Marriage is a very precious gift God gave to man—one that’s worth fighting for no matter what.
Do you want to energise your marriage so that both you and your spouse would be excited to love one another even more?
Here’s what the Bible tells us to do if we want that:
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21 NIV)
How Could Submitting to One Another Do That?
Friends, married couples are indeed told to submit to one another, but the key there is not about simply submitting. Rather, both the husband and the wife are to do that “out of reverence for Christ.”
Christ’s love enables both the husband and the wife to love each other with a love that both of them never knew they had. While many people try to live by 1 Corinthians 13, saying that’s how they should love their spouses, Ephesians 5 gives us a more profound explanation and details how we can do it.
For the Husband
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.” (vv. 25-30 NKJV)
I deliberately put the instruction for husbands ahead of the wife’s because the husband is the one who should be leading the relationship. Being a husband myself, I know this to be true.
Husbands need to look at how Christ loved the whole church – in all her diverse stubbornness and creative hard-headedness – and shed His blood for her salvation and forgiveness, and imitate Him.
Husbands must put off their own comforts and desire to serve their wives. He’ll be handsomely rewarded anyway: a wife that naturally becomes loving and submissive in response to her husband’s sacrificial and selfless care. And when the wife is already loving to begin with, it just becomes easier to do this.
For the Wife
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” (vv.22-24, NKJV)
Wives, on the other hand, will do well to submit to their husbands in the same way the church submits to Christ. The church knows that she is provided for, protected, and taken care of by Christ, and she respects Him so well. Wives also need to learn to submit to their husbands that way.
When the husband is already loving, wives will find it easier to love and submit to their husbands, too.
A Cycle of Good
When husbands and wives just focus on loving each other the way God intended, both parties will never lose the excitement to love each other and show it with their actions and words. After all, both of them receive each other’s love, and are able to give it back.