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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

OUR THEME FOR 2019
(Part 8)

CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH

October 30, 2018
Today’s reading: Ephesians 5:21-33


If we and our respective households, that is, the family, are to serve the Lord, a basic foundation is the relationship of husband and wife. In this passage, Paul brings together the principles for such a relationship.

First, there should be mutual subordination between husband and wife (v.21). This means mutual love, respect, support and self-sacrificial service to the other. No one lords it over the other.

Second, the above being said, there is also a distinction of roles. Specifically, the husband is the head of the family (and of his wife), while the wife is subordinate to him as his helpmate (v.22-24). While there is mutual subordination, there cannot be mutual headship, as two heads in one body make a monster. The headship of the husband is likened to the headship of Christ over the Church.

Third, the above being said, wives should have no fear of being treated unjustly in such a relationship, because the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church (v.25). That means a self-sacrificial love. In truth, if the husband acts in this loving way, then in effect he is the servant of his wife. That is servant leadership in action.

Fourth, husband and wife are to be mindful of differences between men and women. Unlike the world today which says there are no differences, and that in fact, according to transgenders, a man can say he is a woman, and vice versa, men and women are different.[1] This is key to a life-giving relationship. Thus, while both husband and wife should love and respect the other, there is a difference in emphasis or focus. “In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband.” (v.33). A woman needs to feel loved, while a man looks to being respected.

The relationship between husband and wife “is a great mystery” (v.32a). It is “in reference to Christ and the church.” (v.32b). “For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church” (v.23a). Wives are subordinate to their husbands “as the church is subordinate to Christ” (v.24a). Husbands love their wives “as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her” (v.25-26a). The wife, just like the Church, is to “be holy and without blemish.” (v.27b).

What a great relationship! What a mysterious relationship that mirrors the very relationship of Christ and his Church. It is key to serving the Lord effectively.

* * *

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[1] That men and women are different is the fundamental lesson taught by Qoheleth II in “Females are Fabulous.”

 

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