21and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

  • hold your brothers and sisters to be of higher rank than you in the fear (phobos - where we get our word phobia) of Christ
    • it literally means to “be under in rank"
      • live life in service to your family in Christ
      • This is again about HONOR - showing deference and respect
      • to ONE ANOTHER - I show you respect and deference you show ME respect and deference
      • Phil 2:3 - Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
    • should we fear Christ? - yes - but not as in shrinking from his influence
      • by having a right understanding of his power, authority, and majesty - Psalm 2 rejoice with trembling
      • a sense of awe - the crocodile in the zoo, looking down from the height of a cliff

Marriage Like Christ and the Church


22Wives, [be subject] to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

  • there it is ladies - you heard it here! - this is one of the places where context means EVERYTHING
  • it does not say “wives be subject to your husbands”  it says “wives to your husbands” connecting it emphatically to the verse before it - He gave a general command "be subject to ONE ANOTHER in the FEAR of Christ” now he is breaking out the categories and setting a description for one kind of submission - that of a wife to her husband
    • "recognize someone has legitimate authority over you. It means you recognize that there is an order of authority, and that you are part of a unit, a team. You as an individual are not more important that the working of the unit or the team.” Guzik
    • Submission does not mean inferiority. As well, submission does not mean silence. Submission means "sub-mission." There is a mission for the Christian marriage, and that mission is obeying and glorifying God. The wife says, "I'm going to put myself under that mission. That mission is more important than my individual desires. I'm not putting myself below my husband, I'm putting myself below the mission God has for our marriage, for my life."
  • to YOUR OWN HUSBANDS - not to every other man!  This does not place all men above all women - it says in marriage there are two different ROLES to be filled


23For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christalso is the head of the church, He Himself [being] the Savior of the body.


24But as the church is subject to Christ,so also the wives [ought to be] to their husbands in everything.

  • wife's submission to her husband is part of her Christian life and obedience.
  • When a wife doesn't obey this word to submit to your own husband, as to the Lord, she isn't only falling short as a wife. She is falling short as a follower of Jesus Christ.
  • This is completely out of the realm of the wife's nature or personality.
  • This has nothing to do with a husband's intelligence, giftedness, or capability. It has to do with honoring the Lord Jesus Christ
  • This has nothing to do with whether or not the husband is right on a particular issue. It has to do with Jesus being right.
  • This means that a woman should take great care in how she chooses her husband. Instead of looking for an attractive man, instead of looking for a wealthy man, instead of looking for a romantic man, a woman should first look for a man she can respect. G. Campbell Morgan recalls the story of the older Christian woman who had never married, and she explained, "I never met a man who could master me." She had the right idea.
  • If you want to please Jesus, if you want to honor Him, then submit to your own husband as to the Lord.
  • "There can be no more compelling motive for any action than this; and every Christian wife who is concerned above everything else to please the Lord Jesus Christ, will find no difficulty in this paragraph; indeed it will be her greatest delight to do what the Apostle tells us here." (Lloyd-Jones)


25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

26so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28Sohusbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also [does] the church,30because we are members of His body. 31FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to lovehis own wife even as himself, and the wife must [see to it] that she respects her husband.

  • There are two pieces of this discourse that desperately need to be unpacked
    • The relationship of a man to his wife:
      • This is the purpose and power of a wife’s submission
        • NOURISH - protect, provide, promote - seeing to practical need
          • to give you a safe place full of acceptance and joy to try new things and grow and become more like Jesus
          • to bring correction when it is necessary - to wash you with the water of the word - not his own opinion!
          • to fight for you against your enemies both physically and emotionally
          • to never EVER make you feel attacked by himself - he is your protector
        • CHERISH - to treat you like the treasure you are! - seeing to emotional need
          • it is his duty and his delight to release you to be all God has dreamed you can be!
          • to get you out of your own way and connect you to purpose
          • to see in you what YOU cannot see in you and encourage you to step into who you really are!
      • Remember Mark 10 - this is what Kingdom authority looks like from God the Father on down!
      • There is something in the heart of a man that deeply desires to be your hero - to go all out for you
        • Let him save you ladies - let him serve you.
        • if you are too strong to let him serve you - you are denying him his ability to be who God created him to be.
    • The relationship of Christ to His church:
      • gave Himself up for us - three humiliations of Christ - the incarnation, the cross, the church
      • sanctifying her - making her HOLY - Jesus makes us holy - he does not condemn
      • that he might present her to HIMSELF - we are FOR HIM!  We are being made beautiful because we are for HIM
      • made glorious - no spot, no wrinkle, holy and blameless
      • nourish - feed and clothe - take care of all our needs
      • cherish - make us feel adored
  • This right here is why we cannot be OK with same sex relationships being called “marriage”. - Marriage is a material world reflection of something deeply mystical and spiritual - it is a "great mystery" as Paul relates.  
    • Marriage and family are shadows of a much larger much more powerful and important eternal reality
    • Marriage is temporary - only until death or resurrection