“29for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30because we are members of His body. 31For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.32This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”
D.) The Believer’s Walk in the World; God’s standards for authority and submission in the Church, Eph 5:18-6:9. (continued)
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. (Part 3)
Major Doctrines & Principles in Ephesians 5:29-33
- Doctrine of Right Man, Right Woman in Marriage, vs. 31.
- Principles of the Mystery of the Church, vs. 32.
- Principles of the Three Divine Laws of Love in Marriage, vs. 33.
- Principles of “Wives, Do Not Enslave Your Husbands,” vs. 33.
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Eph 5:29, “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church.”
Husbands being under obligation to love their wives, they are now given examples of how this AGAPAO love manifests itself.
Here we have the logical analysis for why husbands should love their wives. It begins with the postpositive Conjunction GAR that comes second in the Greek, meaning, “for, certainly, indeed, then, etc.” It signifies the reason, cause, or ground of the preceding statement with an explanatory thought about to be given. You see, if a man takes care of himself, he should take care of his wife, who is now the same body as he is. That is the principle here.
“No one,” is the Cardinal Number OUDEIS in the subject Nominative Case that is a compound of the Greek negative OUK, plus the numeral HEIS, “one.” Therefore, “not one or no one,” is the translation.
“Ever” is the Adverb POTE, ποτέ that with a negative means, “not ever or never,” but the negative is noted in the previous word, so “ever” is sufficient here meaning, at no time does a husband treat himself in this way.
That way is, “hated his own flesh,” the direct object Accusative of HO SARX, “the flesh,” with the Genitive of Possession, Personal Pronoun, HEAUTOU in the Masculine for, “his own,” and the Aorist, Active, Indicative of MISEO, μισέω that means, “Hate, detest, abhor, or prefer against.” The Aorist – Active, views the entirety of the action performed by the husband. He does not hate his own body. Remember, the statement of this principle is in regard to the normal person.
“Flesh” here and vs. 31, represent the Christ model. It is because of the claim of the Genesis text that the act of marriage makes husband and wife one flesh that Paul can make the comparison of the wives to their husbands’ bodies as one flesh.
Then we have the Contrasting Conjunction, ALLA, “but,” to contrast the hating of one’s own body, compared to loving it, as noted in the next phrase, “nourishes and cherishes it.”
“Nourishes,” is the Present, Active, Indicative of the verb EKTREPHO, ἐκτρέφω that means, “to feed, nourish, or bring up, (as in raising someone from childhood to adulthood), or rear.” It is a compound word from EK, “from or out from,” and TREPHO, “to feed, nurture, or bring up.” It is used only here and in Eph 6:4 in regard to raising your children. One way this is used in the LXX is noted in 2 Sam 12:3, for the idea of fond, loving provision or rearing.
2 Sam 12:3, “But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb which he bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and his children. It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom, and was like a daughter to him”
In our passage, the primary idea of feeding and otherwise providing for is involved and means to promote health and strength; nourishment in that sense, not only in the physical realm, but also in the spiritual.
This is emphasized with “and cherishes it,” the Coordinating Conjunction KAI, “and,” with the Present, Active, Indicative of THALPO, θάλπω that means, “to warm, comfort, or cherish.” It is used only here and in 1 Thes 2:7, in regard to the Pastor’s tender loving care of his congregation.
1 Thes 2:7, “But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.”
It literally means, “to keep warm,” and figuratively, as it is in the New Testament, “to cherish, comfort, or foster with loving care.” “Cherish,” generally means to love your own body, but here there is no narcissus complex involved. This is followed by the Personal Pronoun AUTOS in the Accusative for “it,” referring to the husband’s body.
Therefore, because the husband is attentive to, provides for, raises, nurtures, and has tender loving care for his own body, he should do the same for his wife, since she is one flesh with him in the marriage unit.
This also tells us that a healthy attitude toward ourselves is necessary before we can have a healthy attitude toward others. In other words, as believing husbands, we need to obtain Spiritual Self-Esteem in order to fulfill this mandate.
Finally, we have, “just as Christ also does the church,” which begins with the Adverb KATHOS, “just as,” used as a comparative Conjunction. It compares the love Christ has for His body, the Church, to the love the husband should have for his wife. This is emphasized with the continuative Conjunction KAI meaning, “also.”
Next, we have the subject of the example to be followed, HO CHRISTOS, Χριστός, “the Christ,” in the Nominative for our Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One. Some copies of the ancient Greek NT manuscripts have KURIOS here, but the more reliable manuscripts, and writings of the early Church fathers, have CHRISTOS.
Finally, in vs. 29, we have, “does the Church,” which is simply the direct object Accusative Article and Noun, HO EKKLESIA, “the Church,” which is the body of Jesus Christ that is the object of His nurturing and cherishing,
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Eph 5:30, “Because we are members of His body.”
It begins with the causal Conjunction HOTI, “that, because, since, for, etc.,” that expresses the basis or grounds of the preceding action, (i.e., Christ’s nourishing and cherishing the Church).
Next, in the Greek comes, “members,” the Nominative Plural of MELOS, μέλος that means, “member, body, part, or limb.” It is used by Paul regarding the Church as the body of Christ that is composed of individual members, Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 6:15; 12:12-27, as we have noted previously in the book, Eph 4:25.
Then, we have the verb EIMI in the Present, Active, Indicative to indicate the believer’s current and perpetual status, “we are.” In English we say, “we are members.”
The thing we are members of is, “of His body,” HO SOMA AUTOS, in the Genitive of Possession, referring back to “THE Christ,” of vs. 29. Some Greek manuscripts read, “of His flesh and of His bone,” but the most reliable manuscripts have “of His body.”
All believers collectively, from the day of Pentecost to the day of the Rapture of the Church, are included in the body of Christ. We are not something apart from Christ, nor do we occupy only an accidental relation to Him. We are absolute parts of that body of which He is the head, cf. 1 Cor 12:12-27; Eph 5:23; Col 1:18; 2:19. This is the reason why He nourishes and cherishes the Church.
1 Cor 12:12, “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.”
1 Cor 12:27, “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.”
The fact that Christ “nourishes and cherishes” or “feeds and cares for” His church is one of the most prominent truths taught in Scripture. As its organic Head, He gives the orders in a manner that expresses true concern. He alone truly knows the needs of His people, and He operates in them through the Holy Spirit in the light of those needs. He gave the written Word of God, our spiritual food, so that believers would have answers to the pressing problems of life. A person who consistently studies the Bible will gain an understanding of Jesus that is not possible in any other way.
As the Church is the extension of Christ, so is the wife an “extension” of her husband. Therefore, the husband should provide, nourish, and care for his bride, just as he cares for himself and as Christ cares for the Church.
- Men care for their bodies even though they are imperfect, and so they should care for their wives though they are imperfect.
- Husbands, just as you long to satisfy your own needs, you are to satisfy your wife’s needs. Just as you long for intimacy, joy, security, health, peace, companionship, and community, you are to provide them for your bride also.
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29″for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
Husbands, how are you doing at nourishing your wife? Are you physically and spiritually nourishing her? Are you cherishing your wife? Are you admiring her and complimenting her? Are you sacrificing for your wife?
The imagery as applied to Christ’s treatment of the Church is meant to remind us of His nourishing and cherishing of her, along with His constant provision for and building up of her; His body, cf. Eph 4:11–16, and His sanctifying and cleansing of her through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the Word, cf. Eph 5:26.
Yet, if we have arrogance in the marriage, it is doomed to failure. The “me, myself, and I” syndrome prevents marriages from advancing beyond the attraction stage. The man is so designed in his body that if he is in a state of arrogance, he cannot fulfill his Divine obligation for marriage. He cannot give physically or mentally of himself while in a state of arrogance.
Likewise, if the wife is full of unrealistic expectation with arrogance, she cannot give either physically or mentally of herself. Therefore, she becomes bitter, frustrated, miserable, full of hatred and self-justification, which leads to the “me, myself, and I” syndrome. Instead, Christian husbands and wives must bring into the marriage a mental and spiritual rapport from the position of Spiritual Self-Esteem.
The first half of vs. 29 is the negative illustration of Spiritual Self-Esteem. It is a reference to normal people, not abnormal people. The last half along with vs. 30, is the positive illustration, and explains the analogy of Eph 5:28, “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies.”
Spiritual Self-Esteem is the effective function of the adult believer’s Impersonal Love directed toward his wife and toward himself. It is the effective function of the husband’s personal responsibility toward his wife. When a husband has Spiritual Self-Esteem, he has something far better than Personal Love. He has stabilization in life through freedom from arrogance and Christian degeneracy.
When a husband has Spiritual Self-Esteem in life he has:
- Tranquility of soul.
- Stability of mentality. Never feeling threatened by others; never succumbing to peer pressure.
- Composure marked by self-assurance.
- Grace orientation to life.
- Doctrinal orientation to reality.
- Good decisions from a position of strength.
- Personal control of life.
- A personal sense of destiny.
- Self-confidence from wisdom, the application of doctrine to your experience.
- Poise, the believer under spiritual self-command.
Achieving Spiritual Self-Esteem means he is on the road to Spiritual Maturity and is able to conquer people testing, thought testing, system testing, and disaster testing. If he is able to overcome the various forms of testing under Suffering for Blessing, he is then able to provide for and lead his wife through them victoriously too, by providing for her the necessary resources in nourishing and cherishing her.
In addition, when a husband achieves Spiritual Self-Esteem, he now has the virtue necessary to apply AGAPE love as Christ loved the Church.
Virtue is defined as having grace-righteousness with integrity, in the application of Impersonal Love. And remember that virtue is that quality of intrinsic good that can only be manufactured by God the Holy Spirit and doctrinal application.
Virtue is not proving one’s worth; the believer who is trying to prove something cannot improve. Instead, it is having Divine humility with grace orientation in self-sacrificial love that you express towards others, especially towards your wife in marriage.
Whatever destroys virtue in marriage, destroys happiness in marriage and turns love into a disaster. Unhappiness in marriage is simply a manifestation of one’s failure to execute the Plan of God due to failure to grow spiritually.
Everyone sins in marriage, but not everyone is virtuous in marriage. The demand syndrome, on the part of either spouse, is a total lack of virtue. It means that personal love is outside the integrity of impersonal love. Instead of the demand syndrome directed toward self, there must be trust directed toward one’s spouse.
How do you trust your spouse or anyone? By having Spiritual Self-Esteem, which is directed toward your spouse or others in trust. You base your trust on who and what you are, not who and what they are. That is the function of the faith-rest life. Loser believers do not trust anyone, including themselves.
A successful marriage depends upon a successful spiritual life. A successful spiritual life depends on the filling of the Holy Spirit, plus momentum from metabolized Bible doctrine. No believer can have a successful marriage apart from a successful relationship with God. Relationship with God is the basis for every blessing that comes out of marriage. Therefore, Bible doctrine must be number one on your scale of values and must be applied to every situation in life.
If your relationship with God is a failure, your relationship with people and in marriage is a failure.
There is no solution to the problems of marriage in psychology and human viewpoint. All solutions for the believer come from application of the principles of Bible doctrine. You cannot have application without knowledge of doctrine.
Marital problems are symptoms; the disease is human failure in life. No marriage can be successful without virtue on the part of one or both partners. There are two sources of virtue in marriage.
- For the unbeliever, virtue originates from the observation of the Laws of Divine Establishment, or morality without arrogance.
- For the believer, virtue originates from two sources.
- Constant post-salvation renewing of the mind, which results in momentum and spiritual maturity.
- Understanding and using the Problem-Solving Devices of the plan of God.
You cannot change your spouse in marriage; you really can only change yourself. This change requires spiritual energy in three spheres; learning, thinking, and solving.
The husband should provide, nourish, and care for his bride, just as he cares for himself. No one hates his own body but takes care of it; “nourishes and cherishes.” Thus, as Christ loves the church, His body, (of which all believers are members; cf. Eph 4:25), so should husbands love their wives as their own bodies. Men care for their bodies even though they are imperfect, and so they should care for their wives though they are imperfect.
The analogy between the man and his body, as well as Christ and the Church, is emphasized here by two verbs EKTREPHO, normal nourishment providing food and shelter, and so on. EKTREPHO meant to nourish or rear children originally. The verb THALPO, meaning, “to impart warmth, to provide tender care, to comfort, also means here reasonable care.” A reasonable person provides reasonable care.
How does Christ nourish us in the analogy? He nourishes us by making available to us Bible doctrine and the filling of God the Holy Spirit. The availability of Bible teaching and Bible doctrine is equivalent to Christ nourishing the Church. Providing reasonable care is analogous to the utilization of Bible doctrine, through the power of the filling of God the Holy Spirit, once acquired in the soul. Once the believer has Bible doctrine in the soul, he begins to think Divine viewpoint and has the problem-solving devices for life.
The analogy is also based on the fact that the right man initiates love toward his right woman, just as Christ initiates love through the availability and teaching of Bible doctrine.
Remember, God ordained marriage. Christ set the pattern for marriage. The Spirit empowers marriage. The good news of the gospel is that Christ died for those who could not keep demands perfectly. And the good news is that the Spirit daily renews us and empowers us as we look to Christ for grace and mercy. Therefore, husbands, as we all, should dwell on the love of Christ daily, as they seek to live out a Spirit-filled marriage.
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In concluding the discourse on the responsibilities of wives and husbands in marriage, Paul goes back to Genesis and the inception of Divine Institution # 2, to confirm his reasoning. This constitutes the most profound and fundamental statement in all Scripture relative to God’s plan concerning marriage.
Eph 5:31, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
A first emphasis here is that both individuals are to break away from the family unit they were reared in, to establish a new one. The two individuals become one in doing so. It is not that they no longer have a relationship with the families they were nurtured by, but that the main emphasis and focus for this love, is to be between the husband and wife.
“For this reason,” is the appeal to husbands to love their wives as their own bodies. It begins with the Preposition ANTI, ἀντί that functions in a variety of ways in Greek determined by the context in each particular case. Here, it indicates the reason for both the wife’s and husband’s responsibilities inside the marriage. In fact, the text in Genesis in the Septuagint actually uses HENEKEN, “because of, for this cause, on account of, for the sake of, or by reason of,” rather than ANTI, as does Mat 19:5 and Mark 10:7, which also demonstrates the sense of reason Paul is intending here. ANTI in our verse means, “for this cause or because of,” to indicate the reason why a man is to leave his mother and father. With ANTI is the Demonstrative Pronoun HOUTOS for, “this.” The Hebrew uses two words, the Preposition AL, עַל, “on account of,” and Adverb KEN, כֵּן, “thus,” for the emphasis of, “for this reason,” as is translated in Eph 5:31.
Gen 2:24, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
Therefore, quoting Gen 2:24, constitutes a final justification for the appeal that husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
“Man” is the generic ANTHROPOS in the subject Nominative Singular.
“Shall leave,” is the Verb KATALEIPO in the Future, Active, Indicative that means, “leave behind, abandon, forsake, or depart.” From the root LEIPO, “leave,” and the prefix, KATA, “according to,” here it is not a harsh departure or forsaking, but the fact of separating from the first love of your childhood, your family, to be joined to your new one.
The family he is to leave is noted in the combination of HO PATER KAI HO METER in the direct object Accusative case for “his father and his mother.” The two definite articles are used as possessive Pronouns in reference to parents under Divine Institution #3.
This is the first and very important principle, that there must be a definite leaving behind of the childhood family, because they are in authority over the son or daughter. He must leave them behind because of assuming responsibility of authority for his new family. The young man must be cut off from the authority of his parents, so that he can rightly exercise his authority over his wife. While it may work in some cases, it is much better for newly wedded couples not to live with their families, nor even extremely close to them, as the ties to the old families may not be broken to the extent necessary for the new couple to bond as they should.
“And shall be joined,” indicates the new family he is to be connected to, with the Conjunction KAI, and the Future, Passive, Indicative Verb PROSKOLLAOMAI, προσκολλάομαι that means, “adhere to, be devoted to, or join.” It comes from the root KOLLAO that means, “to glue or cement, join, cling, cleave to, or join oneself to.” It is primarily used figuratively as here, to describe a close social contact, an intimate sexual relationship. Sometimes it is also used for a personal spiritual relationship.
We also have the prefix of the Preposition PROS, “to, toward, or face to face,” that does not significantly change the meaning, but intensifies it. We could translate this as “he shall have sexual intercourse.” The Future tense is a Gnomic Future for a timeless general fact, which may be rightfully expected under normal conditions. The Passive Voice is very deceptive, because it is a Deponent verb, in which the form is Passive, but the meaning is Active. The husband produces the action of the verb. The Indicative mood is declarative, it denotes certainty, and it represents the verbal idea from the viewpoint of reality. He has sex with his wife is in view.
This word is used in the NT for the quotation of Gen 2:24 in Mat 19:5; Mark 10:7, and our verse, and is used in Acts 5:36 for the simple act of a group of men banding together.
This is the second principle. The marriage tie takes precedence over every other human relationship, and for this reason is to be regarded as inviolable. Therefore, a new couple needs to “cleave” to each other in every sense of the word. The act of having sex together is a wonderful demonstration and part of the complete union that marriage is. This joining together also means, accepting the other person completely and not trying to reform each other. It means a person is who they are, and the other member must accept them for who they are and learn how to live with and love them. If you are trying to change them into something they are not, it will inevitably fail.
The person the man is to “be joined” with is “to his wife,” PROS HO GUNE AUTOS. It should be translated “with his wife,” because it means an association in which both volitions are involved, in which the desire of both is involved, in which two people express the love of their souls in physical coalescence. The marriage of right man, right woman is consummated by the sex act, and sex love is designed by God for maximum expression in the marital relationship.
The third principle is, as they allow the process to work, the two will be experientially woven into one fabric. Legally this takes place when they are united in marriage, but experientially it continues over their entire lifetime.
“And the two shall become one flesh,” is the reason for the man leaving his father and mother, and joining to his wife. It is made up of KAI, “and,” with the Progressive Future, Middle Deponent, Indicative, 3rd Person, Plural of the Verb EIMI, “to be, exist, live, become, etc.,” with HO DUO, “the two,” EIS, “into,” SARX, “flesh, human, etc.,” HEIS, “one.”
This indicates that their relationship in marriage is not only one of the soul, but one of the body, and it continues to be that way on into the future.
The difference between Gen 2:24 and our verse is the personal Pronoun “they,” is changed to “the two,” to indicate one man and one woman, as was the only case in the Garden of Eden. Therefore, this refers to the right man, right woman relationship. It views them in the state of marriage.
Jesus emphasized the two becoming one in Mat 19:4-6 and Mark 10:7-9, when speaking on divorce.
Mark 10:6-9, “But from the beginning of creation, God ‘made them male and female. 7for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, 8and the two shall become one flesh;’ so they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
The fourth principle is that the bond between husband and wife is greater than that between parent and child.
This mystical union between a wife and a husband is one of the most marvelous relationships known to humans. The greatness of the mystery refers to the two becoming one flesh. Next to the spiritual relationship a Christian has with Jesus Himself, the marital bond is no doubt the strongest tie any one person could have with another person, with the love for children a close third. This is one reason the act of sexual intercourse is so sacred. It is the ultimate expression of two companions showing their love to each other. It should not be cheapened! Again, of course, the matter of voluntary submission comes into focus. Christians, who truly follow Paul’s instructions in vs. 21, are people who will enjoy their marital relationship.
The Scriptures reinforce the truth that husbands must love their wives as Christ loves the Church by referring to Gen 2:24. It describes beautifully the leaving, cleaving, and weaving process through which people go as they leave their childhood homes and establish new homes of their own. As we will see in the next verse, Paul is actually first speaking about Christ and the Church, and secondly speaking about the union between husbands and wives. This tells us that our earthly union is predicated on our heavenly union with Christ and not vice versa. The standard and prototype for these instructions about human marriage is the bond between the heavenly Bridegroom and His bride. “He is arguing from the Heavenly Marriage to human marriages, not vice versa; he is seeing the human in the light of the heavenly, and therefore will have the human model itself on the heavenly.” (Chavasse, “The Bride of Christ,” quoted by the Word Biblical Commentary.) The union between Christ and the Church is the prototype for the relationship of believing husbands and wives.
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Gen 2:18, “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
- There are three gifts from Jesus Christ given in the Scripture.
- The first is the right woman; He built her, Prov 18:22; 19:13-14.
- The second is salvation; He did it.
- The third is Bible doctrine; He thought it. Doctrine is the mind of Christ, 1 Cor 2:16.
Historically speaking, the first gift that Jesus Christ ever gave to man was a right woman, Gen 2:18. The fall of man did not change their relationship.
- When man was created, Jesus Christ said, “Not good that man should be alone,” Gen 2:18. Therefore, in grace, Jesus Christ constructed a right woman for the man and brought the woman to the man. The relationship was established from the beginning during innocence and continued after the fall. The fall did not change the relationship. This relationship was designed for maximum human happiness and even an unbeliever with failure and an otherwise miserable life, can find great happiness in this gift from Jesus Christ. So, it is a gift for the unbeliever as well as the believer, Ecc 9:9.
Ecc 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.”
This is a command to all of mankind, the unbeliever and believer. The unbeliever and reversionistic believer can actually enjoy life provided that the rest of this verse is fulfilled, “with the wife whom you love.” That is, he keeps on loving her. The principle is very important. If a man is a total failure and he finds his right woman, he is going to be happier than the man who is a total success and does not find his right woman.
- Right man/right woman related to the Laws of Divine Establishment.
Under these laws, marriage becomes the Second Divine Institution. It is the protection of category #2 love, as per Heb 13:4; 1 Cor 7:9; 1 Tim 5:14; Rom 7:2-3; Gen 2:24-25; Eph 5:22, 25, 28, 31, 33.
Heb 13:4, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
1 Tim 5:14, “Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach.”
Marriage forms the basis for stability in society and rejects the theory of both anarchy, promiscuity, and communal living. Anarchy and promiscuity comes when there is not a recognized system of marriage. Since the right man, right woman relationship was designed for the ultimate in human happiness, marriage is both the protection and the boundary for category #2 love.
Marriage is also protected by the Divine Institution #3, where parents have the responsibility for training their children, Eph 6:1-3, not someone else’s. Likewise, the husband is the authority in the marriage, Eph 5:22. As such, God protects the woman from tyranny, as the man with authority is first a little boy trained and taught by his mother and father. They teach him respect for womanhood by both their teaching and by their life, and this keeps him from becoming a tyrannical animal, Prov 31:1-3, 10-31.
Prov 31:3, “Do not give your strength to women, Or your ways to that which destroys kings.”
Prov 31:10, “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.”
Once the couple is married, it is a matter of honor, integrity, and impersonal love, which must provide the power for the marriage to work. Monogamy is designed to remind the human race that there is only one right man for one right woman and vice versa, 1 Cor 7:2-4.
- There are several analogies in Scripture portrayed by the right man/right woman relationship. Right man/right woman is used to teach many types of doctrine, since it is one of the most common relationships to the human race.
- The Lord and Israel, Jer 2, 3, 13; Ezek 16, 23.
- The Lord and the Church, Eph 5:26-33.
- Christ, the Shepherd and bishop of the believer’s soul, 1 Peter 2:25, cf. 1 Peter 3:1.
- The right woman is the glory of the man, just as the mature believer is the glory of God, 1 Cor 11:7.
- The recognition of right man/right woman.
The first thing both parties need to do to recognize their right man or right woman is…. “Grow in the grace and knowledge of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” 2 Peter 3:18. Yet, the doctrine of right man/right woman is for both believers and unbelievers. So, there has to be a way for all to recognize their right man or right woman. The Song of Solomon gives us 8 ways to identify your right man/right woman. In most of these passages, the Shulamite woman is speaking of her shepherd lover; right man/right woman.
Category 2 love involves one person in your soul whom you never forget and cannot erase. S.S. 1:7, “Tell me, O you whom my SOUL loves.” Someone who merely turns you on physically, but is not in your soul, is not the right man or right woman. The right one will be in your soul. Physical attractiveness is not eliminated, but it is not the key. When a man or woman is very sweet at one time and very rotten at another, yet he is still in your soul; that is the one. Your soul will photograph a person and that person is there forever. The right woman may love or hate her right man, but she will not be able to stop thinking about him. So, your recognition of right man or right woman begins in the soul.
Mentally this person becomes your frame of reference for everything. All memories are related to this person. Over a period of time, your norms and standards change so that this person is the honorable one, while other people are insignificant. In your viewpoint, everything in life is related to that right man or right woman. From your volition, you adjust your life with pleasure to please your right partner. You dress to please them and omit things in life to please them. Your emotion has a fantastic response to them.
Today, sex or body love has been emphasized to the exclusion of soul love. The movies, books, advertising, etc., all glorify sex, completely apart from the soul. Many are asking the question concerning identification of their right man or right woman, because they only hear about the body and sex, and do not even know how to identify soul love. As a result, young people do not know what soul love is, and instead seek out and react to stimulation in indiscriminate sex practices, or free love, coupled with drugs and alcohol. Since there is no soul relationship, they are sublimating with drugs or alcohol to get the sensation their Sin Nature lusts for. Consequently, there is increased fornication on the one hand and homosexuality on the other.
Teenagers should have an empty soul, as far as right man or right woman is concerned. Your capacity for Category 2 love is not yet ready. You should be filling your soul with norms and standards and Divine viewpoint from Bible doctrine, so that you will have the basis upon which to identify the right man or right woman at the right time. Recognition occurs in your soul, not in your physiological being.
Category 2 love demands knowledge of the other person. S.S. 1:2, “May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.” As a person learns about the quality and uses of wine, so a man needs to know something about women, and particularly about one woman, under all conditions. There never was a woman who did not have many sides; and if you are such an idiot that you see only one or two, (e.g., sex and food), then you have missed something really wonderful in life, namely, the whole point of the doctrine of right man and right woman. A lot of people are never going to find their right man or right woman, because they do not know a thing about people.
Young woman, by the same token, need to understand something about men. For example, you need to recognize the “wolf.” This type of man has a fantastic, though misplaced, confidence in himself, based on pride. He believes that women cannot resist him. Women who are dumb about men are always impressed by this pseudo self-confidence. Frequently, when a man makes such a point of self-confidence, it is a veneer to hide insecurity. A man who assumes that he is irresistible to all women is in great danger spiritually, as well as physically and mentally. Excessive love of one’s self destroys the capacity to love in both the male and the female.
When Solomon discovered the Shulamite woman, he wanted her above all else; and in his egoism, he erroneously assumed she would not be able to resist him, S.S. 4. However, he had already destroyed, through promiscuity, any possibility of her being his right woman. Relationship with others, other than the right man or right woman, destroys the whole principle which God has designed. I am sure the “chaser” has never considered that his whole operation is anti-God, because God designed the right man for the right woman. Although Solomon has been regarded as a great lover, he was actually the most frustrated person alive. After so many women, he no longer had the capacity to love. Promiscuity put so much scar tissue on his soul, it knocked him out.
In Chapter 4, Solomon’s aggressiveness was related only to his selfishness and egocentricity and not to his love, vs. 8, “Come with me to Lebanon, my bride (wife)….” Although Solomon wanted the Shulamite woman to be his bride, he did not think to consult her concerning the honeymoon, but thought only in terms of what he wanted to do. Aggressiveness related to true love always considers the desires of the one loved. A man does not have to do a lot of things to be happy under true love; all he needs is for the woman to be happy.
Therefore, the right man or right woman can make identification without touching. The right woman always emphasizes the soul of her right man when they first know each other. She is looking for his precious soul. The right man is the most precious thing to the right woman, but she emphasizes his soul and hunts for that soul. A super-rapport develops where the two people cannot wait to share what has happened while they were apart. They enjoy conversation, and even their silence has super-rapport.
1) Experience does not make a good lover! This is one of the greatest fallacies in Category 2 love. A lot of women are snowed on the idea that they need experience in order to be a good responder. But it is not experience which makes a good lover; it is the RIGHT MAN or the RIGHT WOMAN! Experience is the result, not the means.
2) Many times, a woman will go for a man because she thinks everyone else is going for him! That is a great error. You should only go for a man because he is in your soul.
3) Physical response should come only from soul response; which only comes with knowledge of his soul, and it is impossible in the course of a date or two.
Category 2 love is protective, both when the right man is present and when he is absent.
- When present: S.S. 2:4, “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” The word for “banner” means a “standard of protection.” The right man is not only her Lord, he is her protector at all times.
- When absent: S.S. 1:13, “A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; it (literally) shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.” Myrrh has a very lovely aroma. In the ancient world, a woman wore a bag of myrrh all night, which hung between her breasts. This pictures the sweet fragrance of memories of the right man in her soul when he is absent. She is protected in his absence by this fragrance of memory. The right woman can go anywhere in the world and be protected by the memory of her right man. This is a beautiful picture of doctrine protecting the believer from temptation.
Love must come from volition or free will. S.S. 2:7, “…. stir not up, nor awake my love, till it (love) please.” The word “please” indicates volition. In other words, “let me choose my own lover.” True love always involves the operation of free will. Any man who seeks to destroy or coerce the volition of a woman is the WRONG MAN! The right man recognizes that what is not freely given is not worth having. Some men will never understand what true love is all about, because to them a woman is a “slot machine.” You put a coin in a slot and get sex. There is no volition involved in this kind of activity. Although a woman is a responder, once she is positive toward a man, she becomes aggressive in pleasing him. Response in itself has aggressiveness. This is declared in the woman’s volition.
True love is tone-oriented. S.S. 2:8, 10, “The voice of my beloved… my beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Right man and right woman respond only to each other. A right man, or vice versa, can always tell the mood, the status of the condition of his right woman by the tone of her voice! In this rapport, the right man will be able to tell the mood of his right woman by her voice and action. The right man’s soul will have a good understanding of the right woman’s soul, emotions, moods, etc. You will also know your right woman because she will not react to you. Bitchiness in a woman is an indication of the wrong woman.
The woman’s love responds to the right man when present: S.S. 2:6, “Let his left hand be under my head, and his right hand embrace me.” And when absent: S.S. 3:1, “On my bed night after night I sought him whom my soul loves: I sought him, but did not find him.” We might say in modern colloquialism, “he turns you on.” This is not ordinary libido; any normal, healthy body has that at times. It is referring to something beyond libido. 1 Cor 7:9, describes the real thing by the word “burning,” “But if they do not have self-control, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” Burning, for the woman means, to trigger insatiability to the point of total desire and a total surrender that excludes even her natural pride. It is constant in contrast to libido, which comes and goes. The right man’s aggressiveness and passion will be consistent and these will satisfy her soul, and later on her body.
When unrequited, love can cause a strange illness (comma out) for which there is only one cure; the thought or memory of her lover, and his eventual return. S.S. 2:5, “Sustain me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples: because I am lovesick.” She is love-sick with unrequited love for her absent shepherd lover. “Raisin cakes and apples” are things to keep her alter and awake to her right man while he is absent. The raisin cake was even thought to be an aphrodisiac.
Category 2 love is recognized by the two persons involved. S.S. 6:3, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine…” S.S. 7:10, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” There is no doubt about her lover; she has absolute confidence regarding her right man.
With the right man / right woman, there is a period of waiting, resisting temptation, and a period of doubt before God brings the right woman to the right man. Neither can work to get their right man or woman; it is a grace gift from God. God always brings the right woman to the right man. Grace takes up the slack before you find your right man or right woman. Bible doctrine is your right man or right woman until God leads her to you; and you do not even need to date others while waiting. But when God does bring her to him, you will recognize her through the rapport you have with her in Personal Love. In fact, both parties will recognize this rapport.
When the right man finds his right woman, physical compatibility is not a problem; the difficulty is recognition in the soul. Right man/right woman are not ashamed or disappointed in each other physically. The right woman fits the right man perfectly in sex. The right woman’s body is the most magnificent thing to the right man. You cannot make a woman your right woman by having sex with her or vice versa. The right man sees his right woman as personifying symmetry and beauty.
The right woman is a storm of passion when the right man makes love to her. When the right man makes love to his right woman, he satisfies her soul as well as her body.
- Identification of the right woman, Prov 31:10-31.
The following are principles found in Prov 31:10-31 regarding a worthy woman that provides several principles that a man can utilize in identifying his right woman. These verses are in acrostics fashion, meaning that each verse begins with the consecutive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
This poem is made up of three sections:
- The introduction, vs. 10ff, that announces the theme of the excellent wife, vs. 10, and her effect on her husband, vs. 11-12.
- The central portion, vs. 13-24, that focuses on her life, interrupted by a brief description of her person, vs. 17f, and a further note on her effect on her husband’s reputation, vs. 23, before ending as it began with her industry, vs. 24.
- The poem then ends by focusing on her person, vs. 25ff, and reward, vs. 28-31.
Its chiastic structure is as follows:
- Her value, vs. 10.
- Her effect on her husband, vs. 11-12.
- Her industry, vs. 13-16.
- Her person, vs. 17-18.
- Her industry, vs. 19-22.
- Her effect on her husband, vs. 23.
- Her industry, vs. 24.
- Her person, vs. 25-27.
- Her value and praise, vs. 28-31.
You may ask, “how can a woman do all of this and be all of these things?”
The poet cleverly delays answering this question, not revealing that her life demonstrates her fear of the Lord until the end of the poem, vs. 30. This is a reflection of Prov. 1:7, and is thus a “bookend” of the entire Book, showing what a life lived in the fear of the Lord, a life lived wisely, looks like.
Therefore, in regard to the right man recognizing his right woman, he should see the following qualities in her directed towards him, (and for believers only, with her motivation being the Lord), Eph 6:6.
Eph 6:6, “Not by way of eye service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”
Vs. 10, tells us that your right woman will have certain things for you that she does not have for anyone else. The man must recognize her first and be aggressive to her. The man makes the identification first. Since she is rare, she must be “found,” like rare jewels and wisdom itself, cf. Prov 2:1-4. This implies a careful search, a search that is rewarded by the favor of God, cf. Prov 18:22; 19:14.
In vs. 11, her way of life gains her husband’s trust. As such, the right woman becomes a home to the right man. The heart of the man is at home with the right woman’s soul. The right woman regards the right man as her lord. The right man’s right lobe has confidence in her. This is called love security of the soul. The right woman will not flirt, tease, or think about some other guy. She is totally occupied with him when he is absent.
In vs. 12, the right woman will do good to the right man, show him good, and cause him good, Prov 12:4a. Material prosperity is also in view here.
In vs. 13, the right woman makes decisions to please her right man. The right woman dresses only to please her right man. Her soul is so occupied with him that she is motivated to always appear in clothing he appreciates. She searches diligently to find clothes to impress him. She works with pleasure because it is for her right man.
Vs. 14, says that she goes to extra effort to find things for her right man to please him, like his favorite food. It shows her willingness to search out that which is best for her husband and household. The point is not the distance that she travels, but that she does whatever is necessary to provide for his needs.
Vs. 15, tells us that her mental attitude determines how things go around the house. The right woman places love for her right man above her own comfort and personal wants. Not only is she careful to seek what is best, she disciplines herself to meet the needs at the right time. She is also generous and giving.,
Vs. 16, tells us that she pleases her right man in business, e.g., she is an aggressive business woman either directly or indirectly.
In vs. 17, we see she prepares herself for whatever may be the task. She understands that whatever must be done should be done well, cf. Ecc 9:10. “Strong arms,” means she works hard at whatever she does.
In vs. 18, whatever she does related to her right man is worthwhile to her, which she knows by experience with him. She is stimulated by him and in a state of perfect human happiness. The second half of the verse indicates the self-sacrifice inherent in such a woman.
Vs. 19, indicates she is industrious. She is occupied with those things which bless him. She gives him no cause for concern. She does not play games, (cheat on him), nor is she vindictive and seek revenge against him. Her instincts of love keep her concentrating on her right man. She no longer depends on parties, outside friends, and fun. She does not try to hurt her right man who is so vulnerable to her social or mental unfaithfulness.
Vs. 20, indicates her generosity. It tells us that because her soul is full of grace happiness from her right man, she extends grace to others.
In vs. 21, red dye was expensive; scarlet clothing was a sign that they were well-prepared for harsh weather with the best clothing that could be made. It tells us that the right woman anticipates certain kinds of disaster and heads them off. She prepares for disaster before it arrives and makes provision.
In vs. 22, the right woman makes herself beautiful around the house because her right man is there.
Vs. 23, The right woman makes it possible for the right man to concentrate on work and be away from home without worrying about her. She compliments and implements, but never competes with her right man. She is not a nag. She turns him on, but never puts him down. She seduces him, but never belittles him. If he had the discretion to choose such a wife, he may also have the insight necessary to rule as a judge, cf. Ruth 4:2-11.
In vs. 24, we see the super-abundant blessing that she is to her right man. The right woman supports her right man with fanatical loyalty and love.
Vs. 25, “her clothing,” metaphorically what she wears, the qualities she has in her soul. It says that the right woman is the glory of her right man and wears her glory in her soul, which includes having a sense of humor. She has beauty of soul. She is totally relaxed, giving her the ability to laugh at housework, office work, or whatever she must do.
Vs. 26, when she speaks, the right man is thrilled because wisdom comes out of her mouth. Divine viewpoint and Bible doctrine is the basis of her conversation. She refrains from verbal sins. Her words are words of healing and life, thoughtful and wise.
In vs. 27, she is alert in her soul and not idle. Her activity is not the frenetic rushing of the fool, unable to discern what is most important, and so shifting her energy from object to object. She is faithful and busy because she knows what is most important and, understanding this, focuses her attention and energies to accomplishing it, both for her own sake and for the sakes of her right man.
The last four verses show the response of all who know her.
Vs. 28, says that her sons remember her with happiness, as does her right man, and praise her. Your right woman should have a good reputation first with her family and then with those in society.
Vs. 29, the quotes are for a song of praise. For the right man, only one woman surpasses all others: his right woman. She waits for her right man by taking in Bible doctrine.
Vs. 30, her beauty is not in her physicality, but in her soul. You should not use physical beauty to determine your right woman. Beauty is deceitful. Identification is made in the soul. When you get turned on by some woman’s looks, then you missed your identification. She is not your right woman. Beauty, sex appeal, and a great body is not the basis for recognition of the right woman. Once identification is made in the soul, you will find she has the most beautiful body. The woman occupied with Christ will receive praise from her right man.
Vs. 31, reminds us of Boaz who said that everyone in his town, literally “gates,” knows that Ruth is an “excellent woman,” (the term used in 31:10 and repeated in 31:29a). She was highly esteemed because they had seen her faithfulness toward Naomi, both in coming with her from Moab and in gleaning grain for the two of them, Ruth 3:11. Therefore, the right woman is not praised for her beauty, vs. 30, but is honored and respected for her way of life, her faithfulness, especially directed towards her right man. Therefore, she is blessed inside the marriage.
Proverbs states repeatedly that wisdom must be sought and, when found, obeyed. This life is not one of privilege and rank, but the result of deliberate and repeated decisions to act, speak, and live wisely. Just as the craftsman is honored for his skill Prov 22:29, when a right man and right woman recognize and respond to each other, they will be blessed as a result of their wisdom.
- Attacks against right man/right woman relationships.
The greatest attack on the gift and the Divine law comes in the soul. Therefore, life in the cosmic system is an attack on right man/right woman.
- All mental attitude sins attack right man/right woman, Song of Sol 8:6, 8; Prov 6:34; 27:4.
- Negative volition toward Bible doctrine is an attack on right man/right woman, Jer 12:7-9; 15:8-9, 15-21; 16:1-2; 17:9-11. Negative volition toward doctrine destroys right man/right woman relationship.
- Various stages of reversionism such as blackout of the soul, scar tissue of the soul, emotional revolt, as we noted in Eph 4:17-19, are attackers of this principle. These attacks are accompanied by adultery, fornication, or promiscuity, Prov 5; 6:20-32; 1 Cor 11:3-16; Jer 31:22; Ecc 7:26-29.
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.”
- Various perversions of the doctrine are an attack, including:
1) Autoerotism or masturbation. In this, self-responds to self and that is a perversion.
2) Homosexuality or lesbianism, Lev 18:22; Rom 1:26-27. Homosexuals are not sick, they are sinful. There never has been and there never will be a sin for which there is not a solution, a spiritual solution from the Word of God.
3) Bestiality, sexual response to animals, Lev 18:23.
4) Adultery and fornication. These are a perversion of the Divine institution, Ex 20:14; Prov 5:20; 6:32; 1 Cor 6:9; Heb 13:4.
Heb 13:4, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
On the other hand, no disaster, pressure, or unfaithful act can destroy AGAPE impersonal / unconditional love coupled with personal love between a right man and a right woman.
- The right woman is still today a great gift from the Lord, Prov 18:22, “He who finds a wife, (his right woman), finds a good thing and obtains favor, (she is a blessing), from the LORD.”
The Lord brought the first woman to the first man in grace. Adam, the man, recognized her in his soul. He called her ISHA, part of himself. This explains the burning of 1 Cor 7:9, which is not a wave of libido but the soul climax, where every compartment of the soul’s essence is stimulated by total concentration on the one you love. The word for ‘good’ here means that he has acquired the original gift from God to man. As we noted above, the original gift was the right woman.
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Eph 5:32, “This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”
Paul now mentions the wonderful bond between Christ and the Church, which illustrates the love of a husband for his wife. The creation of the Church from the single man, Christ, (as Eve was produced from Adam), is the foundation of this spiritual marriage.
Paul’s reflection on Gen 2:24, caused him to exclaim, “This is a great mystery.” The fact that husbands and wives become one, just as Christ and His Church are one, was almost too much for Paul to comprehend. Remember, that prior to his conversion, Paul had a zeal for God that led him to persecute the Church. But upon his conversion, he suddenly had the manifestation of Christ in him, and for the first time he was entered into a relationship with Christ. From that point forward, he was able to enjoy that intimate relationship with Christ, as all believers can. That is what led him to understand and now exclaim the greatness of this mystery, “Christ in you!”
Col 1:27, “To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
As we have noted and seen in Gen 2:24, the union between husband and wife is closer than that of parents and children. And yet, the believer’s union with Christ is even closer and, unlike human marriage, will last for all of eternity.
Vs. 32, begins with HO MUSTERION, μυστήριον for, “the mystery, secret, hidden, or unrevealed.” We have noted this word in Eph 1:9; 3:3-4, 9, and will see it again in Eph 6:19. As we have noted, “mystery” has reference to the once-hidden purpose of God, which has now been revealed in Christ. Different aspects of this mystery can be highlighted according to the context of each passage that it is used in. Here, it is the mystery doctrine of Christ and the Church being one.
Therefore, it refers to the doctrine which was unknown in the past but is now revealed in the Church Age. As such, all doctrine pertinent to the Church Age should be well known to the Royal Family, yet it is not known outside the family of God, (i.e. to the unbeliever), and was never known to the Old Testament writers or believers.
MUSTERION is followed by the Demonstrative Pronoun HOUTOS, “this,” referring to the union between one man and one woman mentioned in vs. 31, and the Adjective MEGAS, μέγας for “great,” that means, great in quality, more important, more prominent, and more outstanding. With this is the Gnomic Present, Active, Indicative of EIMI, “is,” for a timeless general fact.
Therefore, Paul is referring to the greatness of the fact that marriage between a man and woman makes them one throughout the history of the human race. This is the backdrop to what comes next, which is what truly excites Paul, “but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”
It begins with the Connective use of the Conjunction DE, “but,” that connects and does not contrast, so we can translate it, “now.” With this is the Personal Pronoun EGO, “I,” as Paul is referencing his own thought pattern here.
Then we have LEGO for “speak, say, tell, etc.,” in the Instantaneous Present, Active, Indicative where Paul is referring us to the great mystery.
That great mystery is noted in the Preposition of Reference, EIS, with the Accusative Noun CHRISTOS, “Christ,” and the Preposition EIS once again, with the Accusative of HO EKKLESIA, for “assembly, congregation, or the Church.”
So, we translated this, “now I am speaking with reference to Christ and the Church,” were we do not have to repeat “with reference to,” regarding the Church, as the first suffices for our understanding in English.
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Principles of the Mystery of the Church, vs. 32.
The establishment of Divine Institution (D.I.) #2 in the Garden of Eden, Gen 2:24, was based on the precedent of the union between Jesus Christ and the Church, (i.e., the body of Christ that is made up of every believer of the Church Age). This precedent was seen and known by God from eternity past, and from His foreknowledge He was able to establish D.I. #2 in the Garden of Eden between one man and one woman to reflect the union that the Christ has with the Church.
The mystery union between Christ and the Church was unknown to mankind, including believers of the Old Testament, until the first Advent of Christ and the establishment of the Church on the Day of Pentecost, followed by the preaching and writing of the mystery doctrine for the Church Age in the New Testament.
In this mystery union, Christ has a love for His Church that is unprecedented. In other words, man by himself cannot express the type of love Christ has for His wife, the Church. Yet, the believer in Christ has the capacity to love his wife as Christ loves His Church, because the believing husband can understand the mystery doctrine of this union and the precedent for that kind of love.
In other words, the love that the Christian husband must have for his wife is a love that cannot be fulfilled by an unbeliever or by a believer who does not know the mechanics of the spiritual life.
Once again, we have reference to the last of the Seven Figures of Christ and the Church, “We are the Bride and He is the Bridegroom,” as noted previously in vs. 22 and 27. As we noted previously, this relationship between Christ and the Church is contrasted to that relationship of God and Israel, and is unique to the Church Age believer under the mystery doctrine for the Church Age.
- The New Testament revelation concerning the mystery of the one body of Christ between bride and groom, is given in expressed terms in Eph 3:1-12. It is based on the sacrificial love of Christ, Eph 5:2, 25-27, that surpasses knowledge, yet, can be comprehended by the positive believer, Eph 3:18-19.
- It is an assurance of the Church’s authority as consort of Christ. In the sense in which other citizens are subjects, the wife of the king is not a subject of the king. As the word consort suggests, she is a co-sharer in his reign. No actual responsibility is allocated to her, but the fact remains that she is governing rather than being governed. This distinction is highly significant when recognized in relation to the King of kings and His Consort, the Church. As the designation King-Priest indicates that Christ will reign, as well as exercise priestly functions, so the title “royal priesthood” applied to the Church, 1 Peter 2:9, means that Church Age believers are co-reigners rather than subjects of the King. This is clearly asserted in Rev 20:4-6, “And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years… but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him a thousand years.”
- It is a revelation of the bride’s position above all created beings.
The Church, as Bride of the Lamb, attains to an exalted position by virtue of Christ’s infinite majesty, which could not be attained by any creature in any other way. Of His elevation, it is said in Eph 1:20-21, “Which he brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.”
The Lord Himself speaks of this sublime elevation when He said in John 14:3, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Also in John 17:24, “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am; so that they may see My glory, which You have given Me.”
The very place to which He refers is especially prepared, as though no existing realm of glory could be worthy of His Bride. Think for a moment on the exaltation of the Son of
God and the incomparable reality of it in relation to time and eternity, to earth and heaven, to men and angels, and that the Church will have been called out and prepared without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. As you do, it will compel the conclusion that the Church’s elevation is like that of her Bridegroom, “far above principalities and powers,” cf. Eph 1:21; 4:10, that is, above the angelic creation.
- It is a surety of infinite glory.
Closely related to the high and holy position the Bride of the Lamb has and will experience is the fact that she will be glorified with Him in His glory. The word “glory” is used upwards of 180 times in the NT, and the majority of its usage refers to the glory of Christ.
- The glory that He had with the Father before the world was, John 17:5.
- The glory which John testifies was manifest in the incarnation, John 1:14.
- The glory of the transfiguration, Mat 17:2; Mark 9:2-3.
- The glory of the resurrection, Rom 6:4; 1 Peter 1:21.
- And, the glory He now has in heaven, Rev 1:13-18.
When all this glory is understood, it is not difficult to understand why He is called the Lord of Glory, 1 Cor 2:8; James 2:1, or what is meant when it is said that when He comes again, it will be with power and great glory, Mark 13:26.
Nevertheless, He who is crowned with glory and honor is “bringing many sons into that glory,” Heb 2:9-10.
Christ’s own petition is that believers may behold His glory, as we noted in John 17:24; and that they will share that glory is asserted by Paul when he wrote in:
Rom 8:17, “If indeed we suffer with Him, in order that we may be also glorified with Him.”
Col 3:4, “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
The believer’s body is to be changed from a body of limitations to a body of glory, 1 Cor 15:43, even like His glorious body, Phil 3:21.
As L. S. Chafer noted in his Systematic Theology, “The Church, the bride of Christ, is an elect company called out from Jews and Gentiles to be forever with Christ in His highest glory.” I also quote his accompanying poem/song.
“The Church’s one Foundation, Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation, By water and the word:
From heaven He came and sought her, To be His holy Bride;
With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died.
Elect from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses, Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued.
Yet she on earth hath union, With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion, With those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we,
Like them the meek and lowly, On high may dwell with Thee.”
Conclusion; The meaning of this figure, “Bridegroom and bride.”
The symbolism of the Bridegroom and the Bride as bearing on Christ in His relation to the Church speaks of:
- His everlasting and knowledge-surpassing love.
- The unity between Himself and the Church.
- The authority and position to be accorded to the Church in ages to come.
Major features of truth are typified in the bride relationship which could be set forth in no other way. Much of God’s Divine blessing is determined for Israel, all of which is anticipated in her covenants and prophecies; but no covenant or prophecy brings that nation into heavenly citizenship or into marriage union with Christ.
Therefore, Christian believers have the greatest responsibility in marriage that has ever existed in the history of the human race. Never in history did God command a husband and wife to love and forgive as Christ loves and forgives. No one could do it until Christ came and the filling of the Spirit was given.
That is why Christian marriage is a part of the witness for the Prosecution in the appeal trial of Satan and the fallen angels, inside the Angelic Conflict. The fact that Christian marriage is being watched by angels is taught in the following passages.
1 Cor 4:9, “For, I think that God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, (theater to the universe), both to angels as well as mankind.”
Eph 3:10-11, “So that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1 Tim 5:21, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus and His elect angels, to maintain these doctrinal principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.”
1 Peter 1:12, “It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things into which angels long to look.”
Luke 15:10, “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Christian marriage is a part of the witness for the Prosecution in Satan’s appeal trial. Successful Christian marriage answers Satan’s contention that he won the case when mankind fell in the Garden. Part of the corporate testimony against Satan and the fallen angels in the Church Age is the Christian institution of marriage.
Therefore, the three Divine laws of Christian marriage, (wives obey and respect your husbands, husbands love your wives, and the mutual responsibility of both the husband and the wife in vs. 33), demand the highest and greatest system of honor, integrity, and virtue ever assigned to the Divine Institution of marriage, 1 Peter 3:1-9. This unusual system of Divine mandates is the monopoly of Christian marriage during the Church Age.
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Eph 5:33, “Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”
We begin the final verse of our chapter and the conclusion of the discourse on Divine Institution #2; marriage between a right man and a right woman. This verse gives us a brief summation and reminder of the main principles of this discourse.
It begins with “nevertheless,” which is the adversative Particle Adverb PLEN, πλήν that can mean, “however, except, only, unless, but, etc.” It marks a contrast to what has been mentioned and draws one’s attention to what is essential. In general, PLEN adds a thought to what has been previously stated. Paul has been discussing the mystery doctrine of Christ and the Church as one, with the backdrop of marriage between the right man and right woman, and now Paul gets back to the backdrop of the marriage relationship between one man and one woman.
Next, we have a Greek idiom, “each individual among you,” which is made up of HUMEIS, “you;” HO, “the;” KATA, “according to;” HIES, “one or someone;” HEKASTOS, “each or every.” It is referring to husbands, as Paul is addressing each and every husband individually with this phrase, as opposed to the plural address previously. In other words, he is getting up close and personal, or as we could say, “he is getting in their face,” as a drill Sergeant would do to a Private to make sure he understands the command being given.
This phrase is joined with the Conjunction KAI, “and, even, or also,” to complete the thought of contrasting (PLEN) and comparing (KAI) at the same time.
Then we have the phrase, “is to love his own wife,” made up of the Article HO, “the,” the Personal Pronoun HEAUTO, “his or his own,” GUNE, “wife,” the Adverb HOUTOS, “in this manner, in this way, so, just as, etc.,” and the Verb AGAPAO in the Present, Active, Imperative that means, impersonal and unconditional “love.” Literally it reads, “The his wife in this manner love.”
So, we have the command for the husband to love his wife; his right woman. The Customary Present tense is what he should be habitually doing. The Active voice, the husband performs the action of loving his wife, and the Imperative mood is a command from God for husbands to impersonally and unconditionally self-sacrificially love their wives, just as commanded in vs. 25, and reiterated in vs. 28.
Then we have the repetition of the way in which he is to love her from vs. 28, “even as himself,” HOS HEAUTOU. This also reminds us of, “the two becoming one flesh,” of vs. 31. Therefore, husbands are to keep on loving their own wives as their very own self, vs. 25, 28, 29.
Then in the second half of this verse, we have the command for the wife, “and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” It is made up from the Greek connective Conjunction DE, “but, now, moreover, etc.,” the Article HO, “the,” the Nominative Singular of GUNE, “wife,” the Conjunction HINA, “that,” the Present, Middle Deponent, Subjunctive of PHOBEO, “fear, reverence, respect, etc.,” the Article HO, “the,” and the Accusative Singular of ANER, “husband.”
PHOBEO is a rare type of Subjunctive mood in this HINA clause, because it has the force of a command like the Imperative mood. It also indicates volitional responsibility based on positive volition and application of Bible Doctrine resident within the soul. Therefore, it parallels the command given to husbands.
The Verb PHOBEO used here for the wives’ mandate is a different word than what was used in vs. 22, which was HUPOTASSO, “to subject to, put in submission to, to be or make subject, or to submit oneself.” In vs. 22, she is commanded to submit to the authority of her husband. In vs. 33, she is command to respect the authority of her husband.
In addition, in vs. 33, we have the Verb form of the Noun given in vs. 21, in the opening general precept for all believers, PHOBOS that also means, “fear, reverence, or respect.” In vs. 21, it is a general command for all believers to be subject to one another out of respect and reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ. All believers are “to be subject to, (HUPOTASSO), one another.” So, we see that the wife is to be “subject to” her husband, with “reverence and respect” for the authority God has given the husband over the wife.
In vs. 22, “wives are to be subject to, (HUPOTASSO), their husbands, as to the Lord.”
In vs. 24, “wives are to be subject to, (HUPOTASSO), their husbands, in everything.”
In vs. 33, “wives are to respect, (PHOBEO), their husbands.”
In vs. 21, PHOBOS is the motivation.
In vs. 33, PHOBEO is commanded.
Therefore, 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.
As the Rev. Handley C. G. Moule puts it, “She is called to an allegiance to her partner which is nothing if not free, with the freedom of regenerate reason. She is asked to recognize spiritual facts and to assent to them as a spiritual being, fully in Christ.” (Ephesian Studies: Expository Readings on the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Ephesians.)
The analogy is, Christ loves the Church self-sacrificially, and the Church’s love for Christ is expressed in submission and obedience. The same goes for the husband as he loves his wife self-sacrificially, and the wife’s love for the husband is expressed through her submission and obedience to his Divinely decreed authority in the marriage, vs. 23. Note that this time husbands come first and then the wives.
Therefore, the entire passage concludes by again reminding us of the total emphasis throughout that husbands should love their wives and wives should obey and respect their husbands. As such, the husband and the wife in the home are to set forth in simplicity the mystery of the coming glory.
“In conclusion, the first part of the household code has been concerned with the responsibility of wives and husbands. Wives are to submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ, and the husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Much more space is devoted to the husbands’ responsibility than to the wives’. Marriage is the union of two individuals into one flesh (Gen 2:24), which should produce a loving harmonious relationship. Believers’ marital harmony is not to be dependent on their own ingenuity but rather should be motivated by obedience to God and by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. The successful development of this relationship requires Spirit-filled partners who are truly concerned for each other and who have a real desire to see God work in their lives. The primary goal of marriage is not to please oneself but to see God’s purposes work in and through each partner individually and corporately. Noteworthy is the fact that the illustration of the union of Christ and His church is used only for husband and wife. This indicates that their relationship holds a uniqueness not shared by the relationships discussed next, which follow in Chapter 6.” (Harold W. Hoehner, Cornerstone Biblical Commentary.)
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- The first Divine rule for marriage is the responsibility of the woman, Eph 5:22, 24, 33.
Col 3:18, “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”
- The Second Divine rule for marriage is the responsibility of the man.
Col 3:19, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.”
- The Third Divine rule in marriage is the mutual responsibility of both the husband and the wife.
This mutual responsibility has to be consistent by both parties. The man is commanded to have virtue love. The woman is commanded to respond to a man of virtue. Now watch this closely, the ultimate in marriage is for the husband to so fulfill the 1st Divine law, so that the woman responds with respect under the 2nd Divine law.
The Three Divine Laws of Love in Marriage.
- The first Divine rule for marriage is the responsibility of the woman in Eph 5:22, 24, 33, to be subject to and respect her husband through submissive authority orientation. Authority Orientation is one of the 11 Problem Solving Devices.
- Rebound, the Confession of sins, 1 John 1:9.
- Filling of the Holy Spirit
- Doctrinal Orientation
- Faith Rest Drill
- Grace Orientation
- Authority Orientation
- Personal Sense of Destiny
- Personal Love for God the Father
- Impersonal Unconditional Love for Mankind
- Sharing the Perfect Happiness of God
- Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ
Col 3:18, “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”
For the wife to be subject to her husband, she must respect the authority vested in him by God. There is no higher form of love than respect. Everyone in life must have respect for something, which gives them capacity for life. We could not have authority without humility. The inner beauty of the woman comes from her humility to be subject to her husband’s authority. The capacity for life is humility. The ultimate capacity for life is respect.
In order for the right woman to submit to and respect her husband, there is great transformation in her self-consciousness, the mentality of her soul, her volition, and emotions as follows.
In her self-consciousness: When she becomes aware of someone else in the human race more than herself, she changes in her soul. These changes are quite radical in the self-consciousness. Before a woman finally falls in love, every woman is extremely vain. Mirrors were made for girls before they fall in love! This is really an expression of her self-consciousness. Yet, a woman undergoes a phenomenal change when she truly falls in love. She switches her self-consciousness from herself to her right man and becomes occupied with him, (this is part of becoming one with him). Her awareness of her right man excludes all others from that intimacy for which she was designed to have with her right man. Her instincts change to please him in every way. It is quite a transition for any woman to make.
In her mentality: This means her right man is in the norms and standards of her conscience, he is in her frame of reference, all of her memory now relates to him, she instinctively anticipates his desires and policies and fulfills them. Sex is never a pressure but a desire.
In her volition: When she says yes to the right man, she surrenders her volition to him. Her submission is both soulish and physical. She uses her volition to make thousands of decisions which please him, and which stimulate him, bless him, encourage him, resulting in the woman becoming his reflected glory.
In her emotion: Appreciation of the right man in the heart or right lobe leads to emotional appreciation of the right man. Up to now, before she has fallen in love, she likes certain types of music, certain types of activities. Now she has someone with whom she can share the things that she enjoys because her emotion is now linked to his in category #2 love. No man should be such a fool as to squelch a woman’s enthusiasm, which is to start to chip away at her love, at her response.
- The Second Divine rule for marriage is the responsibility of the man.
Eph 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself as a substitute for her.”
God does not assign the role of leadership in marriage without also assigning extra responsibility. The extra responsibility of the husband’s leadership is the application of the tandem Problem-Solving Devices within his soul; Personal Love for God and Impersonal / Unconditional Love for his wife.
The authority of the man must be exercised through leadership, not tyranny or dictatorship. The leadership of the Christian man is based on personal love for his wife in application of personal love for God the Father and impersonal love for all mankind. The unbelieving husband finds his ability to fulfill the principle from the Laws of Divine establishment.
Our Lord Jesus Christ used impersonal love for all mankind as the device to handle the problem of bearing our sins and being judged for them. Husbands are to use the same Problem-Solving Devices.
Col 3:19, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.”
Most of the failures in marriage are a result of mental attitude sins here classified as “bitterness.” Bitterness is a combination of arrogance and emotion. Bitterness in marriage results in the rapid decline from spiritual adulthood to loser believer. When the man is bitter against the woman he married, it destroys any possibility of a successful marriage.
Bitterness is a motivation. It is called bitter jealousy in James 3:14, because jealousy and bitterness are two sides of the same coin. Jealousy comes first and results in bitterness. Bitterness is refusal to take the responsibility that the jealousy came from your volition.
Bitterness also leads to reaction and the first result of reaction is denial, the second result is projection. Therefore, bitterness is a projection which comes from jealousy. You cannot entertain jealousy without flipping the other side of the coin to bitterness that also consolidates denial and projection.
Bitterness also leads to malice, which is the sin nature lust to get even, to seek revenge, to inflict misery, suffering, and injury on someone else in marriage. Therefore, bitterness in marriage means that your personal love is not operating on the integrity principles of the Problem-Solving Devices of Personal love for God and Impersonal Love for your wife.
No one can have jealousy and bitterness and at the same time capacity for true love. Personal love for your wife inside the integrity principles is authority functioning under the leadership of love.
Eph 4:31-32, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Becoming kind toward one another is the function of the husband loving his wife as Christ also loved the Church, and wives respecting their husbands. The capacity for impersonal love for all mankind produces true compassion, which is not emotion. It is a compassion that has a wonderful attitude. Precedence for forgiving each other was set at the Cross.
Therefore, every man who is a Christian gentleman should become aware of the trends of the sin nature of his wife. For some of them he will be patient, with others he will be intolerant, and with others he will assert his authority. But he must understand her areas of weakness, her areas of strength, the pattern of her lust, her trends. He must know when her trend is toward asceticism, when it is toward lasciviousness, or something else. No man is worth his salt if he does not learn to know the soul of a woman as he knows his own soul.
- The Third Divine rule in marriage is the mutual responsibility of both the husband and the wife.
Eph 5:33, “However, you also (husbands), each one of you individually, let him so love his wife as himself; and the wife see to it that she respects her husband.”
This mutual responsibility has to be consistent by both parties. The man is commanded to have virtue love. The woman is commanded to respect her husband’s authority.
The woman is the responder; therefore, the potential is there for respect to her husband. But if the husband fails to love his wife as Christ loved the Church, then the woman may react negatively towards him rather than respect him. The reaction of the woman can be as vicious as her response is fantastic. Nevertheless, regardless of the sins of your spouse, husbands and wives are to love and respect the Divinely decreed position their spouse has been given, and honor it unto God.
The third Divine law has a positive and negative side. The negative side of the law is to remove all mental attitude and verbal sins. The positive side of the law is application of Bible doctrine through the Problem-Solving Devices.
For believers, a successful marriage demands that each spouse deploy the tandem Problem-Solving Devices to live in marriage inside the integrity principles. A person is no better in marriage than he is as a person. A loser in the spiritual life is a loser in marriage. A winner in the spiritual life is a winner in marriage.
Marriage is not finding the right person, marriage is being the right person. As in all aspects of the way of life of the believer in time, there is no substitute for integrity in all personal human relationships, especially marriage, and in all phases of the spiritual life. Therefore, it is very important to utilize the tandem Problem-Solving Devices. Personal love for God is the man’s motivation for personal love for the woman and the woman’s motivation for her response of respect. Impersonal love for all mankind is love capacity for each spouse to fulfill the commands of Eph 5:25, 33.
The ultimate in marriage is for the husband to so fulfill the first Divine law so that the woman responds with respect through the second Divine law. Under those conditions, every problem in marriage has a solution.
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- All three Divine rules in marriage are the basis for the husband’s function as a leader and ruler over the wife in marriage.
Eph 5:22, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
Eph 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself up for her, (i.e., delivered Himself over as a substitute for her).”
Eph 5:33, “Nevertheless, each individual (husband) among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”
In all three mandates, the husband must exercise his authority over the wife through the function of personal love inside the integrity of the PSD’s, Personal Love for God the Father and Impersonal / Unconditional Love for his wife.
Yet, most men as husbands become more interested in peace in the home than they do in assuming the responsibility and the authority of the home as leaders under Divine Institution #2. Peace at any price is the battle cry of the average husband. When this attitude is prevalent, it results in the husband being enslaved, which is the reverse of what Eph 5:22ff commands him to do.
- In spite of what is said in Eph 5, many husbands are slaves to their wives because they are willing to pay any price for peace, which means they surrender to the wife’s policies, wishes, desires, whims, bad judgements, and/or her bad disposition.
- When the wife sees this type of behavior in her husband, she often times manipulates the situation with the result that she controls him. This control means she enslaves him.
- The control of the enslaved male is maintained by the behavior pattern of the woman with such things as nagging, tantrums, sulking, pouting, spreading a pall of gloom over the household, etc.; things that destroy the peace and tranquility of the home. Let us face the facts; some women do enslave men in the framework of marriage, and such a woman is never happy and obviously her husband-slave is miserable too. That is why God ordained marriage to have authority vested in the man.
- Most men by nature are much more complex than the woman. For example, the man is highly sensitive to the above-mentioned types of behaviors in his wife. In addition, authority increases the sensitivity of his soul. As such, he finds it distressing, irritating, and incompatible with tranquility and peace in the household, when the wife maintains those negative behaviors. As a result, he capitulates to those behaviors, with the result of destroying his own authority and the wife’s authority orientation. When a woman enslaves a man, she does more than enslave him, she destroys him.
- Therefore, the average male feels that his only defense against a nagging and tantrum making woman who makes life miserable for him, is capitulation. Marriage then becomes a series of manipulation with the strings being pulled by the woman.
- The wife controls the husband by her behavior pattern under these conditions. She enslaves him by nagging, by embarrassing him, by making his life miserable; and soon she sets up a policy which includes constant surveillance, curfews, interrogations for unexplained absences, examination of his check book, searching his drawers and anywhere else where he keeps anything, to see if she can get any clues as to what he has done.
- Other means of enslaving the male is to ration sex or ration kindness, unless the male complies with whatever policy the woman has set up.
- In other words, she has now become the authority inside the marriage and is running the man, which makes him a slave. And slaves have no privacy, nor any authority!
- When the enslaving woman is backed into a corner and proved wrong, she immediately has a number of excuses by which she rationalizes her dictatorship, as if somehow this was an excuse for becoming a monster and a dictator. For example: she is either pre, mid, or post-menstrual; she is pre-or mid-menopausal, where she is suffering from some psychosis as a result of the menopause, namely involuntary melancholia; she is under pressure from the kids or other things in her life that went wrong today; etc. Operation “Patsy” leads her to rationalize away her enslavement of the husband.
- Because of the nature of the man as the Divinely-appointed authority in marriage, and as the aggressor, his enslavement is far more tragic, and in our society, more frequent than the enslavement of the woman.
- In a matriarchal society, people love dogs rather than human beings! No one bemoans the fate of a house cat, but how pathetic to see the king of the beasts, the lion, ensnared in a trap. That is the principle here.
- A right woman should never enslave her right man, even in the most adverse conditions of reversionism. A right woman may start it, but she is to grow up and adjust, so as to support his leadership position through subjection and respect of his authority, while leaving any issues in the hands of the Lord. A mature right woman will never enslave her husband.
- A right woman may test her right man’s authority by trying to “pull a fast one” on him from time to time, but the mature right man knows exactly what to do and exactly how to handle it.
- The right man is never afraid of his right woman, but sometimes even the bravest of brave are intimidated by the enslaving woman. It is a compliment, ladies, if a man is not afraid of you.
- Life is a system of authority. Humility recognizes authority; arrogance rejects it. Happiness does not exist where authority is rejected. Arrogance always considers any form of authority demeaning. Arrogance is a loser in life, because arrogance always rejects authority.
- Arrogance destroys morality because arrogance does not recognize authority, and all morality is based on authority. As such, virtue is destroyed by the rejection of authority. Yet, true humility turns morality into virtue, so that virtue-morality carries the husband and wife, even in the marriage of two unbelievers. Under the grace policy of God, humility benefits from authority, and virtue-morality avoids moral degeneracy. In the case of the Christian marriage, there is no substitute for the virtue produced by the inculcation of Bible doctrine under the filling of the Holy Spirit.
- Above all things in marriage, the husband must be a spiritual leader. As a spiritual leader, the husband executes the Divine commands of Eph 5:29 and Col 3:19. This is because the husband’s motivation is based on the virtue and motivation of Personal Love for God and Impersonal love for his wife.
- Authority orientation demands that both husband and wife conform to God’s rules and policies in marriage. There must be no contradiction between the role of the husband and the role of the wife in marriage. To avoid contradiction, both must be avid students of the Word of God. They must be consistent in their perception, metabolization, and application (PMA) of Bible doctrine. Spiritual growth in the Plan of God results in success in marriage. Success means that each partner fulfills the mandates of the Word of God with regard to that relationship.
- The authority of Christ over the Church is used to establish the authority of the husband over the wife in marriage. This relationship, like all others, demands the existence of Authority Orientation.
- The woman, in surrendering her volition to a man in marriage, is relinquishing her authority over her own life and placing it in the hands of her husband. As such, she must have humility, under Authority Orientation, inside the marriage to fulfill God’s mandate for her to “be subject to” and “respect” her husband’s Divinely instituted authority over her.
- Likewise, the husband must have Authority Orientation under AGAPE love from motivational virtue in his soul from both Personal Love for God the Father, and Impersonal / Unconditional love for his wife.
- If both parties in the marriage do not have Authority Orientation from virtue AGAPE love in their souls, it will inevitably lead to enslavement; either the nagging suspicious wife enslaving her husband through manipulation for capitulation, or the tyrannical husband enslaving his wife through demanding dictatorship. Either way, that marriage is a slave factory and one of them is going to be a slave.
- No one should ever enter into marriage lightly, erroneously, under the influence of alcohol, or anything else that takes away from the solemnity of the decision and the ceremony.
- In order for the marriage to be blessed and happy, both the husband and wife should be consistently PMAing (perception, metabolization, and application) Bible doctrine to their lives, especially their marriage, to honor and appreciate God’s Divine Institution #2 (Marriage).
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We began Chapter 5 on January 1, 2017. I taught almost 90 hours on this chapter, and I have over 200 pages of notes on Chapter 5.
Outline of the Chapter
In Chapter 4, we noted the first two main principles of our walk:
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.
In Chapter 5, we had two more main principles:
C.) The Believer’s Walk in Love; The conclusion of God’s pattern and principles for members of the Church from Chapter 4, and His standards for faithfulness in the Church, Eph 5:1-17.
1.) The Pattern for Our Walk, Walking in Love as God’s Dear Child, Eph 5:1-7.
2.) The Proof and Reason for Our Walk, Walking in Light, Eph 5:8-14.
3.) The Power and Provision for Our Walk, Walking in Wisdom, Eph 5:15-17.
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.
b.) Parents and Children, Eph 6:1-4.
3.) As to One’s Profession, Employers and Employees, Eph 6:5-9.
Vs. 1-20 are one of the most beautiful descriptions of the Christian way of life that can be found in the Bible. So, these passages give us the imperative of the super-grace Life.
In addition, Ryrie notes that Chapter 5 continues a discourse on “The Practice of Believers,” that begins in Eph 4:1 and runs through to Eph 6:9.
1.) In Relation to Evil, Eph 5:1-17. If we are the children of God, and we are, then we ought to imitate God our Father.
a.) God is love, 1 John 4:8; therefore, “walk in love,” Eph 5:1-2.
b.) God is light, 1 John 1:5; therefore, “walk as children of light,” Eph 5:3-14.
c.) God is truth, 1 John 5:6; therefore, “walk in wisdom,” Eph 5:15-17.
This is a part of the exhortation to “walk in purity.”
2.) In Relation to the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:18-21.
3.) In Relation to Home Life, Eph 5:22-6:4.
4.) In Relation to Slaves and Masters, Eph 6:1-9.
Unger breaks this chapter down based on our spiritual walk in Christ as follows:
1.) The walk as a child in God’s family, Eph 5:1-33.
2.) The walk of children and servants, Eph 6:1-9.
Major Doctrines and Topics we noted in Chapter 5
Principles of Imitating God, vs. 1.
Principles of Walking in Love, vs. 2.
Principles of Immorality, vs. 5.
Doctrine of Idolatry, vs. 5.
Doctrine of Darkness, vs. 8.
Doctrine of Light, vs. 8.
Principles on the Goodness of God, vs. 9.
Doctrine of Divine Good Production, vs. 9.
Doctrine of the Wise Man and Wisdom, vs. 15.
Doctrine of a Day at a Time, vs. 16.
Doctrine of Divine Guidance, Knowing the Will of God for Your Life, vs. 17.
Doctrine of Yieldedness, vs. 17.
Doctrine of Drinking and Alcoholism, vs. 18.
Principles of the Recovery Process for Alcohol Abuse, vs. 18.
Principles of Faith and the faith-rest life, vs. 18.
Doctrine of God the Holy Spirit, vs. 18.
Doctrine of the Filling of the Holy Spirit, vs. 18.
Doctrine of the Confession of Sin; The Proof for Rebounding, vs. 18.
Doctrine of Singing Praise to God, vs. 19.
Principles of Praise Thanksgiving, vs. 20.
Doctrine of Fear of the Lord, vs 21.
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.
Doctrine of Category #2 Love, vs. 25.
Six blessings/benefits our Lord won for us His bride at the Cross, vs 26-27.
2.) Cleansing, (purification).
3.) Glorification, (exaltation).
4.) No spot or wrinkle, (sinless).
5.) Holy, (perfect / righteous / set apart / consecrated).
6.) Blameless, (justification, innocent).
Doctrine of Cleansing the Leper, Lev 14, vs. 26.
Doctrine of the Manifestation/Glorification of the Bride, vs. 27.
Principles of the Husband’s Love for his Wife, vs. 28.
Principles of the Husband’s Authority over the Wife, vs. 28.
Doctrine of Right Man, Right Woman in Marriage, vs. 31.
Principles of the Mystery of the Church, vs. 32.
Principles of the Three Divine Laws of Love in Marriage, vs. 33.
Principles of “Wives, do not Enslave your Husbands,” vs. 33.