Week 6, Monday, Ephesians 5:21-33

Monday, May 25, 2020 – Ephesians 5:21-33

Submitting to One Another

By Pastor Paul Georgulis
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” – Ephesians 5:21-33 (New International Version)

Some take this passage to mean that husbands are to control their wives and that the husbands are more important, and therefore have all of the authority in the relationship. What’s interesting, however, is that Paul devotes twice as many words to telling husbands to love their wives as he does to telling wives to submit to their husbands. What Paul is talking about in this passage is a unified submission out of love – one to another as husband and wife.

The Apostle Paul seems to have felt that any relationship would be abusive if a self-centered person were in it to seek control. Any relationship – no matter how outwardly authoritarian – benefits both persons if each views Jesus as Lord and has the other person’s best interest in mind.

While these verses focus on the dynamics of a marriage relationship, I also believe they can be for every follower of Jesus. Verse 21 tells us to, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” This describes the general attitude that Christians should have toward one another, and it all points back to how we are to love God and love people (Mark 12:30-31).

In Mark 10:45, we are told that “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” As both men and women who are called to model the same heart and character as Jesus, we should always look to how we are to mutually serve one another. Paul’s main point is that relationships in a marriage and in Christian community should be modeled by Jesus’ relationship to His Church.

Are you submitting to one another out of reverence for Jesus? Are you submitting to one another to love and serve them?


Lord, help us to submit to, care for, and love one another as you have loved your church. Strengthen our marriages and our relationships so that there can be great blessing among your people. As you have come to serve, help us to see the importance of serving one another. Let love, grace, and kindness be the founding principles of all our relationships.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

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