The Master's instructions about everyday life. (Ephesians 5:21-6:4).
So where does that last lesson leave the Christian woman in her marriage and with her family? Is she inferior because her husband is the leader? Of course not! The Bible teaches that every individual man and woman is of
immense value to God. He sees men and women as equals.
Equality does not mean uniformity. It is important for a woman to find and to fulfil her role in the Christian family. From Ephesians 5:21 – 6:4 (the same scripture as the men read!), let’s see four principles that may help you to be the person God wants you to be.
Submit to your husband as to the Lord (vv.22-24)
The church takes its direction, impetus and discipline from the Lord
Jesus Christ. She responds to Him in willing submission. Communication
between Christ and the church through prayer, prophecy, preaching and
precept, leads to both parties moving forwards together. This
communication is two-way. The Christian wife is to take her lead from
her husband. She is to do what he says, but not slavishly. As she shares
communication with him and shows submission to him, they will be led by
Christ to serve him together.
Notice that the Bible does not say: ‘Submit only if he loves you as Christ
loves the church.’ It says that your responsibility is to submit.
Grow in your own spirituality (vv.25-32)
Our Lord seeks to present His church ‘radiant’, ‘holy’ and ‘blameless’. Of
course that can only happen with willingness on our side. Your husband
may seek to encourage spiritual growth in you, but only you can enable
success. Even if your husband actually discourages you from following
Christ, you can still endeavour to be Christlike in your adversity.
Every Christian woman ought to be striving to become ‘without stain or
wrinkle’. Pay attention to your spiritual complexion as well as your skin
complexion! Get ready for your heavenly Bridegroom. Develop your own
spiritual growth, prayer time and Bible study, independent of your
husband, but in a close partnership with him.
Support your family wholeheartedly (vv.31-33)
Verse 31 teaches that two human beings can be one in love and in purpose.
Thinking it through a little further this means the husband and wife
should communicate with each other, determining a common understanding
of circumstances and events. Then they will have unity in disciplining the
children. They will speak as one entity to those outside the family, even if it
sometimes means saying, ‘I’ll check with my partner first.’ In everything they
say and do, whether apart or together, there will be a consolidation of their
relationship which will bring pleasure and purpose to them both.
Serve willingly in your home for your Lord (v.21)
To follow Christ in your home frequently means operating the principle of
‘denying yourself’ in the most mundane of situations. You belong to your
Lord, you belong to your family and you belong to yourself. All three must
be consulted in deciding where you want to go today and how you want to
do a particular thing. A woman is often the most constant factor in her
family and so her life can set the tone for the entire family. Teach a life
of service by developing the servant spirit as an example in your home.
A good marriage is not 50/50 give and take. Try a 200% marriage: you be
100% what God wants you to be and help/allow your partner to be 100% what
God wants him to be too.
Other scriptures to read: Proverbs 31:10-31; Luke 9:23;
Colossians 3:12-14; Galatians 3:28; 1 Peter 3:1-7.
Discussion guide on ‘Living as a Christian Wife and Mother
Reading Ephesians 5:21-6:4.
1. “A good marriage is not 50/50 give and take”.
Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Say why?
2. Discuss how a Christian husband and wife are like a lock and a key –
of equal value but having different roles in the same task.
What good is either without the other?
3. Whatever modern media teaches, God has planned that one man
and one woman together equal one family unit.
How can one plus one equal one, in Christian marriage?
4. Give practical examples of how you understand the word “submit” in
Ephesians 5:22, 24; Colossians 3:18. Show how this does not mean
the wife is inferior, nor superior, to her husband.
5. How can a Christian wife grow spiritually in her marriage?
Consider 1 Peter 3:1-7 for your answer.
6. Both the Christian husband and the Christian wife are told to
“respect” each other, see Ephesians 5:33 and 1 Peter 3:7. The
Greek words can be translated, “honour” or “reverential fear”, in
the sense that every Christian should give to God.
Explain how this attitude of respect for the other partner may
work out in practice. Give examples if you can.
7. How does Luke 9:23 impact any Christian wives or husbands? Does
it make it easier or more difficult to live as God wants you to live?