Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ephesians 5:15-33

15-16 There are two ways that you can live your life -- wisely or foolishly. It’s that simple. And in these evil days it is especially important that you choose right. Take advantage of every single opportunity to exercise wisdom. 17 Don’t be an ignoramus but grow in your understanding of the Lord’s agenda. 18 Don’t fill-up on booze -- that leads to out-of-control living and ultimately a wasted life. Instead, fill-up on the Holy Spirit. 19 When you do that you’ll be living worship-filled and honor-filled lives. For example, together you’ll be making music to the Lord -- singing songs from the heart -- hymns -- praise choruses. You’ll even be singing the ancient psalms from the Bible. 20 In a way that honors the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, your mouths will continually gush forth unlimited gratitude aimed at God the Father. 21 Furthermore, your respect for Christ will spill over to define your relationships with each other. You’ll be yielding to the needs and preferences of others -- not because you’re a wimpy push-over but because you respect the presence of Christ in them.

22 An example of this yielding can be seen in the way that husbands and wives treat each other. Wives prioritize the needs of their husbands -- just as they would do for the Lord. 23 For in a certain sense, the husband leads his wife in the same way that Christ leads the church. He sacrifices to save the body. 24 In that spirit, wives yield to their husbands just as the church yields to Christ.

25 Husbands, you also illustrate the offering of Christ when you love your wives and sacrificially yield to them. 26-27 Christ sacrificed in order to make the church stand out. His message is an industrial-strength soap with incredible whitening powers -- powers that he used to wash her up so that the church radiates with pure holy dazzle. 28-31 Likewise, that’s how husbands should be treating their wives -- with the same kind of love and sacrifice. Love her with the same energy you put into loving yourself. For when you love her you ARE loving yourself. That’s the nature of being one. Remember that saying in Genesis 2:24? A man leaves behind the tight connection he has with his parents in order to form an even tighter connection with his wife. And the two become one.

So when you feed and nurture your wife you are feeding and nurturing yourself. This illustrates the way that Christ loves the church -- which is his body -- and of which we are a part.

32-33 Thus you can see the paramounce of marriage, because it illustrates the relationship between Christ and his church. That makes it all the more important for you husbands to love your wives and for you wives to respect your husbands.