The Believer’s Walk in the World;
God’s Standards for Authority &
Submission in the Church,
2.) As to One’s Home, Eph 5:22-6:4.
a) Husbands and Wives, Eph 5:22-33. (Part 1)
Outline Ephesians, Chapter 4 – 5 Thus Far:
A) The Believer’s Walk in Unity; God’s Plan for Faithful Living in the Church to Build the Church, Eph 4:1-16.
B) The Believer’s Walk in Righteousness; God’s Pattern and Principles for Members of the Church and His Standards for Faithfulness in the Church, Eph 4:17-32.
C) The Believer’s Walk in Love; The conclusion of God’s Pattern and Principles for Members of the Church and His Standards for Faithfulness in the Church, Eph 5:1-17.
D) The Believer’s Walk in the World; God’s Standards for Authority and Submission in the Church, Eph 5:18-6:9.
1.) As to One’s Self and the Church, Be Filled with God’s Spirit, Eph 5:18-21.
2.) As to One’s Home, Eph 5:22-6:4.
a) Husbands and Wives, Eph 5:22-33.
Major Doctrines & Principles in Eph 5:22-25
- Principles of the Divine Establishments, vs. 22.
- Principles of Authority Orientation, a Problem-Solving Device, vs. 22.
- Principles of Authority Orientation and Joy, the +H of God, vs. 22.
- Doctrine of Marriage, vs. 22ff.
- Principles of Seven Figures of Christ and the Church – His Body, in analogy to the headship of husbands over wives, vs. 23ff.
- The Doctrine of Category #2 Love, vs. 25
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Eph 5:22, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
With this verse, we begin the second segment of our fourth main division of Chapter 5, which has two categories.
The Believer’s Walk in the World; God’s Standards for Authority and Submission in the Church, Eph 5:18-6:9.
- As to One’s Self, Eph 5:18-21.
- As to One’s Home, Eph 5:22-6:4.
- Husbands and Wives, Eph 5:22-33.
- Parents and Children, Eph 6:1-4.
This verse begins a great discussion regarding the Godly marriage relationship between husbands and wives, which is Divine Institutions # 2 that runs through the rest of this chapter, vs. 33. Before we get into the details of these verses, I first want to review two important doctrines, Divine Establishment Principles, (Institutions), and Authority Orientation.
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Divine Establishment Principles
God has ordained certain laws for the survival, protection, and freedom of the human race during the course of human history. When segments of a nation’s population ignore these laws, anarchy will inevitably result. These laws directly affect freedom, civilization, authority, evangelism, spiritual growth, and the perpetuation of the human race. They are as important to us as is the law of gravity. Therefore, God has provided Laws of Divine Establishment to provide the freedom to fulfill God’s plan as ordained in the Divine decrees under many types of government.
The Laws of Divine Establishment are designed and directed toward both believer and unbeliever. They have been in operation since the fall of man, and will remain through the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, including the Millennium with some modifications in compatibility with perfect environment.
The Laws of Divine Establishment define freedom in terms of privacy, property, and authority. There is no such thing as the enjoyment of life or freedom without authority. All systems of freedom function under authority. Both the privacy of the individual and the function of legitimate authority are necessary for the function of human freedom. Therefore, God created four Divine Institutions under the Law of Divine Establishment: volition, marriage, family, and nationalism. These are the basis for the Laws of Divine Establishment.
God also has Divine laws for angels and nature. All these laws are designed to resolve the Angelic Conflict using an inferior creature, man.
Establishment and the Divine Institutions (D.I.).
Two of the four Divine Institutions, (D.I.’s), under God’s Laws of Divine Establishment, are addressed in our passage, Eph 5:22-6:4, Marriage and Family, where we are given instruction on how to operate inside of them. The other two D.I.’s are Volition and Nationalism.
Volition. God has prepared a soul for every member of the human race that houses your human life and placed it inside your body at physical birth. The justice of God imputes human life to the soul; human life resides in the soul forever. No one can remove human life from the soul. This is the doctrine of human security.
The soul is made up of self‑consciousness, mentality, emotion, and volition as the authority of the soul. Human volition must have freedom and privacy for proper function. Your soul has privacy since it is hidden in the skull. While people are not born equal or live in equality, God has given them freedom of choice and the right to make decisions for themselves. With your freedom of choice, you have the option of positive or negative volition at God-consciousness, the freedom to accept or reject Jesus Christ at gospel hearing, and the freedom to choose to go forward in God’s plan for your life by learning and applying His Word or not.
When we believe in Christ, God’s perfect righteousness is imputed to us and we now have a purpose in life: the imputation of blessing to that perfect righteousness, which glorifies God. The Laws of Divine Establishment give freedom to exercise our positive volition toward Bible doctrine so that we can develop the capacity for these blessings.
Marriage. The second D.I. is the civil union between one man and one woman in monogamy. This is ordained of God to remind mankind that He has, from the beginning, a design called right man – right woman, Gen 1:26:27; 5:1‑2; 2:18‑25; 1 Cor 7:2‑4.
When Jesus Christ created Adam, he said, “it is not good that man should be alone…” Therefore, God provided the female. Jesus Christ constructed Adam’s right woman. Their relationship, established in the garden, was continued after the fall. It has never been cancelled in any generation.
Marriage is the most basic and fundamental organization in the human race. Even the unbeliever, whose life is a total failure, can have great temporary happiness by marrying the right woman, Eccl 9:9.
Eccl 9:9, “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.”
It is the basis for stability in society and for the formation of civilization. It is the protection for the home, where the parents exercise authority over the children.
Under the authority of the Laws of Divine Establishment, the right man – right woman relationship becomes the normal, legitimate expression of category two love, 1 Cor 7:9; 1 Tim 5:14; Eph 5:22-23, 28, 33; Heb 13:4. This monogamous relationship is also an example of our relationship to Christ, as noted in our passages, Eph 5:26-33.
Marriage is the beginning of authority in life for adults. The husband has all the authority; there are no exceptions or rationalizations. Violations of a principle do not change the principle. We cannot deny the principle of marriage just because some have made bad marriages, or some husbands do not properly exercise their authority.
Marriage rejects the theory of revolution, anarchy, promiscuousness, and/or communal living.
Family. In the third D.I., God has provided certain Divine laws, such as the authority of parents, to protect, care, nourish, provide, train, and discipline children to prepare them for life. Parental authority is the way of preparing children for a normal life. Permissiveness destroys this.
There must be recognition of authority and orientation to certain principles of life in children, in order to be functioning and productive adults. The parents have the responsibility to teach their children the basic principles of life. The highest expression of parental love is to inculcate these principles through the various forms of discipline. Children must be trained to respect the privacy, property, and rights of others, not to abuse freedom, and to have respect for authority.
Adjustment to life and orientation to circumstances demand authority training. Parents must teach poise, objectivity, respect for police, patriotism, and willingness to serve to protect freedom.
Christian parents must also evangelize and provide pre-doctrinal training for their children, Deut 6:6‑9; 7:9. It is the responsibility of parents to instill respect for the Word of God, the teaching of Bible doctrine, plus recognition of authority of the Pastor-Teacher. This is a spiritual responsibility over and above their establishment responsibility.
Nationalism. The fourth D.I. is nationalism, the recognition and respect of sovereign and autonomous states, (countries). Nationalism is the form of world order that was instituted by God in which He segregated the peoples of the world into various national entities. Webster defines a nation as a group of people who have a common language, religion, traditions, history, institutions, and customs.
Each nation occupies a designated geographic locale, which has been established by God, to exercises rule over a segment of the human race, Acts 17:26.
Acts 17:26, “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation.”
The Biblical proof that nationalism is authorized by God is found in Gen 10:5; Deut 32:8; Acts 17:26‑28. With the Divine judgment of the original United Nations at the tower of Babel, the human race was then divided into nations. This division was originally based on clan, racial, geographical, and linguistic norms. That is why only one language should be recognized in a nation.
The formation of the Jewish nation set up the perfect standard of what a national entity should be. As the human race continued in history, true racial distinctions were obliterated in the rise of civilization. Thus, racial purity is a myth, except in pristine areas. Race is used by politicians to create false issues.
God sovereignly controls the establishment of nations and their destruction, and decides the fate of nations based on their volitional response to His plan, Jonah 3; Isa 44:7; 40:21-24; 41:2; Dan 2:21, 36ff.
Satan opposes Divine Institution #4, and seeks to circumvent nationalism via internationalism. If the entire human race were under one rule prior to the Millennium, it would self‑destruct. Internationalism results in loss of individual freedoms, is characterized by rejection of Divine revelation, and the destruction of those that would oppose “unity.”
National entities are a barrier to Satan, because they prevent him from unifying people under his system of evil; it is far more difficult to manage and control many individual entities than it is to control a single entity. Therefore, nationalism is the primary barrier to the supremacy of evil in the world and the loss of individual freedom, and is outlawed as being evil by the Word of God. To perpetuate the human race and bring history to its logical conclusion, God has designed the nation to protect the freedom and rights of all people on this planet.
Nationalism is designed to provide internal and external security for the citizens of a nation by means of government, which we are to honor and uphold.
External protection is provided by the legitimate military. The military of a nation is designed by God to protect the nation from aggression, from predator nations that seek to conquer and enslave other nations or peoples. The population of a nation only enjoys peace and security to the extent that their military can prevent invasion by aggressor nations.
Internal security is one legitimate function of the government by defining criminal activity, executing justice upon those that practice it, and protecting the populace from criminal exploitation, Deut 16:18-20. The government’s ability to punish crime acts as a deterrent for most normal people, Deut 13:6-11; 17:13; 19:15-20.
Criminal elements exist within the nation that seek to prey on the weak and defenseless, Prov 1:10-19. Criminals are defined as those who do not have regard for and violate the rights of persons, privacy, or property; they are not only a hazard to the individual, they are a danger to the community at large.
The authority of the national government runs the gamut from monetary punishment for minor offenses, to loss of rights for more significant offenses, to capital punishment for the most serious crimes, Gen 9:5-6; Rom 13:4, and to prevent revenge tactics and vendettas, Num. 35:9-34.
The believer recognizes the truth that there are no physical or spiritual authorities that exist apart from the will of God, Rom 13:1. The believer is to remain a loyal subject of the nation in which God has placed him, 1 Peter 2:12. This involves obedience to all the established authorities within the nation; this includes national, state, and local authorities, Rom 13:2; 1 Peter 2:13-17.
The Word of God does not sanction conspiracy, anarchy, revolution, assassination, or any attempt of any kind to undermine the government, Rom 13:2. The adjusted believer recognizes that while abuses exist, all authorities are ultimately placed there for his good, for the good of civilized society, and for the good of the human race in general, Rom 13:4.
The believer is to pray for the establishment chain of command, 1 Tim 2:1-3. Prayer for those in positions of leadership should focus on the issue of maintaining a safe, secure, and peaceful environment in which the local church is free to pursue and promote Bible doctrine, Eph 6:19; 2 Thes 3:1. Prayer should include the requests that good leaders would be blessed, national peace will prevail, attacks on personal and religious freedoms will be frustrated, and criminals will be frustrated.
Establishment and Human Freedom.
Freedom is the heritage of birth with the imputation of human life to the soul by God. God imputing human life to the soul is the basis for freedom. Freedom, therefore, is an extension of the various functions of the soul, (i.e., volition, mentality, emotion, conscience, and self-consciousness), and exists in two areas of life: 1) As an extension of the imputation of human life at birth, and 2) As an extension of regeneration, the imputation of eternal life to the human spirit.
The Laws of Divine Establishment deal with the first area of human freedom, while the principles of Bible doctrine under the Royal Family Honor Code deal with the second area of human freedom. Since man was created to resolve the Angelic Conflict, freedom is an extension of that conflict into human history. The Laws of Divine Establishment are designed to protect human freedom so that evangelism and spiritual advance can occur in every generation of history, as they protect the privacy, property, freedom, and volition of mankind.
Gal 5:1, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery, (sin, human good, and evil).”
John 8:31-32, “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’.”
God’s truth gives you spiritual freedom regardless of your human circumstances.
Rom 8:21, “That the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” This refers to our future freedom.
2 Cor 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
Psa 119:45, “And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts, (doctrines).”
The believer has freedom in the spiritual realm based on Christ’s work upon the Cross, but the freedom in the spiritual realm, which belongs only to the believer, must be distinguished from establishment freedom, which is the heritage of all people in a national entity as noted under the four Divine Institutions.
Therefore, the existence and perpetuation of freedom for all people, demands respect for the four Divine Institutions and respect for all forms of establishment authority inside each of the four D.I.’s. As such, under the Laws of Divine Establishment, freedom places demands upon both the believer and unbeliever to honor and respect the four D.I.’s and their accompanying authorities, as established by God.
In addition, the Decalogue, (Ten Commandments), is part of the Laws of Divine Establishment designed to protect human freedom and human rights. In them are Biblical statements to the believer about freedom, as we will note below.
Establishment and the Ten Commandments.
The Decalogue is found in Ex 20:1-17. These commandments are prefaced by the phrase, “You shall not,” which in Hebrew is the Imperfect tense with a Negative Particle used as the Imperative for a command of negation or prohibition.
That phrase indicates the believer’s responsibility in protecting human freedom through compliance with the Laws of Divine Establishment. The Decalogue does not deal with the subject of sin, per se, but with the subject of human freedom. It just so happens that certain sins are an attack on human freedom, as the ones noted in this list. Thus, the two subjects come together in the Decalogue.
The Ten Commandments define human freedom in terms of attitude toward God, people, and property. They tell us that peoples’ property is sacred, and that it belongs to them. It indicates that there is nothing wrong with being wealthy or successful; it is not anti‑Christian. People can be wealthy under free enterprise, and there is nothing wrong with it as long as they do not worship their wealth. It also tells us that you must have respect for people and their property by giving them their privacy.
The first commandment is not only a prohibition of idolatry, but national recognition that Jesus Christ controls history. It prohibits mental or soul idolatry.
While the first commandment prohibits mental or soul idolatry, the second prohibits overt idolatry, which is said to be contact with demons, Zech 10:2; 1 Cor 10:19‑21. Demonism destroys human freedom, while overt idolatry destroys a nation, Isa 2:8, 18‑20; 21:9; 36:18‑20; 37:12‑19; Jer 3:6‑11; Ezek 6:4‑6.
The third commandment prohibits the use of the name of the Lord God for vain and unworthy objects, including gossip, false testimony, and covering a lie. Using God’s name as an expletive is taking the Lord’s name in vain, but is only a minor portion of what this passage deals with. This passage means to use God as a front for your lying, cheating, stealing, or perjury. God’s name is used properly in worship, prayer, praise, thanksgiving, the expression of personal love for God, and doctrinal communication. God’s name should not be used to persuade people into a false position. In other words, “you shall not use the name of the Lord your God for evil.” God’s name is not to be used for human projects, which allege the will of God.
The fourth commandment relates the volition of man to time. The importance of the Sabbath is in the fact that it is a memorial to the grace of God. It is a reminder that God rested on the seventh day from all He had provided, Isa 58:11‑14. The Sabbath also recognizes an establishment principle in the function of the economy, i.e., that people who work for a living have to have time to rest. People need to rest to get ready for the next week. Doing nothing is a reminder of grace. Just as the body needs rest for function, so man needs rest for freedom. Man, with no rest, becomes a slave. He has no opportunity to exercise his freedom and personal volition in relationship to time.
The fifth commandment establishes the principle of authority under the Laws of Divine Establishment. The first authority in life is that of parents. This is the first commandment that has a promise associated to it. “Respect your father and mother that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives to you.” Recognition of authority is the basic principle of orientation to life. Recognition of authority is the secret to a long healthy life.
The sixth commandment emphasizes the establishment principle of live and let live, “You shall not murder.” Killing is authorized for capital punishment and for those in the military fighting for freedom. Yet, murder is the basic violation of human freedom. It is also a sin. The right to live under God is removed when a person is murdered. If you intrude on God’s right to take life in His timing, you violate the Laws of Divine Establishment and commit the worst overt sin.
The seventh commandment protects the freedom of right man – right woman, “You shall not commit adultery.” Adultery is both a sin and an attack on human freedom. Capacity for love and life is distorted and ruined, so that adultery not only abuses freedom, but destroys the possibility for happiness in life. A woman should be one man’s property. A man is one woman’s property. From the time of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden onward, a sacred sanction has been attached to marriage expressed in Gen. 2:24, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” In Matt. 19:5, our Lord Jesus Christ reaffirmed the sanctity of the marriage. The relative neglect of these guidelines in our modern culture has led to untold degradation and misery, both to the partners in impurity and to all affected children.
The eighth commandment emphasizes the right of private property under the Laws of Divine Establishment, “You shall not steal.” Stealing is a sin, a crime, and a violation of the Laws of Divine Establishment. As we noted above under “Nationalism,” the command demands the government protect both the lives and property of those in the nation. Stealing is a basic and complete disorientation to life. People who have accumulated things in life have a right to those things. You should not even steal to stay alive. It is as low a thing as could occur. Stealing is short-cutting the function of advancing under authority. Governments steal through high taxes.
When you are oriented to life, you never have to steal. You recognize people have the right to their property, and you are not tempted to steal. If you are, it is a warning you are not oriented to life and to the Laws of Divine Establishment.
The ninth commandment emphasizes the protection of human freedom through objectivity in the function of the law. Laws of evidence demand truth in courtroom testimony. This verbal sin is sinful and anti-establishment. Hearsay is not admissible as testimony. You cannot live and let live and gossip at the same time. Law cannot function objectively with perjury; society cannot live objectively where gossip and maligning goes unchecked.
The tenth commandment demands restraint on the lust pattern of the Old Sin Nature. This command was the basis for Paul’s discovery of the Old Sin Nature, Rom 7:7.
Rom 7:7, “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COVET’.”
Establishment and Authority.
People cannot survive until they understand authority. Authority is the legal power delegated by God under the Laws of Divine Establishment; whereby, a certain member of the human race has jurisdiction and responsibility for other members of the human race. While authority exists in both spiritual and temporal realms, only temporal authority is related to the Laws of Divine Establishment. Spiritual authority is related to the Royal Family Honor Code.
Establishment authority is for both the believer and unbeliever. It includes the authority of husband over wife, parents over children, teachers over students, coaches over athletes, management over labor, senior rank over junior rank, police officers over public, etc. In the spiritual realm, the Pastor-Teacher is the authority over the congregation, 1 Cor 16:15‑16; 2 Cor 10:8; 1 Thes 5:12; Heb 13:7, 17.
In the realm of establishment, the husband has the authority over the wife. The wife consents to the marriage, and therefore is under his authority until death, Eph 5:22; Col 3:18. Authority in the business world stabilizes the economy. Management and investment has all the authority, never labor, Eph 6:5; Col 3:22. Likewise, freedom through military victory is based on authority in military establishment, Neh 4:13‑15.
Therefore, we must differentiate between the person and the delegated authority a person has, and honor it and them as necessary. Establishment defines authority, and without authority, there is no establishment. Authority is necessary for the function of the Laws of Divine Establishment, and the Laws of Divine Establishment define the function of authority for the proper function of the human race.
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Authority Orientation, a Problem-Solving Device
Authority has been an issue since the beginning of the human race, Gen 3. The fall was rejection of authority. The woman rejected the authority of God and Bible doctrine and accepted the authority of Satan. She also rejected the authority of her right man, 1 Tim 2:11-14.
1 Tim 2:14, “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.”
Man accepted the authority of the woman first rejecting God’s authority, thereby throwing his delegated authority away. Therefore, rejection of authority on the part of the woman contributed to her fall. The woman failed in the garden under two principles of authority.
First, she failed under the principle of the Word, which was taught by Jesus Christ to both of them daily.
Secondly, she failed under the principle of the authority of the man who was both divinely commissioned as ruler of the world, as well as the ruler of the woman under category #2 love. Under the original Laws of Divine Establishment, Adam was the ruler of planet earth and he was also the ruler of the woman. Both failures are emphasized in 1 Tim 2:11-14. So, the first civilization really began with rejection of authority: revolution.
As we have noted, authority has been delegated by God to four Divine Institutions.
- Self-determination is the authority of your own soul with emphasis on your volition. With freedom to make decisions comes responsibility.
- Marriage is the authority of the husband over the wife, Eph 5:22; Col 3:18.
- Family is the authority of the parents over the children, Eph 6:1-3; Col 3:20.
- Nationalism is the authority of government over the citizens of that nation.
It is inevitable that arrogance will challenge any legitimate system of authority, as it did in the Garden of Eden. When it does, tyranny results. This is Satanic in nature. For Satan, as the ruler of this world, constantly seeks to do everything possible to overthrow the Divinely-delegated authority that brings freedom and blessing to individuals and nations.
Freedom and authority must coexist. You cannot have freedom without authority. Freedom without authority is anarchy. Authority without freedom is tyranny. Freedom includes the right of privacy, the right of self-determination, the right to hold your own opinions, and the sacredness of property and life. Establishment freedom is the heritage of physical birth. In order to have freedom, we must have authority and be oriented to that authority, which means to have the utmost respect for and honor the authority and authorities in our lives.
God has certain commandments directed to the believer for obedience to authority, which is having authority orientation, Deut 11:27; 1 Sam 15:22; Jer 7:23; 11:4, 7.
Deut 11:27, “The blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today.”
1 Sam 15:22, “Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.”
Jer 7:23, “But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you’.”
These commandments stem from the omniscience and sovereignty of God and are executed by the believer through the function of the Grace Apparatus for Perception, (GAP). Perception of Bible doctrine is based on a principle of authority orientation. Perception of Bible doctrine is the only way to advance spiritually.
While believers’ positive toward doctrine advance to maturity, execute the plan of God, and become invisible heroes, a positive believer cannot maintain and continue momentum unless he maintains and continues the basis for doing so, which is authority orientation.
As noted above, perception of doctrine is based on a principle of authority orientation. Perception of Bible doctrine is the only way to advance spiritually. Such perception absolutely demands authority orientation. There is no way you can read your Bible for yourself and understand and execute God’s Plan. That is why God has given the spiritual gift of Pastor-Teacher, Eph 4:11; for our perception of Bible doctrine under authority orientation for advancement spiritually.
Authority orientation is honor and humility; the greater the authority over people, the greater the responsibility of the leader and the people to have humility. No matter how high we go in life, there is always higher authority that must be recognized in order to perpetuate humility as orientation to life.
Our nation was founded on the principles of the Laws of Divine Establishment (L.D.E.), as noted in the Introduction and Preamble of the Declaration of Independence.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
George Mason, Father of the United States Bill of Rights noted in 1776, “The laws of nature are the laws of God, whose authority can be superseded by no power on earth.”
We hold these truths to be self‑evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that to secure these rights, governments are institutions among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed . . . to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness. … to provide new guards for their future security.”
As we have noted, the L.D.E. define the function of authority that we must be oriented to, because authority orientation is necessary for the function of the L.D.E.
Without authority orientation under the L.D.E., our nation will inevitably follow the path of destruction for a nation, as noted by Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh at around the time of our nation’s birth, who outlined 8 steps as to how nations rise and fall.
- From bondage to spiritual faith.
- From spiritual faith to great courage.
- From courage to liberty.
- From liberty to abundance.
- From abundance to complacency.
- From complacency to apathy.
- From apathy to dependence.
- From dependence, back into bondage.
There are many benefits and blessings from having Authority Orientation, including being a Problem Avoiding and Problem-Solving Device.
Authority Orientation is one of the 11 Problem Solving Devices.
- Rebound – Psa 32:5b; 1 John 1:9.
- Filling of the Holy Spirit – John 14:26; 16:12-14; Eph 5:18; Gal 5:16.
- Doctrinal Orientation – Heb 11:1; 1 Thes 4:13.
- Faith Rest Drill – Psa 37:4-5; Rom 4:20; 2 Cor 8:9; Heb 4:1-3.
- Grace Orientation – Eph 3:20; 2 Cor 12:9.
- Authority Orientation – Rom 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-3:6; 2 Cor 10:8; Eph 5:21-24, 33b-6:9; Col 3:18-25.
- Personal Sense of Destiny – Eph 3:16; Phil 4:9; Rom 9:23.
- Personal Love for God the Father – 1 John 4:19; Rom 5:5; 8:28; 1 Cor 2:9.
- Impersonal Unconditional Love for Mankind – John 15:15; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14.
- Sharing the Perfect Happiness of God – John 15:11; Prov 3:13; 1 John 1:4.
- Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ – 1 Peter 1:8.
As such, when the believer is oriented to authority in life, it will first cause the avoidance of many problems in life, and secondly, adjust the mentality of the soul to overcome existing problems in life, especially those problems caused by rejection of authority.
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Authority Orientation and Joy, the +H of God
- When we are properly orientated to the various forms of authority in our lives, we build capacity for joy, God’s happiness (+H) in our lives. This joy is the inner peace, contentment, and happiness that can also be expressed outwardly in our lives, as also noted in Eph 5:19-20, “singing and making melody with your heart.”
“Joy” is inner liveliness caused by response to metabolized Bible doctrine in the soul’s stream of consciousness. Joy is the reality of the spiritual life in the thinking of your soul. It is animated thinking, as a result of God’s Word in your Soul. Authority orientation is life orientation. Therefore, “Authority Orientation and Joy,” have to do with building capacity within your soul for joy, by learning and applying God’s Word to life’s situations where there is authority. When you apply God’s Word in life, your soul is freed from sin and the garbage of Satan’s Cosmic System that hinders happiness, and therefore you build capacity within your soul for the Joy of Jesus Christ, Psa 89:15-18; John 15:11.
John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
Psa 89:15-18, “How blessed (happy) are the people who know the joyful sound (trumpet blast = authority orientation)! O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance. 16In Your name they rejoice all the day, and by Your righteousness they are exalted. 17For You are the glory of their strength, and by Your favor (Grace) our horn is exalted (military victory). 18For our shield belongs to the LORD, even to our King the Holy One of Israel (Jesus Christ).”
- When we reject authority in our lives, we do not have joy, Psa 107:10-11; Isa 59:7-8; Rom 3:11, 16; 13:1f. cf. Rom 8:7; 10:3.
Rom 3:11, “There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; …16destruction and misery are in their paths.”
Rom 8:7, “Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.”
Isaiah 59:7-8, “Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, devastation and destruction are in their highways. 8They do not know the way of peace, and there is no justice in their tracks; they have made their paths crooked, whoever treads on them does not know peace.”
- Your authority orientation towards your Pastor/Teacher gives him great joy and provides you with tremendous amounts of Bible doctrine that in turn gives you great inner peace, happiness, and joy. It frees him from having to address various problems or situations that distract him from his main job so that he can focus on studying and teaching, Heb 13:7.
a) You “remember” Pastors by attending Bible class, by praying for them, by understanding that they have an abnormal life and supporting them financially, 1 Cor 9:3-14; 1 Tim 5:17-18.
b) The issue of a Pastor’s way of life is first their teaching of Bible doctrine, and secondly how they conduct themselves in life. Are they faithful in studying and teaching the word, is the primary issue? Then secondly, is their conduct, as they too need to apply what is taught. But remember the Pastor is not perfect, and has an Old Sin Nature, just as you do. Therefore, you are not to be hyper critical regarding your Pastor.
Heb 13:16, “And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
c) We must, according to our power, give to the necessities of the body of Christ, especially towards the needs of our Pastor/Teachers. The Pastor is totally dependent on the grace of God and the grace of the local assembly. We are commanded to give graciously in all aspects, especially in providing for our Pastor, 2 Cor 9:7-8.
d) God accepts these offerings with pleasure, and will accept and bless the one who offers, through Christ.
Heb 13:17, “Obey your leaders (Pastor/Teacher) and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”
- Authority Orientation towards governing authorities frees the soul, so that the joy of God can come in, Rom 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17; Prov 21:15.
a) “To be subject to” is the Greek verb HUPOTASSO, (as in Eph 5:21), and in Romans and Peter, it is in the Imperative Mood which is a command. In Titus 3:1, the word “remind” is in the Imperative Mood where Titus is commanded to remind believers of the command “to be in subjection to authority.”
- Wives who submit to the authority of their husbands have capacity for joy. The husband has authority over the wife. The husband’s authority over his wife provides great happiness in category two love. This stabilizes category two love, Eph 5:22-24, 33b; Col 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1-6.
- Children who submit to the authority of their Parents have capacity for joy, Eph 6:1-3; Col 3:20; Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16; Prov 6:20; 23:22-25.
- Workers who submit to their bosses have capacity for joy, Eph 6:5-8; Col 3:22-24; 1 Peter 2:18-19, 25; 1 Tim 6:1-2; Titus 2:9.
- Rejection of authority carries responsibility, and results in a life of misery, unhappiness, disaster, and no human or Spiritual Self-Esteem, Rom 13:5.
The Role of Human Volition in Accepting Authority.
As we have noted, responding to authority is a function of human volition. Therefore, for D.I. # 2-4 to function properly, we must function under D.I. #1 properly. In other words, the function of authority is a matter of personal volition. The acceptability of authority in this life is dependent upon human volition.
Our God given freedom under D.I. #1, (Freedom of choice – volition), provides the option of accepting or rejecting authority in life, both legitimate and illegitimate authority. While God has delegated legitimate authority in life under the Laws of Divine Establishment, (L.D.E.), these authorities are useless, if human volition does not accept them. In fact, even D.I. #1, requires authority, the authority over your own soul with the intake and application of God’s Word, Bible Doctrine, that otherwise would be controlled by the Old Sin Nature, (OSN).
Legitimate authority is delegated by God through two categories of truth; the Laws of Divine Establishment, and the content of Bible doctrine. Illegitimate authority is based upon the function of man’s arrogance in the cosmic system of Satan. Power lust is one of the motivating factors in arrogance and illegitimate authority.
What makes authority work is human consent, where rational human beings understand the importance of the principle of authority, regardless of whether they like the personality or not.
Therefore, legitimate government has authority over its citizenry, but that authority is useless apart from human consent. Human consent in this country is expressed first by voting for someone you think will do the job, and second by consenting to be governed by whoever is duly elected. The important factor is the consent of the governed. Apart from human consent, there is revolution, civil war, violence, terrorism, crime, dictatorships, slavery, and other functions of evil.
While God has delegated authority in life to such legitimate categories as government, husbands, parents, teachers, coaches, public officers, judges, and management, this authority is useless apart from human consent. And the fact is, which we must caution ourselves against, that you can be bullied into accepting authority, especially illegitimate authority, even though, in the long run, it will be ineffective and detrimental to you.
For example, the husband has legitimate authority over his wife. But his authority is useless unless his wife, from her own free will, recognizes and accepts it. Regardless of whether she is motivated by love or something else, she must accept his authority, as noted in Eph 5:22. Therefore, even personal love is not the answer, because personal love does not accept human authority, unless the authority agrees with it and does what it wants. But as soon as the authority says “no,” then the personal love is gone. That is why impersonal love is necessary in authority orientation. Without impersonal love, the woman, for example, resents the authority of the man, and therefore becomes an uncontrollable woman.
From the example of the woman and Adam in the Garden of Eden, arrogance resulted from the rejection of legitimate authority in life. Such arrogance is the source of evil and psychosis. Rejection of authority causes people to degenerate, either morally or immorally.
For example, rejection of all authorities means you have the potential of becoming a criminal. It means you will reject the authority of the police officer, the judge on the bench, and of management. Rejection of authority carries responsibility, and results in a life of misery, unhappiness, disaster, and no human or spiritual self-esteem. Such miserable people make those in their periphery miserable too.
Therefore, legitimate authority is only effective where human volition responds to it under the principle of freedom. When we choose for legitimate authority, we are blessed both individually and collectively. However, when people through arrogance and power madness gravitate to the cosmic system, they use their volition to make decisions from a position of weakness which has both personal and national repercussions.
Our founding fathers and forefathers understood these principles of authority orientation, especially in regard to the governance of our nation.
John Adams stated, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
In 1789 George Washington noted, “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”
President Calvin Coolidge noted in 1923, “The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”
President Ronald Reagan stated, “Government should uphold–and not undermine–those institutions which are custodians of the very values upon which civilization is founded: religion, education, and, above all, family.”
The biggest issue that keeps anyone from growing up is their rejection of authority, their lack of consent to submit to necessary authority under the Laws of Divine Establishment. Every person is a product of their own decisions. Good decisions from a position of strength accept authority and develop capacity for life. Bad decisions from a position of weakness reject authority and fulfill passages dealing with the laws of volitional responsibility, Prov 22:8; Hos 8:7; Gal 6:7; Col 3:25.
Believers who gravitate to a life of fulfillment of lust and arrogance have used their free will to ruin their lives. How does the rise of dictatorship and evil happen? People use their own free will to gravitate to a system of evil power, especially in time of historical disaster. Such small groups as the Bolsheviks and Nazis have controlled millions of people, because the people surrendered to them with their own free will, gravitating to a system of power.
When people gravitate to God’s Power System, (GPS), they use their own volition to make good decisions for legitimate authority, and inevitably receive Divine blessing as they become mature believers. However, when believers gravitate to the power of the cosmic system, they use their volition to make bad decisions from a position of weakness. Inevitably, they give their authority to evil leaders with disastrous consequences.
Evil has no authority apart from human consent. We are the products of our own decisions. We are constantly assigning authority to evil people who represent the cosmic system, or to righteous people who represent the L.D.E. When given to evil people, this is how dictators become oppressors of the people. This explains the rise of terror in the French Revolution, as well as the rise of Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler. In times of tribulation, the free will of man often chooses for an alleged or apparent strong man. By so doing, man establishes the authority of evil in dictatorship. Therefore, in history, disaster is the result of individual and collective decisions of people. People are the products of their own volition.
Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence stated, “The only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government is the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible.”
He also stated, “The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life…The Bible…should be read in our schools in preference to all other books, because it contains the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public happiness.”
Good decisions from a position of strength place the believer in the directive will of God. The believer is both protected and blessed in the directive will of God. The winners in history never deviate from the Divine authority of God’s directive will and His mandates found in His Word, which lead the believer to spiritual maturity, the establishment of a pivot, and the manufacture of invisible heroes.
Mark Twain noted, “It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.” Act 23:5; Rom 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13-15.
Next, are three examples of relationships properly characterized by submission, (yieldedness), and authority orientation, (wives/husbands; parents/children; masters/slaves). Paul tells us that the Spirit’s fullness is also needed in the home. If our homes are to be a heaven on earth, then we must be controlled by the Holy Spirit. But how can a person tell whether or not he is filled with the Spirit? Paul says nothing about miracles or tongues, or other special manifestations. He states that the home can be a heaven on earth if each family member is controlled by the Spirit, and is joyful, thankful, and submissive.
Therefore, having admonished believers to be wise by being controlled by the Holy Spirit, Paul now applies this to specific life-relationships. This is what is called the “Household Code.” It is relatively easy to exhibit a Spirit-filled life for one or two hours a week in church, but it takes the work of the Holy Spirit to exhibit godliness not only on Sundays, but also in everyday relationships between wives and husbands, children and parents, and slaves and masters. In each of these three relationships, the first partner is commanded to be submissive or obedient, Eph 5:22; 6:1, 5. But the second partner is also to show submissiveness by his care and concern for the first partner. Both partners are to act toward one another as a service rendered to the Lord.
We have been learning about our new life in Christ in the book of Ephesians. One of the most important results of our new life is that we have new relationships. Sin separates us from God and people. But through Christ everything changes. Our relationships with one another are now different, Eph 2:11-22. Our relationships with our spouses are different, Eph 5:22-33. Our relationships with our children are different, Eph 6:1-4. Our relationships at work are different, Eph 6:5-9. And our relationship with this world is different, Eph 6:10-24. Here we will consider the Spirit’s work in relationships in general and in marriage in particular.
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Eph 5:22, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
This verse, in the Greek, begins with the Feminine Plural of the Article HO for “the,” followed by the Fem., Plural Noun GUNE, γυνή, in the Nominative of Address (vocative). It is translated, “woman or wife,” the latter in our verse in the plural for “wives.” It is equivalent to the Hebrew ISHSHAH, Gen 2:24-25. The definite Article is used here as a personal pronoun. This is a Classical Greek form. It should be translated “You wives.”
The words, “be subject” are not in this sentence in the Greek. But the concept is carried over from vs. 21, from the verb HUPOTASSO that means, “to take a subordinate role in relation to that of another,” that we all must have inside the body of Christ. This is the first object lesson of “voluntary submissive subjection to one another.”
In vs. 21, it is in the Present, Middle, Participle. The Middle Voice used in vs. 21 is carried over to vs. 22 meaning, “to subject oneself, to be subservient, to submit voluntarily, or to place oneself in submission.” The Middle voice is used showing the necessity of voluntary submission. The Middle also means that the action of the verb has a result back to the one performing it. Therefore, when you have this mental attitude as an extension of AGAPE love, you will be blessed.
HUPOTASSO is also used in relation to subjection of wives to their own husbands in Col 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1, 5-6.
Col 3:18, (Pres., Mid., Imper.)
Titus 2:5, (Pres., Mid., Part.)
1 Peter 3:1, (Pres., Mid., Part.)
Interestingly, continuing in 1 Peter 3:2, it suggests that another factor is sometimes present; an unbelieving husband. The passage states that God may be able to use the submissive attitude of the wife to bring her husband to Christ.
In Eph 5:21, HUPOTASSO was a Participle that indicates a mandate for voluntary submission, which too is applied to wives in vs. 22.
HUPOTASSO is also implicitly applied to wives in vs. 24, with the Verb being used once again for general submission of all Church members, and then applied directly to wives. In vs. 24, it is in the Present, Middle, Indicative for the dogmatic fact of having customary ongoing submissive subjection that has a result back to the wife performing the action.
The Customary Present Tense tells us what the Church and wives are to do customarily, on an ongoing basis.
The Indicative Mood tells us of the dogmatic reality of the role of the wife. She is to voluntarily place herself in subjection to the authority of her husband.
In vs. 21-22, it is directly mandated of wives using the Participle, and in vs. 24, we see that it is a dogmatic ongoing customary action to be performed.
Further, vs. 24, adds EN PANTI, “in everything,” that means she is to be submissive, in every respect or way; in everything. Therefore, this submission is not a part-time thing or on a case by case basis. But in all things and at all times, she should voluntarily submit to her husband’s authority.
The mandate is once again reiterated for wives in vs. 33, with the Verb PHOBEO, φοβέω that means, in this context, “reverence or respect.” We noted the Noun, PHOBOS, of this verb in vs. 21, where the Church’s motivation for “submissive subjection to another,” is out of respect for the Lord Jesus Christ. That same concept is used in vs. 22, for the wives’ motivation to be in submissive subjection to their husbands.
In vs. 33, PHOBEO is used in the Present, Middle, Subjunctive for customary ongoing action that has a benefit back to the wife. Here, PHOBEO is in the Subjunctive Mood, as part of an independent HINA clause that is used imperatively. HINA is typically translated “that.” It is called an Imperatival HINA Conjunction. In other words, this too is a command for wives. In vs. 33, the husband is commanded to AGAPE love his wife, using the Imperative Mood for AGAPAO, and the wife is commanded to respect her husband, by being submissive to him, using the Imperatival HINA clause in the Subjunctive Mood.
And remember that the Subjunctive Mood also carries the idea of uncertain but probable action, where volitional responsibility is in view. In other words, it is a decision wives must make from their own free will. God has commanded it, now wives have to choose whether they will be yielding and obedient to God’s Word or not.
In vs. 21-22, (Pres., Mid., Part.), wives are mandated to be in submissive subjection to their husbands.
In vs. 24, (Pres., Mid., Indic.), wives are dogmatically to be in submissive subjection to their husbands in everything.
In vs. 33, (Pres., Mid., Subj.), wives are commanded to be in submissive subjection to their husbands from their own free will.
Next, we have the Dative of Possession in the Plural of the Article HO that means, “to the,” and the Adjective IDIOS that means, “one’s own, your own, private, or peculiar to oneself,” and the Noun ANER that means, “male, man, husband, or bridegroom.” Here it is used for “husband.” This is the possessive object of the wife’s’ submissiveness; to her own husband.
So, we have, “You wives (be submissive) to your own husbands.”
This brings up the principle that wives are NOT to be submissive to someone else’s husband or another man or even another woman, as she would be to her own husband. As a member of the body of Christ, she, (as we all), is to be in subjection to other members of the body of Christ. But wives should never be submissive to another man, (or woman), in respect to wifely duties, and she should never get involved sexually in submission to another.
Then we have the example of the wife’s submissiveness, “as to the Lord,” HOS HO KURIOS, the Dative of Direct Object, indicating the one, Jesus Christ, for whom the act of submission is performed. This reiterates vs. 21’s motivating factor, “in the fear of Christ,” and concludes the initial discussion regarding husbands and wives. Therefore, the motivation for the wife’s submissiveness to her own husband is not based on who and what her husband is, but is based on who and what the Lord Jesus Christ is. She is to subject herself to her own husband out of awe and respect for Jesus Christ, as also noted in Col 3:18. This is the definition of AGAPE love.
Col 3:18, “Wives, be subject, (Present, Middle, Imperative), to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”
Therefore, every woman is to submit to her right man, once she finds him, just as she would the Lord. And just like any other form of submission, it takes capacity to be able to submit which is developed and built through the intake and application of Bible doctrine. This gives the woman capacity to submit to her right man, to appreciate her right man, and to fulfill her right man. This can only be obeyed by the Filling of the Spirit and a positive attitude toward Bible doctrine.
This is a very important point and accompanying principle. For the woman to build capacity to submit to her husband, she must go to Bible class and learn consistently. But sometimes men get jealous of their wives going to Bible class, and do not want them to or let them go. This is detrimental to the husband, as she will not learn capacity to submit to his authority otherwise. So, when a husband does not let his wife go to church, he is only hurting himself. Better a little absence than to have a perpetual contentious wife.
As she is able to respond in loving the Lord, Category #1 Love, she builds greater capacity to love her husband, Category #2 Love. Category #1 and Category #2 Love are inseparable in the Christian life. As goes Category #1 Love, so goes Category #2.
In addition, “As to the Lord,” does not mean that a wife is to submit to her husband in the same way she submits to the Lord, but rather that her submission to her husband is her service rendered, “to the Lord.” The reason for this submission is that the husband is the head of the wife, 1 Cor 11:3, and this is compared to Christ’s headship over the church, cf. Eph 4:15; 5:23; Col 1:18; 1 Cor 11:3.
As the Church is in submission to Christ, so also a wife should be to her husband. It would be foolish to think of the Church being head over Christ. Yet, submission does not mean inferiority. It means that she recognizes that her husband is the head of the home and responds to him accordingly without usurping his authority to herself.
Unfortunately, there are some women who make a mistake in marriage, or even make a mistake in a right marriage, and have no concept of submission. They get in the saddle as soon as the marriage takes place, and then from then on, they run their husbands completely and totally. There is nothing worse than a female dictator, nothing worse than a woman who controls a man by nagging, by making life uncomfortable for him. So, the man who ought to be a lord in her life, really finds himself to be the servant. Jer 31:22; 1 Cor 11:7
As the supergrace believer is glory to God who provides for him, so the woman is the glory for her right man, who provide for her.
Eph 5:22, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
The proper motivation for the wife’s submissiveness is, “as to the Lord,” HOS HO KURIOS, the Dative of Direct Object, indicating the one, Jesus Christ, for whom the act of submission is performed. This reiterates vs. 21’s motivating factor, “in the fear of Christ.” Therefore, the motivation for the wife’s submissiveness to her own husband is not based on who and what her husband is, but is based on who and what the Lord Jesus Christ is. She is to subject herself to her own husband out of awe and respect for Jesus Christ, as also noted in Col 3:18. This is the definition of AGAPE love.
Col 3:18, “Wives, be subject, (Present, Middle, Imperative), to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”
Every woman is to submit to her right man, once she finds him, just as she would the Lord. And just like any other form of submission, it takes capacity to be able to submit which is developed and built through the intake and application of Bible doctrine. This gives the woman capacity to submit to her right man, to appreciate her right man, and to fulfill her right man. This can only be obeyed by the Filling of the Spirit and a positive attitude toward Bible doctrine.
This is a very important point and accompanying principle. For the woman to build capacity to submit to her husband, she must go to Bible class and learn consistently. But sometimes men get jealous of their wives going to Bible class, and do not want them to or let them go. This is detrimental to the husband, as she will not learn capacity to submit to his authority otherwise. So, when a husband does not let his wife go to church, he is only hurting himself. Better a little absence, than to have a perpetual contentious wife.
As she is able to respond in loving the Lord, Category #1 Love, she builds greater capacity to love her husband, Category #2 Love. Category #1 and Category #2 Love are inseparable in the Christian life. As goes Category #1 Love, so goes Category #2.
In addition, “As to the Lord,” does not mean that a wife is to submit to her husband in the same way she submits to the Lord, but rather that her submission to her husband is her service rendered, “to the Lord.” The reason for this submission is that the husband is the head of the wife, 1 Cor 11:3, and this is compared to Christ’s headship over the church, cf. Eph 4:15; 5:23; Col 1:18.
1 Cor 11:3, “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.”
As the Church is in submission to Christ, so also a wife should be to her husband. It would be foolish to think of the Church being head over Christ. Yet, submission does not mean inferiority. It means that she recognizes that her husband is the head of the home and responds to him accordingly without usurping his authority to herself.
Unfortunately, there are some women who make a mistake in marriage, or even make a right marriage, and have no concept of submission. They get in the saddle as soon as the marriage takes place, and then from then on, they run their husbands completely and totally. There is nothing worse than a female dictator, nothing worse than a woman who controls a man by nagging, by making life uncomfortable for him. So, the man who ought to be a lord in her life, really finds himself to be the servant.
There are two reasons given for the command to wives to submit to their own husbands:
1) The Lordship of Christ, Eph 5:22.
2) The headship of the husband in Christ, Eph 5:23.
When the Christian wife submits herself to Christ and lets Him be the Lord of her life, she will have no difficulty submitting to her husband.
Jer 31:22, “How long will you go here and there, O faithless daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth— A woman will encompass a man.”
1 Cor 11:7, “For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.”
As the super-grace believer is glory to God who provides for him, so the woman is the glory for her right man who provides for her. Submission takes capacity to be able to submit, which is developed and built through the intake and application of Bible doctrine.
Submission has nothing to do with the order of authority, but rather governs the operation of authority, how it is given and how it is received. Being part of the body of Christ, men and woman are equal members of Christ’s body in God’s eyes, Gal; 3:28. They have equal privilege and equal opportunity to fulfil God’s plan for their lives. Yet, there remain physical, positional, and functional differences, as each has been given different functions and responsibilities, with differences in regard to authority. Therefore, within the Church, where we are all members of the body of Christ, yet have differing spiritual gifts, ministries, and impact, we are to support one another in humility to achieve God’s Plan for our generation, including wives, children, and workers, who are to support the husband, parents, and bosses, respectfully, through submissive obedience.
If we accept certain functions under the authority of a fellow human, we must then subject ourselves to that individual to accomplish the desired goal. So, it is with a wife placing herself in the proper and Divinely-fitted position under her husband. The functions are equally important, although different in scope and responsibility. They are different, not because we want them to be, but because God made them to be so.
In the Christian family, the wife has a supportive role, something like soldiers under the leadership of an officer. Yet, to be successful, they need each other. Therefore, the wife should voluntarily submit to the leadership role of her husband as head of the family. He is responsible for the spiritual and physical welfare of the family. He should not force his wife to submit to him, nor should she take a passive approach in submitting. For the woman who actively, voluntarily submits to the leadership role of her husband, she will be the main recipient of blessings derived from her action.
Jesus tried to teach His disciples to actively, voluntarily submit to one another, and not abuse their authority or seek to become great at somebody else’s expense. Unfortunately, they failed to learn this lesson at first and even at the Last Supper, they were arguing over who was the greatest, Luke 22:24-27. When Jesus washed their feet, John 13, He taught them that the greatest is the one who uses his authority to serve others in subjection in order to build them up. In the same way, wives should use their authority over their own souls, to build up their husbands in subjection to the husband’s God given authority.
Likewise, we all, including wives, are to esteem others as “more important than ourselves,” Rom 12:10; Phil 2:1-4.
Rom 12:10, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.”
By nature, we want to promote ourselves, but the filling of the Holy Spirit enables us to submit ourselves to one another, especially wives to their own husbands. Therefore, in whatever relationships exist in life, especially the marriage unit, in order for it to be successful, wonderful, and have great content, it demands self-discipline on the part of one person, the wife, to submit herself to the authority of another, her husband, as a result of having fear and respect for the Lord, (i.e., authority orientation to the Person of Jesus Christ), which also means Occupation with the Person of Jesus Christ. This also means you stand in awe of Christ, who is the King and Judge, not only of His holiness, but also of His forgiveness, Psa 130:4. We belong to Christ’s kingdom. He is the King. Out of reverence for Him, we gladly submit to His rule and serve others with compassion.
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Eph 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.”
We now turn to the role of the husband inside the marriage unit, (Divine Institution #2). This verse begins with the Conjunction HOTI that can mean, “that, because, since, or for.” Here the latter is applied. From the article HO, “the,” and the indefinite pronoun TI, “what,” HOTI draws specific attention to the object or idea under consideration, which is the “husband as the head of the wife.” Here, it also indicates the nature and extent of the influence of the thing said in the subordinate clause, (i.e., “husbands as heads”), on the statement in the main clause, (i.e., “be in subjection to one another”), in reference to the wife’s responsibility given in vs. 22, toward her husband.
“Husband,” is ANER once again, in the subject Nominative, Masculine, Singular. There is one husband for one wife, and vice versa.
“Is the head,” is the Verb EIMI in the Present, Active, Indicative. With the Nominative Noun KEPHALE, that means, “head or authority.” It is used over 70 times in the N.T. for both the literal head of a body, and also metaphorically for authority, strength, and leadership. In this metaphorical sense, we have noted the verse above that tells us God is the head of Christ; Christ is the head of man; and the man is the head of his wife, 1 Cor 11:3, in leadership and authority in all things.
1 Cor 11:3, “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.”
The headship of the husband is in regard to Divine Institution # 2, Marriage, as he is the head, leader, or authority, “of the wife,” the possessive Genitive, Singular, Feminine of HO GUNE.
Even though men and women are equal members of the body of Christ, the role of husband has been given Divine authority in regard to his wife inside the marriage unit. So, though they are equal in one respect, the body of Christ, they are unequal in another respect, the marriage unit, as the husband has authority over his wife and the wife must submit to his authority. This is the Divine order of things.
Then we have the analogy of the husband’s headship, which is in relation to Christ’s headship over the Church, HOS KAI HO CHRISTOS KEPHALE HO EKKLESIA, which translated is, “just as the Christ is head of the Church.”
Frequently, Christ is stated to be the head of the Church in Scripture, Eph 1:22; 4:15; 5:23; Col 1:18; 2:19. He is also in charge of angelic powers and authorities, Col 2:10.
Col 1:18, “He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.”
Then we are given one example, a very important example, of the responsibility of the head, as it states, “He Himself being the Savior of the body,” AUTOS SOTER HO SOMATOS.
SOTER means, “savior, redeemer, deliverer, or preserver.” It was used in the Septuagint for the Hebrew term YESHUAH, (in various forms), that is the basis for the Greek name IESOUS or Jesus. SOTER occurs 24 times in the Greek N.T. On 8 occasions, it is applied to God, and 16 times to Christ.
Jesus Christ is the Savior sent from God. He is the Savior proclaimed by the prophets. Accordingly, the angel of the Lord announced to Mary that the baby she carried was the promised Savior. The shepherds outside Bethlehem were told of the birth of the Savior, Luke 2:11.
Luke 2:11, “For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Jesus himself bore witness to His calling as Savior, Luke 19:10.
Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
His apostles declared Him to be Savior, 1 Tim 1:15; cf. Acts 4:12.
1 Tim 1:15, “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.”
Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
Jesus, as Savior, delivers from the guilt of sin, as well as from sin’s power; He is the Redeemer. Everyone having been justified through the blood of Christ, cf. Rom 5:1, is delivered from the guilt of sin. Being made holy in Christ, believers are freed from sin’s power. The first is an act, the second a process that culminates at Jesus’ return when believers will be transformed into His likeness and their bodies will be redeemed by the Savior, Phil 3:20-21.
Phil 3:20-21, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”
In our verse, Jesus is the Savior of the “body,” SOMATOS, which is analogues to EKKLESIA, “the church or assembly,” whom Christ is the head of. Therefore, headship authority means, “to provide saving grace to the body,” which is what the husband must do for His wife as head. This saving grace of the husband toward his wife is not for eternal salvation; that is what Jesus accomplished once and for all upon the Cross. This saving grace is in regards to temporal life here on earth as a caretaker, provider, healer, lover, decision maker, etc.
As the human head governs the body to which it belongs, so authority is vested in the headship relation wherever it exists.
Below we will note that headship is one of the seven figures of Jesus Christ related to the Church, and then we will note the significance of Jesus’ headship over the Church as examples of the husband’s headship over his own wife.
In this analogy, regarding the authority of the husband over his wife, we remember Luke 12:48b, that tells us, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”
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Seven Figures of Christ and the Church, His Body;
In Analogy to the Headship of Husbands Over Wives.
- Christ is the shepherd and Christians are the sheep of His pasture. This speaks to His care for us and the helplessness of His sheep, John 10:11, 1 Peter 2:25, Heb 13:20-21.
John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
1 Peter 2:25, “For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”
Heb 13:20-21, “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
When believers do not take in the Word of God, through their right Pastor-Teacher, they are like lost sheep, Mark 6:34, Zech 10:2.
Mark 6:34, “When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.”
Zech 10:2, “Therefore the people wander like sheep, they are afflicted, because there is no shepherd.”
Therefore, the husband, as head of the wife, is to care for her, provide for her, and tend to her needs like one would do for a helpless lamb. This tending means both in the physical realm of providing for her materialistically and making sure she is supplied with good Bible teaching to feed her soul. As head, he is to provide both financially and spiritually.
- Christ is the vine and believers are the branches, John 15:1-8.
In this analogy, we see that the Church, the body of Christ, feeds off of what He, the Head Vine, supplies. The branches are nourished from the vine, so that they can produce fruit, the fruit of the Spirit, i.e., “Divine Good Production.”
Therefore, the husband, as head of the wife, is to provide her everything necessary, physically and spiritually, so that she can be a productive believer inside the plan of God, in the execution of her spiritual gift. Like the above, this means to provide for her excellent Bible teaching so that she learns, grows, and applies the Word, especially in the execution of her spiritual gift.
Secondly, in the analogy, as the unproductive branches are pruned, so that the productive ones can produce more, the husband is to remove obstacles in the life of his wife, (e.g., sin temptations, harassment from others, the gossip of others, etc.), so that she is able to produce maximum Divine Good Production. This analogy has a protective tone to it as well.
- Christ is the chief cornerstone and Christians, are the Building, Zech 10:3-4, Psa 118:22; Mat 21:42, 1 Peter 2;6-10, Eph 2:20-21.
Psa 118:22, “The stone which the builders rejected, has become the chief corner stone.”
Another way of saying this, is that Jesus Christ is the lynch pin regarding the family of God, bringing together both true Israel and the Church.
Therefore, the husband, as head of the wife, is to be the head of the family to provide peace and harmony inside the home, providing a sound structure. Both parents have a teaching and disciplinary role to play, but the husband is to be the final authority in all things, with the goal of peace and harmony within the marriage and family.
- Christ is the High Priest and New Testament believers are a kingdom of Priests, Heb 2:17-18; 1 Peter 2:9.
Heb 2:17, “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”
And as our High Priest, in like form as man, he is qualified to be our advocate, Heb 2:18.
Heb 2:18, “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”
Therefore, the husband, as head of the wife, who is also an equal member in the body of Christ, is to be merciful and faithful to his wife in all things, covering her sins, so that they are not exposed to the world or allowed to fester within her soul, being her advocate, so that she can advance in the spiritual life, and suffering for her as necessary, for her well-being, as also noted in Eph 5:25-27.
- Christ is the Head of the Church, which is the Body, Eph 4:15.
Eph 4:15, “But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.”
This speaks to Jesus’ authority over His body the Church, which we will note below in more detail.
Therefore, the husband, as head of the wife, has authority over his wife in regard to all marital and family issues. (We will note this analogy below in more detail).
- Christ is the Head of a New Creation, 2 Cor 5:17.
2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in (union with) Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” Cf. Gal 6:15.
When someone believes in Christ as their Savior, they are born again and receive a regenerated human spirit, giving them a new spiritual life in Christ. They are placed in a new union with Jesus Christ. With the new life they have been given, they can function and experience the spiritual things and spiritual phenomenon of God, and are no longer held back by the “old things,” the Old Sin Nature and Satan’s cosmic system. They are free to live in their new life.
This analogy relates to the husband and wife, as the two have become one new life at the moment of their marriage, Gen 2:24; Mat 19:5-; Mark 10:7-9; Eph 5:31. They have a new union and a new life to live. And just like our new life in union with Christ speaks to our eternal security, which means we cannot be separated from Christ, God desires our new union with our husband or wife to be inseparable too.
Therefore, the husband, as head of the wife, is the head of this new life, and he should lead, guide, provide for, and protect it, just as Jesus does for His body, providing security that should be inseparable. Therefore, in addition, the husband has the responsibility to make sure the marriage stays intact.
- Christ is the Bridegroom and the Church is the Bride, 2 Cor 11:2, Rev 19:7.
2 Cor 11:2, “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.”
Rev 19:7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
And as His bride, we will be displayed in our perfection and glory.
Rev 21:9, “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
Therefore, the husband, as head of the wife, is to protect his wife’s soul from sin and Satan’s cosmic system, so that she is able to walk in glory without spot, blemish, or wrinkle and remain holy and blameless in experiential sanctification. Eph 5:25-27 also speak to this analogy. In other words, help her to overcome her own personal sins, and secondly, protect her from the temptations of the world or the attacks of others from the world that could harm her soul, i.e., her spiritual walk.
So, as you can see, from the analogy of the Seven Figures of Christ and the Church, one of them being, “Christ as the head and the Church as the body,” the husband has tremendous responsibility to nurture, care for, and protect his wife during their time here on planet earth.
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Eph 5:24, “But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.”
This verse completes the discourse on the wife’s subjectivity towards her own husband. In vs. 24, she was commanded to be subject to her own husband, just as she would to the Lord Jesus Christ. This tells of her motivation for respecting her husband’s Divine given authority over her; Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now we have an analogy or object lesson for her subjection to her husband; the Church and Christ. This verse begins by continuing the emphasis on the husband’s authority established in vs. 23, which is in the likeness of Christ’s authority over the Church. Therefore, vs. 24 notes that just as the Church is subject to Christ, so should wives be subject to their husbands.
It begins with the strong adversative Conjunction ALLA, “but, yet, or rather,” that transitions the conversation from husbands to wives, and sets the concept of authority between them in contrast to one another. It establishes the difference between the husband’s authority in vs. 23 with the wife’s subjectivity in vs. 22, 24.
Then we have the object lesson, which begins with the Adverb/Conjunction HOSPER, ὥσπερ, “as, just as, or exactly like.” This Adverb of manner appears frequently in the N.T. in the protasis, (i.e., that to which the main idea is being compared), of a comparison. We could say this introduces a first class “if” statement, (if and it is true), where the “then” statement will follow, even though the Greek does not use “if” in this passage.
“The Church,” is once again HO EKKLESIA in the Nominative Singular.
“Is subject,” is HUPOTASSO once again for, “to subject to, put in submission to, to be or make subject, or to submit oneself.” There is no verb for “is” here. It comes from HUPOTASSO, which is in the Present, Middle, Indicative for the dogmatic fact of the ongoing status that has a result back to the Church Age believer. This is the Church’s role and responsibility as the Body of Jesus Christ, and the analogy for the wife’s role in relation to her own husband. As we noted above, this submission must be voluntary or it will not work, and it requires genuine humility from the application of Bible Doctrine from the soul. Otherwise, enforced humility may be the result and unpleasant.
“To Christ,” is the Dative of indirect object, Singular of HO CHRISTOS, speaking of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Christ,” emphasizes His Deity, as the head and authority over the Church, His body. The Dative of indirect object indicates that Jesus Christ is the One for whom the act of subordination is performed. The definite article sets Him apart as the unique person of the universe, it emphasizes the hypostatic union.
So once again, we are reminded of the Head and body analogy of Christ and the Church, and the other 6 Figures of Christ and the Church. These are given so that the wife understands her role inside Divine Institution #2, Marriage. As the Church is under the authority of Christ, so is the wife under her husband, as noted in the second half of this passage.
This is the apodosis statement or “then” statement that completes the comparison.
“So also,” is the Adverb HOUTOS, οὕτως that can mean, “in this manner, thus, so, just as, in this way, as follows, without further ado, or simply,” and the Conjunction KAI. This indicates that the comparison is to follow. Therefore, this is the wives’ responsibility toward her husband, in comparison to the Church’s responsibility toward Jesus Christ.
“The wives,” is HO GUNE once again in the Nominative plural.
“Ought to be,” is in italics and not in the original language, but is implied.
“To their husbands,” is the Dative of Possession, Plural of HO ANER once again. The Dative of Possession versus the Genitive of Possession emphasizes the object possessed, which in this case is the husband possessed by the wife. If the Genitive were used, the emphasis would be on the wife. Therefore, this Dative continues the emphasis of the Husband’s authority over his wife, even though we are currently talking about the wife’s role and responsibility. We could say this is a double emphasis.
“In everything,” is the Preposition EN with the Adjective PAS, in the Dative of Rule Case. This sets the boundaries by which the wife is subject to her husband’s authority, which is “in all things.” It emphasizes the subject matter, but also alludes to time frame, i.e., “in all things, at all the times.” In other words, in all matters pertaining to their marriage and relationship, she is to respect and submit to her husband’s authority. As long as they are legally married, she is to be in subjection to him. The only exception is in her subjection to a higher authority than her husband, e.g., God and His Word.
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Eph 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
We now turn back to the commands for husbands. The rest of the chapter describes the husband’s responsibility.
As we have noted, the Letter to the Ephesians unfolds the high place to which the Church, the Body of Christ, has been brought and the corresponding responsibility in daily life which rests upon each member of that Body. At this point, Paul reverts to the order of truth which characterized the opening portion of this Epistle. Even though Christ died for the sins of the entire world, John 3:16, the Church alone is in view here as the one for whom Christ gave Himself to die upon the Cross. Just as the husband has husbandly responsibilities toward his wife and only his wife.
The fact of Christ’s death for the Church is here given the place of supreme importance. Thus, the death of Christ is introduced as the pattern of devotion, which the believing husband should maintain toward his wife. This is an ideal belonging not to the paganism of Paul’s day, but to the Christian home. The high and holy love of Christ for the Church, His Bride, is not degraded by this comparison; rather, the demands upon the husband are exalted to the measure of heavenly responsibilities. The message of this passage, which is constantly asserted in the N.T. is; it was Divine compassion which took Christ to the Cross; therefore, with Divine compassion, a husband is to lead his marriage.
The Greek begins with, HO ANER in the Vocative Nominative Plural for, “the husbands.”
Then we have the command, “love your wives,” AGAPAO in the Present, Active, Imperative with the Direct Object Accusative Plural of HO GUNE.
As you know, all principles of doctrine related to marriage are based on the concept that God has designed one right man for one right woman, just as there is one right Lord, (head), and one right
Church, (body). God has done a great job in the field of marriage, and therefore the ideal system of leadership in marriage should be one right man, one right woman.
The words that are not used here include EROS, which means to have sex, and PHILEO, which is total soul love. We have here AGAPAO which means a mental attitude love. Therefore, it is not physical attraction or a give and take love that the husband is commanded to have for his wife. Instead it is a mental attitude love, where he loves her unconditionally.
This means, as Gal 5:22-23 tells us, his love for his wife (right woman), must have “joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
In addition, as 1 Cor 13:4-8, tells us, “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never fails…”
And remember husbands, 1 John 4:19, “We love, because He first loved us.” In other words, because God loved us, His Church, first, we are able to love him back. Therefore, if husbands love their wives first, the wives will love them back.
Then we have the object lesson for teaching husbands how to love their wives. The command here given to husbands calls for a response on their part that will make it easy for wives to submit; that is, husbands are to love their wives as, “Just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
“Just as,” this time, is the Conjunction of Comparison KATHOS that means, “as, just as, to the degree that, since, when, according as.” This establishes the way husbands should love their wives, which is given in two forms, love and sacrifice.
“Christ also,” is the Nominative Singular of CHRISTOS KAI. With this is “loved” and the simple past tense Aorist, Active, Indicative of AGAPAO once again. This is Christ’s AGAPE love in action. The object of Christ’s love is “the church,” the Accusative Singular of HO EKKLESIA once again. This is the Royal Family of God, the Body of Jesus Christ.
The Church here refers to all believers of the Church Age, the Royal Family of God, a kingdom of priests. The Church is analogous to and compared to the right woman. Because of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the believer of this dispensation has a very perfect and very intimate relationship with Christ. This is called Positional Sanctification. Therefore, the Church, the Royal Family, occupies a very unique place in the Angelic Conflict. There was no Royal Family until Christ was glorified at the right hand of the Father. The Royal Family is directly related to the strategic victory of Christ on the Cross, and all the way from the Cross to His session; seated at the right hand of God the Father.
Then we have the second object lesson, “and gave Himself up for her,” which is the coordinating Conjunction KAI, “and,” with the Personal Pronoun HEAUTOU in the Accusative Singular for, “Himself,” and the Aorist, Active, Indicative of PARADIDOMI that means, “handed over or delivered up.” It is from PARA meaning, “over” and DIDOMI meaning, “to give.” So combined, it means, “to give up, give over, hand over, etc.” It is also used with regard to handing someone over to the court, Mat 10:17. Jesus “gave himself,” means that He handed over and delivered up himself to be scorned, tortured, and crucified, Gal 2:20; Eph 5:2.
The Constative Aorist contemplates the past action of the verb in its entirety, namely: reconciliation, redemption, propitiation, etc., everything that was accomplished on the Cross.
In our verse, Jesus gave Himself up, “for her,” the Preposition HUPER with the Genitive, Singular, Feminine of AUTOS meaning, “her,” that represents the Church.
Therefore, just as the submission of the Church to Christ serves as the wife’s model, the love of Christ for the Church reflects the husband’s attitude toward his wife. Just as the wife’s primary responsibility can be summarized in “voluntary submission,” so the husband’s special duty is to “love” his wife.
Christ instinctively from His own free will delivered Himself over, the highest possible sacrifice, the efficacious sacrifice; whereby, we have eternal life. Therefore, much is required from any male the moment he becomes a husband, Luke 12:48. The principle here is sacrifice. When you love someone more than you love yourself, then you are willing to sacrifice, and that is a mental attitude AGAPE love.
We will see in vs. 28, 33, that husbands are to love their wives “as their own bodies,” even as they would love themselves.
Christ loved His church enough to die for it. Therefore, the husband is to also have self-sacrificial love for his wife. Real love will not take advantage of the partner. If a man truly loves his wife, he will want to share with her in every possible way. The arrangement God established between a wife and a husband gives him the authority to make all decisions for the marriage, but it also implies that he should share that responsibility with her. If he truly loves her, he will share the decision-making responsibilities with her, as long as he does not abdicate his position as the spiritual leader of the family.
If the genuine love of the husband, (like that of Christ for the Church), balances the loving, voluntary submission of the wife, they both will find it easy to fulfill their role. Cf. Eph 5:28; Col 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7.
The loving husband must have freedom from mental attitude sins. In Colossians, the husband is specifically commanded not to be bitter toward his wife, but that includes also jealousy, vindictiveness, implacability. Leaders cannot afford mental attitude sins, and the husband is the leader.
It takes more to be a husband than anything else in life, yet this is addressed to husbands as though it is the simplest, instead of the most complex of all leadership responsibilities. Any idiotic kid can get married, but to fulfill what is spoken here in a brief phrase requires more than any idiotic kid or any male can really fulfill apart from the grace of God.
There is a sense in which a leader is a protector. The husband is the protector of his wife. He protects her form gossip and maligning, from all the dangers of life, from the insecurities of life, from any physical harm of any kind. He never makes his wife’s failures known to others. In addition, He provides in the physical area for his wife, sex.
Leadership means sacrifice, and there is a sense in which the husband must sacrifice for the blessing and pleasure of the wife. That is a part of “love your wives.”
A husband must be a gentleman; the instincts of thinking about someone else rather than being self-occupied. No man can be a husband and fulfill this principle if he is selfish. Therefore, the principle of sacrifice, honor, integrity, and instinctive thoughtfulness for his wife is in view.
As a result of all of these things, this kind of a husband is the source of respect and even awe, but he should never be a source of discomfort or belittling to his right woman.
In regard to the husband loving his own wife, we are reminded of the initial command given in Chapter 5, verse 2, “And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
This is the high standard by which husbands are to love their wives. The command given here to husbands, call for a response on their part that will make it easy for wives to submit to their authority; that is, husbands are to love their wives as, “Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.” Furthermore, they are to love their wives, “as their own bodies,” vs. 28, even as they would love themselves, vs. 33. Therefore, in order for husbands to fulfill their high calling, they must intimately understand AGAPE love inside of Divine Institution # 2, marriage.
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The Doctrine of Category #2 Love
There are three categories of love in the human race:
Category #1 Love, is toward God, Deut 6:5; Rom 8:35; 1 John 4:19. Only the believer is capable of this kind of love.
Category #2 Love, is between one right man and one right woman in marriage, Song of Solomon 8:6-7; Eph 5:25-33; Col 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7.
Category #3 Love, is towards mankind, Mat 5:43; 19:19; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14; James 2:8.
James 2:8, “If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well.”
The Greek language has six different words for love, four most applied, AGAPAO, PHILEO, (a rapport love), ERAO, (sexual or erotic love), and STERGO, (the special love of parents for their children). Of these four only two made their way into the N.T., AGAPAO and PHILEO.
A comparison between AGAPAO and PHILEO is inevitable because both are common to the NT, while neither ERAO nor STERGO can be found. Differences that can be discerned between the two are that PHILEO represents a deep affection in rapport for one another, while AGAPAO expresses a love that does not require a comparable response. As such, AGAPAO is a fitting description of the kind of love God has shown to man in sending His Son to save all who will believe, John 3:16, that is the high standard by which husbands are to love their wives. As such, the husbands love is not dependent on the love or affection that the wife expresses towards him. He is to love her regardless.
The strength of Category #2 Love is declared in Song of Solomon or Song of Songs 8:6-7. It cannot be quenched by any pressure of life.
Song of Songs 8:6-7, “Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. 7Many waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it; if a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, it would be utterly despised.”
The exclusiveness of Category #2 Love extends to one person of the opposite sex, all others are excluded. Therefore, happiness in sexual love can only be found in one person, Prov 5:18-19.
Prov 5:18-19, “Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love.”
This excludes the following as a basis for such happiness: autoerotism or masturbation, homosexuality, or lesbianism, promiscuity, or adultery, etc.
This love produces an exclusive and perfect happiness which is self-sustaining, as well as partner-sustaining, Prov 15:17.
Prov 15:17, “Better is a dish of vegetables where love is, Than a fattened ox and hatred with it.”
This love is protective, when the right one is absent, Song of Sol 1:13; 4:6, and when he or she is present, Song of Sol 2:4.
Song of Sol 1:13, “My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh Which lies all night between my breasts.”
Song of Sol 4:6, “Until the cool of the day When the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh And to the hill of frankincense”
Song of Sol 2:4, “He has brought me to his banquet hall, And his banner over me is love.”
It illustrates the relationship with the Lord. The relationship between Israel and the Lord, Jer 2 & 3; Ezek 16 & 23. The relationship between the Lord and the Church, Eph 5:23-33.
Mental attitude sins attack all forms of true love, 1 John 5:18. Jealousy is one of the greatest enemies in this field, Song of Sol 8:6.
Song of Sol 8:6, “Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, jealousy is as severe as Sheol; its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD.”
This love is the provision of God’s grace, Prov 18:22.
Proverbs 18:22, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the LORD.”
Divine Institution #2 is designed for Category #2 love, Eph 5:25, 28, 33.
God has set aside time in each life for category #2 love, Ecc 3:8, “A time of love.” However, certain functions in life can destroy this time, i.e. not waiting for the right man or the right woman, adultery, drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental attitude sins which destroy right lobe capacity.
Older women are to teach younger women how to love under Category #2, Titus 2:4-5, “so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”
This love is a thought and the expression of that thought. It is the embodiment of soul function and concentration toward someone, so as to single them out from the masses. That exclusion is called intimacy. Intimacy expresses the concentration of love, as you are focused on one individual and one only. This means capacity to love is related to capacity to concentrate, as you are focused on one individual.
All love is meaningless and disappointing unless you have personal love for God first. This love for God makes other loves real. Stimulation of emotion is not loving God, nor is it loving someone else. To have personal love for God, you must concentration on His Word and get it into your soul. Rom 5:5 says the love for God is poured out in us through doctrine in the soul.
Rom 5:5, “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Therefore, love in itself, and the capacity for that love, is Bible doctrine in the soul, so that perpetuation of love is the perpetuation of your intimate relationship with God.
Therefore, in order to have AGAPAO love for your right woman or right man; you must first have concentration on God and His Word, and love Him personally. When you do, you will know and have the love of Christ in your soul, and therefore be able to express that love towards your right woman or right man in impersonal and unconditional (AGAPE) love. Therefore, for husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church, husbands must have the love of God resident within their soul, through maximum intake and application of Bible Doctrine, so that they can express God’s love towards their wives, as they should.
To have Category # 2 Love, we must have impersonal / unconditional love, which emphasizes the virtue, honor, and integrity of the subject. Gal 5:14, “For the entire Law is fulfilled in one doctrine, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” This mandate is found first in Lev 19:18, and quoted in Mat 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Rom 13:9.
Impersonal love is defined as that Problem-Solving Device of the plan of God for the Church, which produces unconditional love toward all mankind. Being impersonal, this category of love places emphasis on your honor, your integrity, and your virtue, (not morality), of the subject, rather than the attractiveness of the object.
Impersonal love and virtue can only be produced by perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. Impersonal love is the ultimate expression of maximum metabolized Bible doctrine circulating by means of the Holy Spirit in the stream of consciousness of the heart.
Impersonal love is a virtue which cannot be duplicated in any phase of personal love among human beings. “Impersonal” is an adjective which means without personal reference or connection, not primarily affecting or involving the emotions of a person. Although personal and emotional love is a part of the marriage, it cannot be sustained by them alone. Cat. 2 Love must have Impersonal Love to be successful.
Without impersonal love, you will never have any good human relationships, never mind a great marriage. You will change friends, partners in romance, and spouses in marriage simply because you have no basis for perpetuating any of those relationships apart from virtue. In fact, even morality will not hold together human relationships. Morality does not solve the problems of human relationship. Only virtue can solve the problems of human relationship.
The noun “impersonality” is the quality or state of not involving personal feelings or emotions in relationship to an object. Emotion is designed to appreciate the relationship, but it is never designed to establish a relationship.
To have impersonal love you must have objectivity and grace orientation, the expression of virtue in human interaction, and humility in spiritual self-esteem. As you advance to spiritual adulthood, this love and virtue are expressed more and more from your soul.
The status of impersonal love is the status of true humility. Arrogant people are constantly seeking unconditional love from others, especially their spouse, but all they offer in return is conditional love. The greater your arrogance, the more conditions you put on someone else’s love. Most men do this to the woman they love.
Prov 8:13, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way…”
Prov 18:12, “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, but humility goes before honor.”
Eph 4:1-4, “…Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Personal love in marriage and all relationships minus the virtue of impersonal love is the weakest and most unstable status quo in life. It is vulnerable to the entire realm of both the arrogant complex of sins and the emotional complex of sins.
Personal love emphasizes the attractiveness of the object. Impersonal love emphasizes the virtue of the subject. Personal love is optional in the Christian life; it is not commanded. Impersonal love is the imperative of the Christian life, the Divine mandate for the function of the plan of God, even inside of marriage. Personal love is optional; impersonal love is imperative.
Personal love emphasizes rapport with an object; impersonal love emphasizes the virtue of the subject. Impersonal love emphasizes the virtue, the integrity, and the spiritual adulthood of the subject. Personal love emphasizes the attractiveness, the desirability of the object.
Personal love is conditional; impersonal love is unconditional. Impersonal love as unconditional love means that no merit is assigned to the object. No characteristic of the object, whether attractiveness, rapport, or worthiness, is the motivation for impersonal love.
Personal love is virtue dependent for its effectiveness; impersonal love is doctrinally dependent for its effectiveness. Impersonal love is sustained by Bible doctrine. Personal love is sustained by rapport and mutual admiration.
Personal love is subjective and possessive; impersonal love is objective and grace oriented.
As we have noted, impersonal love is motivated by personal love for God and Occupation with Jesus Christ; therefore, it is non-discriminating. This means that the husband treats his wife impersonally with fairness, equity, justice, conformity with the rules and standards of God’s Word, and without prejudice.
On the other hand, personal love is motivated by attractiveness; therefore, the husband can fall into prejudice and be discriminating, which means he will look for and make issues of her flaws and failures, real or perceived, or even if she is operating in a good and righteous way, he will find things to complain about, because he is in a “bad mood.”
Yet, with Bible doctrine in the soul, his love will have stability and not ride on the ebbs and flow of his feelings or emotions. Remember love is a thought, not an emotion.
Personal love for God means you now have the ability to love your right man or right woman. Your thoughts isolate on God, your right man, or right woman, and not on yourself, your feelings, or emotions.
Therefore, impersonal (AGAPE) love is devotion after thought, maximum self-esteem, and loyalty to the object of your love. Attraction is merely a preliminary to love, and never a sustainer of love.
Passion is another concept regarding right man, right woman relationships. It is a combination of the function of certain glands, plus the function of the emotional pattern of the soul. Passion can accompany both true and pseudo love, and therefore proves nothing in regard to whether you truly love someone or not. You should never use passion as the basis for your decision making inside of relationships, and passion can never sustain your relationships.
By falling in love, you have created a problem for yourself. One of the biggest problems in life is to fall in love, because the object of your love is not perfect, (and neither are you).
Sooner or later, that object will be a source of people testing, whether irritation or antagonism. People testing comes from falling in love. When it does, you must have the pertinent Bible doctrine in your soul to overcome the testing, so that you do not function from feelings, emotions, or passion. You must operate with thought based on God’s Word resident within your soul to overcome any testing, including people testing, especially inside your marriage.
Without understanding the pertinent doctrines, you will idealize the object of your love, creating a monster out of them. And since no one is perfect, personal love does not have a chance, if there is any idealization of the object. No one is perfect. People we love disappoint us, frustrate us, turn against us, because we are not perfect; or they hurt us in some way, causing suffering.
Hypersensitivity versus Sensitivity.
Hypersensitivity is a problem in relationship to yourself when interacting with other people, especially your right man or right woman. Every person in a relationship has an area of vulnerability. If you are sensitive about what other people think about you, then you will become hypersensitive in arrogance when they say one bad thing about you, or do not complement you as you desire to be complimented. As a result, you lose any virtue you might have had in your life, and become hypersensitive. In slang terms we say, “you have become thin skinned.” This means that you have become hypersensitive, as you are occupied with self, and are reactionary about everything that people say about you and do towards you, rather than being “thick skinned,” with occupation with Jesus Christ. This leads to being reactionary to all situations of life, especially inside the marriage. It leads to having self-pity, being quick tempered, vengeance, vilification, etc.
Hypersensitivity can lead to the problem of having unrealistic expectations in your relationships. Very few people are loved the way they want to be loved, or treated the way they want to be treated. Because of this, people develop a subjective arrogance that leads to having eyes on self, eyes on people, and eyes on things. In other words, you are looking for love in all the wrong places. You are creating unrealistic expectations for how you ought to be loved by others. Then, when you are not loved the way you think, you should be loved, you become reactionary and enter into mental, verbal, and/or overt sins. When you react to others who do not love you the way you want to be loved, it is impossible for any virtue to exist in your life.
In addition, you will be insensitive to the situations, thoughts, and feelings of others, especially of your spouse. Then you become thoughtless, rude, indifferent, and cruel with all the mental attitude sins that can lead to verbal and overt sins.
When you are hypersensitive and your area of vulnerability is touched, you lose your self-esteem, self-confidence, and poise, and become a reactionary to the persons and/or environment which produced it. Reaction in hypersensitivity results in loss of virtue. You no longer love God, have personal or impersonal love for your right man or right woman, nor have impersonal love towards man, nor spiritual self-esteem.
On the other hand, impersonal love is characterized by true sensitivity, the expression of thoughtfulness, courtesy, good manners toward others, and willingness to accommodate yourself toward your wife, husband, an individual, or group of individuals whether in business, social, or spiritual life.
Sensitivity is the function of thinking in the adult believer in spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity. The basis for sensitivity is genuine humility, adding the superstructure of impersonal love, which reaches its peak in spiritual autonomy. Sensitivity is the dynamic expression of genuine humility by the spiritual adult believer. Therefore, sensitivity as the expression of impersonal love is a Problem-Solving Device in people, thought, and system testing.
Hypersensitivity can also lead to the problems of iconoclastic or role model arrogance.
This is an excessive admiration or personal love where you create an idol out of a person. This is followed by the idol showing their feet of clay, (doing something wrong). When the idol does something wrong, (real or imagined), there is a reaction by the one who created the idol. They become disillusioned or disenchanted.
When disillusionment or disenchantment sets in during iconoclastic arrogance, you seek to destroy the person you have set up as a role model or icon in your life. You created the idol, now you do not like the idol, so you seek to destroy the idol.
Impersonal love is the basic solution to the problem of marriage. Marriages fail because people are no better in marriage than they are as people. Marriages fail because:
- People are failures as human beings.
- People get married for the wrong reasons; therefore, they make wrong decisions concerning the spouse.
- People think marriage is the solution to all problems in life. If anything, marriage is a problem manufacturing device.
Marriage is not designed for happiness; it is designed for virtue that leads to happiness. Virtue is designed for happiness. Therefore, happiness in marriage demands virtue-love. You cannot change your marital problems by changing your spouse to conform to your personal standards or your unrealistic expectation. Therefore, marriage is more than finding the right person; it is being the right person. Without the virtue of impersonal love, personal love in the marriage is vulnerable and weak. It is influenced by too many factors which hinder its perpetuation. For example:
- Your involvement in personality conflict.
- Moral or immoral degeneracy.
- Lack of concentration on an object.
- Lack of reciprocation.
- Lack of mental, physical, or spiritual rapport.
- Loss of attractiveness on which a relationship was originally based. People change in their looks over time, and if personal love was based on attraction, it will not last.
So, personal love in friendship, romance, or marriage cannot be sustained or perpetuated without the Problem-Solving Device of impersonal love. All human and personal love relationships depend on virtue for their success, as well as their perpetuation; i.e., personal love for God the Father as a motivational virtue, impersonal love for all mankind as a functional virtue, and occupation with Christ as the priority virtue.
Personal love minus impersonal love is weak and vulnerable to being destroyed by arrogance, jealousy, pettiness, vindictiveness, implacability, and/or hypersensitivity as arrogant subjectivity, anger, hatred, bitterness, fickleness, etc.
Yet, with impersonal and unconditional AGAPE love, your personal relationships, especially your marriage, will be impenetrable, lasting, enduring, longsuffering, meaningful, and rewarding.
As Andre Maurois, a French Writer, (July 26, 1885 – October 9, 1967), once said, “A happy marriage is always a long conversation that seems to be too short.” And, “A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.”