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Many questions arise in connection with this subject. Should the wife obey her husband? What should be the attitude toward an unbelieving partner in marriage? These and many related questions arise from time to time as people seek to find some set of rules by which to live the Christian life.
In the first place, we do not have detailed laws today as did the Jews. We have to find for ourselves the good works which were before ordained that we should walk in them. The secret of success in the Christian life is to make ourselves available to and for Christ so that He can work thru us.
Nowhere does it say that the wife should obey the husband. She is to voluntarily submit. God has said so. We must take it that this is the best course to follow. Who are we to question God? But God also has a purpose for everything He says and does. We need to be on the watch for what may be the reason.
There is a mystery spoken of in Ephesians 5:32. Some, who are not careful in their reading, read into this that the church which is the body of Christ is the bride of Christ. The Word nowhere mentions a bride of Christ. The unity expressed by the husband and wife being one flesh manifests the unity of Christ and His church. This is the theme in this passage.
Since the church is today manifesting the manifold wisdom of God to principalities and powers in the heavenlies (Ephesians 3:10), how well this perfect relationship of husband and wife sets that wisdom forth. It is indeed a mystery that husband and wife are one flesh, no longer two.
Not only is the wife to submit, but the husband is to love. This gives a practical exposition of the unity of the one body of Christ.
In this relationship where the wife is never told to obey, children and servants are to obey. But the parents have a responsibility toward the children, and the master should be careful with the servant. He also has a Master! To the world, and also to the unseen powers, the Christian home can be a manifestation of the one body and show that it does touch the earth in its walk.
These truths also give new motive and zest to the family relationships. All the members of the family can feel that their duties and relationships reach right up into heavenly places where their citizenship is. Let the husband remember that his love, even though it be to an unsubmissive wife, shows forth the love of Christ for His church. And the wife, by being submissive, even to an unloving husband, can be a model of the church which is the body of Christ.
The obedience of the children, even as the Lord was subject to His parents (until 30 years old!), can add to this harmony and witness. And parents can also show forth the love of the Father in heaven by loving and bringing up the children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Servants are to do service as unto the Lord, making for greater harmony. And the master should be careful with the servant, not mistreating or withholding wages.
Truly the home can be a great witness to truth. Let us all remember that we are members of one another.
About the author:
Paul Griffitts is a writer for The Good News Letter available to you from http://www.believer.com where you can get a free ebook just by visiting. Believer.com is a Bible study site with over 200 articles and Bible studies available for free.