Here is one of Paul’s most controversial passages – but it shouldn’t
be! Paul is combining relationship rules with a statement Christ’s
relationship with the church (”but I am talking about Christ and his
church”), which in the New Testament is often referred to as “The
Bride of Christ.” The whole passage needs to be understood in light of
the verse which introduces it – “Submit to one another out of
reverence for Christ” – and the last verse – “each one of you also
must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the
Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head
of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the
church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their
husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave
himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing
with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a
radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but
holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their
wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29
After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care
for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members
of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and
mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the
church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he
loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Father, your greatest command was to love You and love each other.
You’ve given marriage as a holy relationship that reflects our
relationship with You. Show us how to follow your example and set
aside our selfishness and pride and humbly serve each other. Help us
to be of one spirit and of one mind and value each other above
ourselves, looking out for each other’s interests. In the midst of our
busy lives, help us take time to love each other deeply from the
heart, as you have loved us. May the love we have for each other be an
example to the world of how You love them and gave Your life for them.