Eph 5:21-24 Considering the context that follows, what does Paul mean in Eph 5:21 to “be subject to one another in the fear of Christ”? Is the statement specific to husbands and wives—that both husbands and wives are to be subject to one another—or is it more general, with the verses that follow giving a fuller explanation of his meaning: wives to their husbands (Eph 5:22-23), the church to Christ (Eph 5:24), children to their parents (Eph 6:1), and slaves to their masters (Eph 6:5)? See also Col 3:18-22. What do the words “as to the Lord” in Eph 5:22 mean? See 1 Pet 3:6. Why does Paul say wives should be subject to their husbands? See Eph 5:23, 1 Cor 11:3,8-9. In what things is the Church to be subject to Christ? In what things is a wife to be subject to her husband? See Eph 5:24. What if her husband is unreasonable or even disobedient to the word? See 1 Pet 2:18-21, 3:1-6. Since God commands wives to be in subjection to their husbands, what great responsibility does that place upon them?
Eph 5:25-27 As God commands wives to be subject to their husbands, what is His command to husbands in respect to their wives? See Eph 5:25,28,33. In what manner did Christ love the Church? See Eph 5:25. In what manner should a husband love his wife? What if his wife is not subject to him or even disobedient to the word? See Rom 5:8. For what purpose did Christ out of love for the Church give Himself up for her? See Eph 5:26-27. For what purpose does a man out of love for his wife give himself up for her? See also 1 Pet 3:7, Gal 3:28. Does the agape love Christ has for the Church indulge her carnal desires, or deliver her from them? Does the agape love Paul says a husband should have for his wife indulge her carnal desires, or deliver her from them? Can a husband expect to lead his wife in becoming all God wants her to be if he himself is not first following Christ to become all God wants him to be? In what way does a husband’s words to his wife sanctify and make her beautiful, even as Christ’s words to the Church sanctifies and makes her beautiful? Any of us need to work on that?!
Eph 5:28-33 How does Paul say husbands should love their wives in Eph 5:28, and why? How is both a husband’s love for his wife and Christ’s love for the Church manifested practically? See Eph 5:29. What does the Scripture mean that a man shall cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh; in what sense do they become one flesh? What is born of the relationship of a man to his wife? What is the great mystery that Paul talks about in Eph 5:32? In what sense does Christ become one flesh with His bride, the Church? See also John 17:21-26. What is/shall be born from the eternal relationship of Christ to His Church? Considering that the marriage relationship of a husband and wife is a picture to the whole world of Christ’s relationship to the Church, what is the importance that both husbands and wives fulfill their respective roles in the marriage? Why would Satan want to disrupt those roles? How does Paul summarize those roles in Eph 5:33? Notice there that the NASB “respect” or KJV “reverence” is translated in 92 of its 94 instances as “fear”, “be afraid”, etc…, and is the same word commonly used in reference to the fear of the Lord (see for example Col 3:22, Rev 14:7); what does this teach us about the respect a wife is to have for her husband? Consider that it is the perfect love of the Father for the Son and the perfect submission of the Son to the Father that makes for the perfect unity within the Godhead; likewise, it is the perfect love of Christ for the Church and the perfect submission of the Church to Christ that makes for perfect unity in the body of Christ. What does this teach us about the way to achieve perfect unity in our homes? Consider also that if Christ was not in a proper relationship to the Father, He could not have fulfilled His role to the Church. Think: If a husband is not in a proper relationship with Christ, can he expect to fulfill his role to his wife? If a wife is not in proper relationship to her husband, can she expect to fulfill her role to her children?