God’s Household Rules: Marriage and Family (4)
Love Your Wife (1)
1. We are studying now a section of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 5:22-6:9), dealing with our household relationships from a Christian perspective. If we are God’s new community, then what should our family life look like. How are we to be different from the world? Paul tells us here. He deals with husbands and wives, parents and children, and masters and servants – the sphere of the household in biblical and Mediterranean culture. The timeliness of this for us is obvious. Our culture can’t even seem to define marriage! Much less agree upon the dynamics of husband-wife marital roles and the discipline of children.
4. Note the outline of Paul’s argument in this passage:
1. The Command - Love your wives (25a)
2. Analogy #1 - Like Christ loved the church (25b)
a. Purpose of Christ loving the church - to sanctify her (26)
b. Ultimate goal - the glory of the church in holiness and perfection (27)
3. Analogy #2 - Love your wife in the same way you take care of yourself (28a)
a. Elaboration #1 - in a real sense you are caring for your own self when you love your wife
b. Elaboration #2 - that means, specifically, nourishing and cherishing her (29)
5. An important preface to our study:
(1) I speak to you not as one who has arrived but as a fellow traveler.
(3) This is about marriage in light of the Gospel, marriage in light of union with Christ, and even marriage in light of the atonement.
(4) Our study is an opportunity for change, but also an opportunity for disaster - if we leave here today or in the weeks to come saying to one another "This is how you have failed me" then there’s trouble coming. If we leave here thinking "This is how I’ve failed you, and I’m determined, by God’s grace, to grow in love and service" then there are huge possibilities for blessing. Our attitude must be: how many I serve you (not "how am I being served") and "you first" (not "me first").
God calls Christian husbands to a radical, God-originated, Gospel-based, Grace-empowered, Christ-emulating, self-denying love for our wives
— in which we seek to serve our wives and to care for our wives’ best spiritual and temporal interests
I. God’s Command to Christian Husbands: Love!
[Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church] (25)
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her
A. It is interesting that God says not make sure you lead her, but rather make sure you love her (this does not, of course, contradict what we have already learned about the household order established by God. The husband is, as head, to give spiritual leadership in the home).
1. Unmerited love (Romans 5:8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.