A Theology of Marriage

Marriage is one of the most important relationships that you will ever enter into. I think of my own wife, Kate. The day of our wedding was a day I had thought about and aspired to my whole life. I could finally live happily ever after with the love of my life and have a wonderful and fulfilling marriage.

But how? What’s the secret?
Marriage is one of those things that most of us want and look forward to but once it’s here, what exactly are we to do?

Even if you’re not married, most of you will one day marry and you need to know this. Perhaps you were once married and you may remarry or you have kids that you can teach what the Bible says regarding marriage. We need strong marriages, Godly marriages.
We look at marriage in Ephesians 5:21-33 but we need to start in 5:18 when Paul says to “be filled with the Spirit.” This is a constant yielding to God the Holy Spirit. It is to be under the control of the Spirit.

One of the basic ways to describe a Spirit-filled person is to say they have a submissive attitude; they are not dominating proud, selfish people.
Submissive means to rank yourself under those in authority over you, to be under someone. Paul says you will live a certain way if you are Spirit-filled, and he breaks down our relationships. This is the secret sauce.


1. Understanding the role of the wife

In v. 22 Paul doesn’t say obey your husbands because it’s not that kind of relationship. The Bible has already established mutual submission and then gives the first illustration.
He says “wives to your own husbands,” not to all men or to any guy, but to your own husbands. This has nothing to do with being inferior, there is no spiritual inferiority between men and women. Spiritually speaking, men and women are equal, equal in worth and value.
Wives, you are called to have this submissive attitude and your entire motivation is to the Lord. As a wife, your role before Christ is this submission. It is your voluntary response to God’s will. Husbands cannot be dictators, but a husband should treat his wife as an equal.

2. Understanding the husband’s role

After giving the role of a Spirit-filled wife, Paul devotes the next 9 verses to explain the husband’s duty to submit to his wife through his love for her. It’s important to look at the pattern of Christ’s love for His church so we can emulate that pattern and love our wives as He loves us.

A. Jesus loved the church by dying for her.

Men, if we are going to fulfill this lofty calling we must be ready to die for our wives. Would we be willing to sacrifice something lesser than death? Perhaps our agenda, time, comfort, the remote control?
If we’re going to walk a Spirit-filled life and esteem our wives as better than ourselves, we need to put away our likes, desires, opinions, and preferences to please our wives, to meet her needs, when we do this we are truly dying to self to live for our wife.

B. Christ loved his church with a goal in mind v. 26-27

The love of a Spirit-filled husband desires only the best for his wife. This kind of love cannot tolerate or allow for a loved one to be corrupted or led astray by any wicked things. This means you don’t do anything or lead her into anything that would hinder her walk.

C. We are to love our wives as Christs loves the church, we must love her and she must know that our love is never ending v. 31

God’s standard for marriage is that it is permanent. She must understand that, she must never fear that your love will end, or that you will walk away.
Paul goes on to say that “this mystery is great, but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the Church.”

Why is submission so strongly emphasized in Scripture? Because the sacredness of the church is wed to the sacredness of marriage.
Your marriage is a testimony to the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church. What is your marriage saying to the watching world? To your children?

There is something divine about a Christian marriage. If you aren’t willing to submit to God the Holy Spirit, you will never be able to submit to your spouse. Let’s be Spirit-filled Christians, submitting to one another, esteeming others as better than ourselves!
Pastor Chris Williams
To learn more about Pastor Chris and his teaching, visit us on the web at fcfamily.org  and make sure you subscribe to receive these biweekly encouragements in your inbox.




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