4 min 10 mths

Lesson 10: Husbands and Wives: Together at the Cross  |
Memory Text: Ephesians 5:25–27Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.  |
10.1 Counsel to Christian Wives

Paul emphasizes in Ephesians 5:21 initially the mutual submission of believers to one another in the fear of Christ, pointing to the significant relationship with Christ. In Ephesians 5:22, he specifically urges Christian wives to submit to their husbands, but this doesn’t imply that the husband takes on the role of Christ; rather, Paul emphasizes Christ as the ultimate center of submission for believers, including wives, by drawing the parallel to the believers’ submission to Christ.
10.2 The Church as the Bride of Christ, Part 1
In Ephesians 5:25–27, 29, Paul utilizes aspects of ancient wedding customs when portraying the metaphor of the church as the bride of Christ. He emphasizes Christ as the divine bridegroom who loves the church as a bride, offering Himself as a bride price, cleansing and sanctifying her, and promising her preparation and adornment. These elements reflect ancient traditions of bridal preparation, metaphorically applied to the church by Christ.
10.3 The Church as the Bride of Christ, Part 2
In 2 Corinthians 11:1–4, Paul employs the element of the giving away, which was part of the ancient wedding ceremony. He highlights that the giving away of the bride typically occurred by the father or the witnesses, never by the groom. Paul uses this element to point to the impending giving away of the bride, the church, by Christ at His return. This image of a festive procession and the giving away of the bride is used to describe the future union of Christ with His church as a grand wedding ceremony.
10.4 Love Your Wife as You Do Yourself
According to Ephesians 5:28–30, Paul encourages husbands to show tender love to their wives, pointing to the command of self-love and self-care. He argues that no one hates their own flesh and harms themselves, but rather nourishes and cares for it. Based on this premise, he urges husbands to love their wives just as they love themselves, following the example of Christ’s caring love for the church.
10.5 The “One Flesh” Model of Marriage
Paul refers in Ephesians 5:31 to the creation account (Genesis 2:24), describing the establishment of marriage, emphasizing that before the statement about becoming “one flesh” between man and woman in the Garden of Eden, Adam was tasked with naming animals and ultimately didn’t find a suitable partner. The unity of man and woman as “one flesh” is the climax of this story, which Paul sees as essential for Christian marriage and the relationship between Christ and the church.

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