Daily Devotionals

The Relationship Playbook: Week 4 - Wednesday

For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22

The healthiest marriages consist of husbands and wives looking out for each other's needs constantly. In these marriages, both husbands and wives understand that they are one team. When their spouse is doing well, their marriage will be stronger. Even for those who are single, Christians are called to live lives of submission, looking out for the needs of others rather than their own. While this sounds noble and honorable on paper, this lifestyle is not natural. One must make an intentional decision to live this way. Today, we are going to talk about what it looks like in marriage to live this way. Specifically, we are going to look at a call found in Ephesians 5:22 for wives to submit to their husbands. While it is a call for wives to live out in this verse, I think we are going to see that it is a call for all of us to live a lifestyle of service to God, whether we are married or single.

Continuing his talk about marriage in Ephesians 5, Paul writes, "wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord." Paul is instructing wives to live their lives in such a way that they look out for their husband's needs and interests. It means to be on their team and to push for their success. Men and single people, remember that yesterday in our study we saw that all believers are to submit to each other and constantly seek the betterment of each other. After all, as followers of Jesus, we are all seeking the same goal: to know Christ and to make Christ known. When we submit to one another and seek each other's well-being, Christ's love is made apparent to those watching.

When you consider your life, are you living for yourself, or are you seeking out the betterment of those around you, especially your spouse if you are married? If we are followers of Jesus, our lives are not our own. They belong to God. When we submit to each other and fight for each other, the body of Christ is stronger, and those around us see the impact Christ can make in a person's life.

Moving Toward Action

Will you commit today to live a lifestyle that seeks out the needs of others rather than yourself? What is one way today that you can lay down your rights for the betterment of someone else? If you are married, specifically answer this question in relation to your spouse. Commit to doing this one thing today.

Going Deeper

Read Ephesians 5:21-33 (NLT)

And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.

As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.