We’ve been discussing Ephesians 5:22-33, in which the Apostle Paul outlines God’s plan for a successful marriage and describes the proper roles of husbands and wives.
The ideal husband loves his wife sacrificially, as Christ loves the Church.
The ideal wife honors, respects, and submits to her husband “as the Church submits to Christ.”
When a husband and wife take on these biblical roles, they find that their marriage becomes not only more godly, but healthier and more fulfilling.
One reason for this is because biblical roles help husbands and wives provide for each other. We can’t provide for our own needs completely. If we could, why would we need marriage? Our spouses provide for those needs we cannot meet ourselves. As our spouses fulfill their biblical roles, more of our needs are met.
Consider the husband. A man’s foremost marital need is the need for honor. When a woman honors a man and submits to him with a joyful attitude, she meets his deepest marital need.
A woman’s deepest need is the need for security—which is why God’s plan for a husband is for the man to give himself sacrificially. A husband’s role is to nourish and cherish his wife. By doing so, he is providing her with a leader who will provide for her and protect her.That protection also ties into another benefit. Many women are uncomfortable with the idea of submission according to God’s plan, because they don’t want to be abused by a dominating, selfish man who will take advantage of them.
But what if the husband to whom a wife submitted was a sacrificial servant who loved her and met her needs with sensitivity and humility? Wouldn’t that be a different story?
In the same way, many men fear humbling themselves before their wives because, well, they don’t want to be washing dishes and ironing clothes for the rest of their lives.
But what if the woman being served also treated the husband like a king? What if she reciprocated his giving attitude, and met his needs eagerly and with great honor? Most men wouldn’t worry about feeling vulnerable around a woman like that.
When men and women fulfill their God-given roles, each spouse is both provided for and protected.
But you must approach these roles in tandem. It’s difficult to give sacrificially to an overbearing and critical spouse. It’s difficult to submit to a domineering and selfish husband. The longer you refuse to do it God’s way, the more you are encouraging your spouse to do the same. When you do your part, it makes it safe for your spouse to do his or her part.
Who will be the first to put a stop to the vicious cycle of unmet needs and take on their biblical role in your marriage? When you do, God will reward you.