Home > Uncategorized > Husbands, wives and Ephesians 5: First thoughts

Husbands, wives and Ephesians 5: First thoughts

I’ve been reading Ephesians 5 as I’m undergoing some changes in my life that will probably include the ending of a marriage. During this time, I have been reading from the Scriptures what it means to be a godly husband and father.

Paul gives great advice in Ephesians 5 about marriage. It is a must-read (as is all of the Bible, even First Chronicles) for anybody either wants to get married or who wonders why their marriage didn’t work.

Even in Christian circles, I suspect many do not really understand what marriage is all about. Perhaps this joke might illustrate that:

After their wedding reception, a newlywed couple settled into their room for their wedding night. The husband, who was considerably larger than his wife, then asked his wife to put on a pair of his pants. 
 
“Your pants will never fit me!” she laughed.
 
“That’s right,” the husband said. “I wear the pants in this family. I am the boss and I make the rules. Don’t you ever forget that.”
 
The bride thought a moment, went to her suitcase, took out a pair of her panties and told her husband to put them on. 
  
“Are you crazy?” he scoffed. “There’s no way I can get into those.”
  
She nodded. “That’s right. And that’s how it’s going to stay until your attitude changes.”
 
I suppose for some Christians who prefer to whisper about s-e-x, that joke might be considered tasteless. But not only is it funny, there is a lot of Biblical truth in it.

A pastor told me recently that one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible is when Paul tells wives to submit to their husbands. This is not an unconditional command: a wife should not submit to her husband if one of her children are put at risk. She should also not submit to him if he is telling her to do something her intuition tells her is wrong. Frankly, a Christian husband not living for the Lord should not be taken seriously when he tells his wife not to go to church.

The context of this verse is when wives are in a loving relationship where their husbands are loving them (in emotions, actions, feelings and decision making) the way Jesus Christ loved the church. In other words: a husband who by his conduct, actions, words, etc., shows his wife every day that he loves her more than his own life and that she is his queen will have a wife who will gladly reciprocate that love. But even then, this is not a license for a husband to run over his wife. He is to take her concerns, ideas into very strong consideration.

Men and women are wired very differently, and I’ve heard many say that when a woman is made to feel loved, honored, respected and secure in a relationship, it will make her feel more willing to be intimate with her husband. Many men are far more likely to be in the mood for intimacy when they see their wives smile and wear little or nothing at all. So, the above joke isn’t really that far off. When a husband makes his wife feel like a second-class citizen, he should not be surprised when she loses that sense of disconnect with him. The same is true for men also; they need to feel appreciated far more than what they care to admit.

I have also learned one thing husbands should do is listen when their wives talk to them. Be calm. Do not get defensive. Really, really, really listen. This is one reason why I have grown to loathe shows like Dinosaurs, Home Improvement, According to Jim or Everybody Loves Raymond. In these shows, men are the non-thinking idiots who must be constantly be bailed out of every mess they get into. It has been said that women are far more intuitive than men, and if a woman has something to say to her husband, he should listen and be very open to heed. It may take a beating to his pride, but I know in my own marriage when my wife told me of concerns she had, it was rare that her concern was unfounded.

Richard Zowie is a writer who, though a Christian for 29 years, still has a lot to learn about God, the Bible, the world and life. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.
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