Marriage. This is a topic I talk about all of the time as a pastor. I have the great privilege of officiating weddings. I also have the serious responsibility of marriage counseling. I have talked with so many couples about the roles of husband and wife, whether they are in pre-marital counseling as the wedding approaches or they have already been married for years. This sermon is my attempt to take the conversation to our entire church. This is the 3rd year of our church we have used the last weekend of October to do a special sermon on the family!
Epistle. In this sermon, we take a minute to look at the context of New Testament epistles. An epistle is a letter in the New Testament. In fact, epistles are the primary literary genre of the New Testament as there are 21 of them. Epistles often follow a logical flow of reminding us how God has saved us and then calling us to live a new way since we are saved.
Household lists. Some of the New Testament epistles (like Ephesians, Colossians and 1 Peter) go through our most personal relationships. Since we have been saved by the gospel and are now living a new life in Christ, our faith affects every area of our lives. Household lists include relationship like husbands and wives, children and fathers, slaves and masters.
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
Feminism. When the Scripture says the role of the wife is submission this seems like a bad word in our American culture today. However, submission is a beautiful idea in the Bible. It is a willingness to place yourself underneath the authority of someone else. Jesus submits to the Father. We are all called to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21). The idea of the wife submitting to her husband is not derogatory to her as a woman in any way, it is the way God designed marriages to work for ultimate blessing and human flourishing.
Chauvinism. Unfortunately, there is this idea among men that they are superior, the idea that the husband or dad should be sitting in his recliner chair while the rest of his family serves him. However, if a husband is going to love his wife he must live to serve her. As the old saying goes, “Women and children first!”
31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
33 However, let each one of you loves his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
“Marriage is an Analogy of the Gospel.” Here in the epistle of Ephesians Paul reveals a profound mystery regarding marriage. This is something they would not have understood in the Old Testament when God originally revealed his love plan for man (Genesis 2:24). But now that the gospel of Jesus has been revealed to us we can see it. The way a husband loves his wife is a picture of how Jesus loves us in the church. The way a wife loves her husband is a picture of how we submit our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This is not something we are simply supposed to understand, but a picture to show to those around us. Who can see the gospel of Jesus through the way we own our roles as husbands and wives?