Sunday, September 30, 2012

Husbands and Wives, Part 1

THIS IS A WARNING!  What follows is an exposition of God's Word from the original languages.  It is not sensitive to your culture, your personal views or feelings, your sense of modernity, nor your own views on "how things should be".

Sometimes, I think we need to be reminded of the immutability of God's Word.  We cannot change it, neither literally nor through fanciful rhetoric and appeasing interpretations.  One should never attempt to bend the Word of God to accommodate one's feelings or beliefs; rather, one should allow the Word of God to change them and their beliefs.

This passage in Ephesians, which I will address over the coming weeks, is one that has been soft-pedaled in many circles.  Too often in American society, this passage is used to hammer the men, and the women are accommodated.  In other cultures, the passage is used to exalt men, and hammer the women.  The reality is this:  this passage hammers men, women, Christians.  Whatever I share about women, men should not get too excited, because we are next.  Whatever I share from this Word about men, women, do not celebrate and neglect your admonitions.  There is not a condition attached to the roles, "If he/she does...., then she/he..."

The fundamental premises are two-fold, coming from Genesis 2:18 ("I will make for him a helper who is like him"), and Galatians 3:28 ("There is no Jew nor Greek; there is no bondman nor freeman; there is no male and female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus")

Paul is inspired by the Holy Spirit to address the issues of husbands and wives in the context of the Christian faith because there were clear problems which needed addressing.  The issues have not changed.  We have not evolved.  We will never evolve, because even as Christians, we must deal with our sin nature on a daily basis in every relationship we have.  Now, with these things in mind, I will introduce the Scripture so you and I can absorb it, reflect on it, and prepare for the expositions to follow in the coming weeks.

Ephesians 5:21-30

 21 submitting yourselves to each other in the fear of Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. 23 Because a husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church, and himself the savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to the Christ, so also the wives to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your own wives even as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it, 26 so that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it with the washing of water by the word, 27 so that he might present it to himself, the glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and unblemished. 28 So ought the husbands to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as also Christ the church, 30 because we are parts of his body, of his flesh and of his bones. 31 Separate from this a man will leave his father and mother behind, and will be bonded with his wife, and the two will be in one flesh. 32 This mystery is great, but I speak for Christ and for the church. 33 Nevertheless ye also, each one in particular, shall so love his own wife as himself, and the wife that she fear her husband.

21 υποτασσομενοι αλληλοις εν φοβω χριστου 22 αι γυναικες τοις ιδιοις ανδρασιν ως τω κυριω 23 οτι ανηρ εστιν κεφαλη της γυναικος ως και ο χριστος κεφαλη της εκκλησιας αυτος σωτηρ του σωματος 24 αλλα ως η εκκλησια υποτασσεται τω χριστω ουτως και αι γυναικες τοις ανδρασιν εν παντι 25 οι ανδρες αγαπατε τας γυναικας καθως και ο χριστος ηγαπησεν την εκκλησιαν και εαυτον παρεδωκεν υπερ αυτης 26 ινα αυτην αγιαση καθαρισας τω λουτρω του υδατος εν ρηματι 27 ινα παραστηση αυτος εαυτω ενδοξον την εκκλησιαν μη εχουσαν σπιλον η ρυτιδα η τι των τοιουτων αλλ ινα η αγια και αμωμος 28 ουτως οφειλουσιν [και] οι ανδρες αγαπαν τας εαυτων γυναικας ως τα εαυτων σωματα ο αγαπων την εαυτου γυναικα εαυτον αγαπα 29 ουδεις γαρ ποτε την εαυτου σαρκα εμισησεν αλλα εκτρεφει και θαλπει αυτην καθως και ο χριστος την εκκλησιαν 30 οτι μελη εσμεν του σωματος αυτου 31 αντι τουτου καταλειψει ανθρωπος [τον] πατερα και [την] μητερα και προσκολληθησεται προς την γυναικα αυτου και εσονται οι δυο εις σαρκα μιαν 32 το μυστηριον τουτο μεγα εστιν εγω δε λεγω εις χριστον και [εις] εις την εκκλησιαν 33 πλην και υμεις οι καθ ενα εκαστος την εαυτου γυναικα ουτως αγαπατω ως εαυτον η δε γυνη ινα φοβηται τον ανδρα

Grace, mercy, and peace of our Lord be unto you,