Ephesians 5:22-28; 6:1-3
Levi Skipper, senior pastor
Concord Baptist Church, Clermont
The city of Ephesus contained a group of new Jesus followers. They were living in a culture that centered around worship of a false goddess named Diana. She was considered the goddess of sex and loose living was a cultural norm in Ephesus.
New believers, however, were learning a brand new culture, the culture of God’s Kingdom. Paul wanted to teach how following Jesus influenced every relationship they had on earth. Paul focuses on their relationships at home.
As believers living in the 21st century, we are also surrounded by an immoral culture which views loose living as normal. Paul’s letter to the Church at Ephesus helps us see how our relationship with Jesus influences our relationships today. He magnifies the husband-wife relationship as well as the parent-child relationship giving practical principles for application.
Wife, respect your husband
Paul writes, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Now, before you get bent out of shape, let’s talk about the word subject.
It is a word that means “to place oneself under.” The word subject is used to describe our relationship with the government (Romans 13:1), our relationship to elders (Hebrews 13:17), and our relationship to one another in the church (Ephesians 5:21). It speaks of a need to defer to another for leadership and instruction.
In the context of the church it carries the concept of looking out for the best interest of others. It is like a contest among followers of Jesus to see who can out-submit the other. In the context of marriage, the wife is charged to honor her husband and respect his God-given leadership in the home.
Husband, hold nothing back in your love for your wife
Paul writes, “Husbands, love your wives.” As men, we are often encouraged to give our best, to go for it, to go all out. Typically, we think of this concept when it comes to sports or even our jobs. However, Scripture is encouraging husbands to put this principle to work in the marriage. Christian husbands are to unconditionally and without reservation love their wives.
Don’t miss the obvious from Paul. He says, ‘Love your wife.” In other words, don’t be loving someone else’s wife. Your wife is a gift from God and should be treated as such.
How is a husband to hold nothing back in his love? By following the example of Jesus. He held nothing back in His love for the church. As Jesus loves the church, so the husband is to love his wife.
Children, learn to obey God by obeying your parents
Submission to authority is the foundation of worship. As parents train their children to submit to their authority, they are actually teaching them how to worship the Lord. Children who live in disobedience to the authority of their parents are giving evidence of a rebellious heart to God.
The ultimate goal of parenting is to see your child live a life of worship toward God. Paul, aware of this, encourages, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.”
Imagine how different believers in Ephesus would have been living out these three principles in the home. How do you think living this way today enhances your witness for Christ?