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God’s Design for Marriage (Part 22)
Bible Text: Selected Scripture | Preacher: Pastor Joe Ricchuiti | Series: God’s Design for Marriage
Recap of 10/27/13:
1. Paul teaches the need for order in the Christian home. He begins in 5:22-33 with the husband and wife relationship. There is a God-ordained order in the Christian home expressed by the terms “headship” and “submission.” This order is based, not on culture, but on creation (Genesis 2 & 3; 1 Corinthians 11:3; 1Timothy 2:13).
2. What Paul writes in Ephesians 5:22ff contrasts with the deplorable situation women found themselves in in Jewish, Greek, and Roman culture. William Barclay, commenting on Paul’s teaching and the culture of his day, writes this: “It is against this background that Paul writes. When he wrote this lovely passage he was not stating the view that every man held. He was calling men and women to a new purity and a new fellowship in the married life. It is impossible to exagtgerate the cleansing effect that Christianity had on home life in the ancient world and the benefits it brought to women.”
3. Another writer has said: “It is this admonition to wives which has made Paul the object of most bitter attack. The apostle has been declared to be the enemy of women. His teachings have been attributed to an age of darkness when women were degraded and debased by men. On the other hand, more careful study will show that Paul has been their great emancipator. He is the one who has instead upon their spiritual equality with men. Whenever his teaching have been accepted women have been enfranchised, ennobled, and given their just and proper rights.”
4. Christian wives are called to submit (hupotasso-a Greek military term meaning to “line up on ranks,” “fall in line.” It has to do with order, not with value, being, equality or inferiority. It does not imply “slavish obedience.” It does mean to place oneself under the leadership of another, not usurping another’s authority. She is called to submit “to her own husband,” limiting Paul’s admonition to Christian marriage, not to all of society.
5. This call to submission is not the only call to submission in the Scriptures. Christians are called to submit to each other in the Body of Christ (Ephesians 5:21); to submit to governmental authorities (Romans 13; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13); to submit to church leaders (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12), to name some.
6. That roles are not demeaning is illustrated by 1 Corinthians 11:3 where God the Son is said to be under the headship of God the Father.