Monday, 24 October 2016
For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Ephesians 5:23
This verse now explains the words of the previous verse, which said –
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
Wives are to submit to their husbands because “the husband is the head of the wife.” This thought is in line with the words of 1 Corinthians 11:3. There Paul said, “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”
There is a divine order in how God has structured humanity, and how He has ordained the family unit. When this structure is violated, it upturns what is right and appropriate. And there, in turn, comes a breakdown in the family. If this is the common practice of a culture or society, that society will also break down. A clear and evident proof of this is found in the breaking down of America as the nuclear family is likewise being broken down. Culturally, we are casting off what God has ordained and society is feeling the negative effects of this.
Paul explains this hierarchy further with the words, “as also Christ is the head of the church.” Christ has direct and rightful control over the church. He is its Founder and Leader. All that occurs within His church is ordained by Him. Likewise, the man is to be the head of the wife. It is he who is given direction of family matters, and control of the household belongs to him.
As a note of comparison, Paul then finishes his thought with, “…and He is the Savior of the Body.” In these words, various scholars find disagreement in how they are to be translated. Some make them out as a contrast by changing “and” to “but.” In other words, The man is the head of the household just as Christ is the head of the church, but Christ is the Savior of the body (meaning there is a distinction being made between the two heads).
Others see an analogy in this. Just as Christ is the Savior of the body in a spiritual sense, the husband is to be the savior of the household. He is to lead in religious matters, he is to be the protector of the family, and he must be willing to die for them if necessary. If not he, then who is their defender? This view seems more appropriate, and it is actually fortified in verse 25.
Life application: It is the duty of the man of the house to lead the house. He is ordained by God with a right, a dignity, and with authority to serve in this manner. Men are the seat of reason. On the contrary, women are more led by emotion. God has determined that the man’s makeup is that which is preferred for leadership.
Lord God, Your word provides us with instruction on the proper order and headship of the family unit. You have ordained that the man is to lead the house, just as Christ is the Head of the church. When we deviate from this pattern, family life breaks down. When this pattern continues to grow, the society will inevitably degrade into chaos. It is quite clear that this is the pattern of our world today. Help us to turn back to the model which You have ordained for right family living. You are God, and You do not make mistakes. May we learn this important lesson before our society is destroyed. Amen.