“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)
Eph 5:22-33 KJV
“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.
- The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
- The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
- The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
- The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
- The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
- The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
- The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
- 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)
FOR A MORE COMPREHENSIVE LOOK AT THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF EACH PARTY IN THE MARITAL COVENANT PLEASE REFER TO:
The love of the husband for the wife (vs 25-29) is one of the greatest motivating forces behind the marital union…
(Ephesians 5:31-32) 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.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother,
“For this cause”… what cause? Because the husband holds a self-sacrificial, unconditional love for his wife, he is to forsake his former relationship with his parents. Up to this point in time, the husband was under the authority of his parents. He was now to take upon himself the responsibilities of leadership and begin another relationship which would become the closest, most intimate, relationship in his life.
Please note: This “leaving” of the parents is describing a change in relationship, not an abandonment of the parents. The husband was still called upon to “Honor” his parents. In other words, he is to highly value, respect and appreciate his parents (Matthew 5:4, Ephesians 6:2-3). This includes a need to care for their parents in their old age…
“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.” (Proverbs 23:22)
“Honour widows that are widows indeed.But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God…. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Timothy 5:3-4,8)
and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
The husband is to forsake his former relationship with his parents and enter into a new intimate relationship with his wife.
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:21-24
This relationship would be described as a “cleaving” and a “one flesh” relationship. These terms help us to understand:
1. the unity that would exist between the husband and wife in every aspect of their lives.
2. the INTENDED permanence of the marital union. The Lord desires for the marital union to be a permanent one although it is possible for it to be sundered (broken). (Malachi 2:16)
For much more information on the nature of the “one-flesh” and the “cleaving” aspects of the marital union please refer to:
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
All of these teachings on the marital relationship between the husband and wife also teach us truths about the relationship between Christ and His local assemblies.
The comparative association between the marital relationship and the relationship of Christ and His assemblies is a “great mystery”. What does this mean?
In the Bible, the word mystery always describes that which is unknown by most, but known to the initiated. Because of Paul’s teachings on this subject, we are now a part of “the initiated” and therefore, these truths are no longer a mystery to us. However, to the lost world, and many Christians, these truths continue to be unknown.
May we all thank the Lord for His grace in giving us these truths, so that we might come to understand, that which is a mystery to so many. Let us be faithful with these truths by sharing them with others and applying them, in a practical way, to our marriages and as members of the Lord’s local assemblies.
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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