The Berean Expositor Volume 53 - Page 45 of 215 Index | Zoom |
The remainder of the section, Eph. 5: 1 - 6: 9, is taken up with three types of
(1) Wives and Husbands
(2) Children and Parents
(3) Servants and Masters
In Eph. 5: 21, after having reminded the Ephesians of the need to give thanks to God
for all things in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (verse 20), Paul tells them to submit
themselves to each other in the fear of God. This humility must be worked out in every
The relationship between husband and wife should reflect the relationship between
Christ and His church. As Christ is the Head of the church, so the husband is the head of
the wife; and for this reason Paul says that wives should submit themselves to their own
husbands. But he turns to the husbands and tells them to love their wives even as Christ
loved the church and gave Himself for it. When Christ gave Himself for the church, we
remember how He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of
the Cross. How many husbands love their wives with so great a love that they are willing
to sacrifice themselves, even as Christ gave Himself for the church? If a husband so
loved his wife, would it be a great hardship for her to submit to such a husband? When
there is so great a loving relationship, the wife, while submitting to her husband, is able
to talk about all things and to exert a good influence in making suggestions, even though
the final decision is in the function of the husband.
Those who knew Charles Welch, say 30 years ago, will remember that he had a sense
of humour, and would make his point in a way that would make us smile. When
explaining the relationship between husband and wife he insisted that the husband is the
head, but he recognized how helpful a wife can be to her husband. So he concluded, the
husband is the head, but would it be unreasonable to suggest that the wife is the neck?
After all, it is the neck that turns the head!
Children should obey their parents in the Lord. This again brings out the principle of
submission. Paul quotes the commandment "to honour thy father and mother", and adds
that it is the first commandment with a promise (of long life). Fathers must be patient
and should bring up the children in the instruction and training of the Lord.
Servants should obey their masters (submission again), and their service should be
rendered as to the Lord. They should be conscious of doing the will of the Lord and
doing it with the whole heart. Finally, masters should behave themselves, not threatening
their servants, remembering that they have a Master in heaven.
So, in all things we must seek to do which is acceptable to the Lord. It reminds us of
Micah who said that we should "walk humbly with thy God" (Micah 6: 8).