“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-27
For us to be successful in life, in our relationship to God and with our spouses, we must respond to Christ with gratitude and love; then, we must be respectful and submit to one another. The key to a successful and vibrant marriage is the wife and husband respecting and loving each other, because our relationship is bound to our Lord. We are not just the participants of the church, we are the church and we model it to the world, and we must show that our Gospel and love is real and sincere. And the Christian marriage is a prime platform for the Gospels illustration! Love and respect are the two essential ways we can improve our relationship; this is the “marriage secret” to a happy and content marriage. The husband cherishes his wife, regardless of his feelings, so she feels secure and valued, while the wife respects her husband, even when he does not deserve it.
In this way, both have an authentic mutual affection and admiration for one another. Which builds upon each other for the betterment and prevents and solves most ills.
Let’s look at the husband’s call, as it does apply to both. He is asked to do something greater, to love their wives, to be passionate and committed about their care and personhood, not just rely on feelings. To take the initiative to lead and to listen. In ancient times, marriage contracts would advocate the husband to make his wife submit with absolute obedience. Paul’s assertion to his churches and readers “to love,” and because of love to “submit,” was very radical. To Paul, love was a duty. To truly love someone was considered weak by the macho mindsets of the times as well as with many people today. Yet, love is not weak; it is building the strength of a relationship and the bond of a family by creating a mutual partnership (Amos 3:3; Mark 12:38; 1 Cor. 7:3-4; 13; 11:8-9)!
Love or cherisheth is the verb for love (Greek: agapete) designates a continuous routine of a devoted care action all of the time, not just when we feel like it.
Love is “symbiotic” as in mutually loving toward each other to build and improve each one’s relationship. Here, a man loves a woman; she then submits because of his love. This submission is a love in itself that becomes as “one flesh” (Eph. 2:4-7; 5:21-32; 1 John 4:7-21).
However, submission is misunderstood when it is viewed as abuse or subjection. In context, it is what God has for us, His fullness, His love that must be received and played forward to one another. As a family and as a church. God’s perfect plan, even in a corrupt culture, was always oneness and intimacy that were based on commitment and obedience. Christ restores our true intimacy (Gen. 2:19-25; 1 Tim. 2:13-14).
We are to walk as people who are wise in the ways of the Lord and who are also on guard to the ways of the world. We are to be careful how we live, so we treat our lives and others with love, dignity, and respect, especially our loved ones.
We must not to be careless with what is precious, people who are God’s precious children. We are to make the most of our lives, and the opportunities He gives us. To waste it away, and to treat others with disrespect or abuse is what a fool does; so, let us not be fools! When we understand what the Lord wants us to do—and, by the way, this is not hard—we will do better in life. It is not hard because what God is concerned with is our character. We form our character from understanding, and putting into practice this fullness. Then, we will have healthy families in a healthy church.