJV – “…  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.

If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body.

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.   Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”


so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Just as the church is to be in submission to her Head, so too, a wife should be in submission to her husband.


In vs 22, we looked at the wife’s submission to her husband in great detail and came to the conclusion that to be “in submission” simply means to the wife is to place herself under the husband in an orderly fashion and emphasizes to basic ideas:

1. it involves arrangement producing order, harmony and longevity of the family
2. it involves compliance, submission and unity
3. it does not refer to “blind obedience” because this opens up the possibility of harm and abuse and an eventual destruction of the family unit.
4. it does not refer to a “silence” on the part of the wife. She is to kindly share her thoughts, desires and understanding of God’s will in all the major family decisions. And the husband, out of love and a desire for her well-being, is to seriously consider all she says and allow them to weight very heavily in the joint-decision making process.




For those who are married, we need to remember that the relationship between Christ and His local assemblies gives to us an example of the type of relationship that should exist between the husband and wife in a marital union.

The union of Christ/church and the husband/wife are wonderfully reciprocal relationships. The union of Christ/church sets the example for the husband/wife union; while the husband/wife union reveals the relationship of Christ/church to the world around us.

May we thank the Lord for His grace in giving us these unique relationships that aid our marital relationships and our outward testimony of Christ to a lost and dying world.


May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!


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  1. Another great study. This quote from the study “In this text, we are told that the local church’s relationship to her Head, Jesus Christ, should be one of “subjection”. I am afraid that most churches today forget who the true Head of the church is. Thanks!!

  2. Terry says:

    It is odd how today in the 2000’s that people can take this out of context. I have heard stories of how he/she should submit because………. It doesn’t say abuse or anything. I believe in what you wrote, but some have stretched it past the truth

    • Rob Barkman says:

      That is why I have tried to stress the context. In my mind, it is so clear that when true abuse takes place the Lord is displeased and does not insist on the abused spouse continuing to live under the abuse. For anyone to tell an abused spouse (man or woman) to just continue to live under the abuse, clearly shows they really do not understand the Scriptural teachings on the marriage covenant and the joint responsibilities that it entails. Lord bless you.

      • Terry says:

        Exactly my point. I have known some that take the scriptures and twist them for their own gratification and this is so wrong. Abuse is terrible no matter what form it may come from, but God can help mend anything. Thanks Rob

        • Rob Barkman says:

          yep you are so right our Lord can mend anything. But through the years counseling couples and seeing abuse take place in the lives of those who are close to me, I have noticed that if the abusive party is not willing to change their ways, the Lord does not bless and mend the situation. From that standpoint, the relationship can never be mended. It is absolutely necessary for the abusive one to see the harm they are doing and are willing to submit to the Lord’s will and change their ways. Lord bless you Terry. I hope you have a great weekend.

  3. SLIMJIM says:

    Wow was just teaching on this verse tonight!

  4. If both these relationships were seen more by the world, Christ would be exalted and Christianity would be more of a force.

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