Relationships – Part 2

That secret truth is very important—I am talking about Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32 Easy to Read Bible).

Ephesians 5:22-33 Easy To Read Bible
Ephesians 5:22-33 Amplified Bible
Ephesians 5:22-33 In Your Bible

In ancient times, marriages were often arranged and not usually based on love, honor, or respect. While Paul is not attempting to change the custom, he says a believer must reverse his thinking. In marriage a man must be as dedicated to loving his wife as Christ loves the Church.

Husbands and Wives

Paul views the Christian marriage as the most precious relationship in life. This seems different than what he says in I Corinthians 7. After nine years * waiting for the return of Jesus, Paul now focuses on living for Christ.

Paul doesn’t diminish the role of husband or wife, nor suggest they are equals, as some would today. He shows this relationship is to be based on love, not control over one another.

The husband’s love must be sacrificial, purifying, caring, and unbreakable—in the Lord. In a Christian marriage there are three partners; Jesus Christ is the first, the husband second and then wife.

The Mystery of the Church

Through parallelism Paul shows how the believer should walk in submission with Jesus’ love. Believers, we can.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless]. . . This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:25-27,32 Amplified Bible).

Prayer: Father, thank you for showing the marriage relationship you want. I want this too.

Questions: When you first heard of marriage being parallel to Christ and his bride, how did it affect your own marriage? When did you last hear that the Church is the bride of Christ?

* The Daily Study Bible, Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians, William Barclay, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia1958, p. 203.

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