EMHE #3 – A Godly Marriage

Extreme Makeover Home EditionA Godly Marriage

Ephesians 5:22-33

Message #3


– Last Sunday night we took a look at the 3rd message in the series Extreme Makeover Home Edition: “The Origin of Marriage”. In this passage we saw that God Himself created marriage and He has a design for the marital relationship. For marriage to work it must be done in His way.

– This morning we are going to look at the 4th message in the series Extreme Makeover Home Edition: “A Godly Marriage”. We are going to see how a husband and wife are to come together and have a marriage that works and is honoring to Him. The following quote is about this passage from a N.T. expert, D.A. Carson.

** “A number of commentators have argued that the ethics of the tables were socially revolutionary, and find evidence for this in the request for reciprocal mutual submission (21), which is taken by them to mean husbands are to submit to wives, parents to children, and masters to slaves, as well as the reverse. If anything, however, the tables were socially conservative, patriarchal, and, given to confirm that Christians were not to undermine the more wide-spread understanding of social order (see Lincoln). The Colossians table (written perhaps only days before Ephesians) demands exactly the same types of outward submission and obedience that could be found almost anywhere in the ancient world. V 21 should not be taken to override this, but as a call to mutual submission within each hierarchical level, and of children to parents and slaves; slaves to masters (and their wives?), and wives to husbands. Had Paul really meant a totally reciprocal submission (which would be entirely unexpected in the ancient world) he would have needed to clarify that by saying at least once, and explicitly, that e.g. parents should submit to children.To affirm that these tables were more socially conformist than revolutionary would be misleading, however; within the hierarchical social order they uphold they were radical and profoundly liberating. The slave, the child and the wife are specifically addressed (unusual in the ancient world): they are given their own calling to live before the Lord which is as responsible, honourable and important as the calling to live as master, parent and husband. The latter may be different roles, carrying greater social authority and responsibilities, but they are not better roles.” D.A. Carson[The Role of Wives in a Godly Marriage] (22-24, 33b)

1) Willing Submission to God

The pagan view. In Paul’s time, pagans saw women as inferior beings, playthings for the dominant male. To be “head of the house” was to accept the common notion that authority was the male’s rightful providence. Children and wives were only responsible to obey. The wife was not equal to her husband as a person, or in any other way. His needs and concerns dominated the household, and the wife existed to fulfill those needs and to serve him. Lawrence Richards

– For a woman to be able to properly submit to her husband’s spiritual authority in the marriage relationship, she must already be submitted to God’s control in her life and submitted to obey His commands. A woman will never be able to properly submit to her husband’s spiritual authority/leadership if she does not receive God’s help to be able to do so.

2) Willing Submission to your Husband (cf. 1 Cor 11:2-3)

– This means the wife will willingly follow her husband’s leadership in Christ; this act of submission by the wife to the husband as the spiritual leader in the relationship is to be done in the same way that the church is called to submit to God. “It means that she recognizes that her husband is the head of the home and responds to him accordingly without usurping his authority to herself.” BKC – Harold Hoehner

– Submission by a wife to her husband’s spiritual authority/leadership does not mean that she becomes a “doormat”, it means that she willingly submits to her husband’s spiritual leadership because she is submitted to God. Jesus gave not just wives but all Christians the example of submission, He submitted to His Father’s will by going to the cross. Though in reality Jesus and the Father are equal, Jesus willingly submitted His own will to that of His Father (John 14:9; 17:22; 1 Cor. 11:3; Phil. 2:6–8). Husbands and Wives are equal in God’s eyes, but each has a different role.

3) Respectful to your Husband

– Wives are to respect their husbands because husbands are the spiritual head/leader of the family, because God created man first (the woman being created to be a helper suitable for him), and because God created man with that need for respect – knowing that his wife respects and trusts him is huge for a guy!

The Christian view. The Christian view is quite different. Women are seen as persons of equal worth and value. In the structure of society, men are given the role of head of the house, a role affirmed by God in this passage. But their headship is modeled on the way Christ loved the church, not on human systems of authority. This headship focuses attention on the way a “superior” is called to serve the “subordinate”! Specifically, Ephesians 5:27 portrays Christ as giving Himself up for the church “to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” In pursuit of this ministry, Christ nourishes and cares for the church. In the same way, husbands are to nurture their wives, seeking always to help the wife grow as a person and as a Christian.What a contrast with the pagan view! Suddenly things are reversed. The wife is transformed from an unimportant adjunct, who exists only to meet her husband’s needs, to a person of intrinsic worth and value, becoming the focus of her husband’s concern. Instead of demanding that she live for him, he begins to live for her! Rather than keeping her under, he seeks to lift her up. Christian headship lifts the wife up as the rightful object of a husband’s loving concern. In this context, the husband serves by being a Christlike head; the wife serves in responsive submission to one who lifts her up and holds her beside him. Lawrence Richards

[The Role of Husbands in a Godly Marriage] (25-33a)

1) Willing Submission to God

– A man must be submitted to God to be able to be the spiritual leader that God desires for him to be. A man will never be able to be the godly spiritual leader that he needs to be without being completely submitted to God. If a man is totally submitted to God then it will be God who is leading the family and marriage, not the man

– A man will never be able to love his wife in the way that he should without being completely submitted to God; a man’s wife will not find it as difficult to submit to a husband who is completely submitted to God

“The Christian husband and wife should pray together and spend time in the Word, so that they might know God’s will for their individual lives and for their home. Most of the marital conflicts I have dealt with as a pastor have stemmed from failure of the husband and or wife to submit to Christ, spend time in His Word, and seek to do His will each day. This explains why a Christian should marry a Christian and not become “unequally yoked together” with an unbeliever (2 Cor. 6:14–18). If the Christian is submitted to Christ, he will not try to establish a home that disobeys the Word of God. Such a home invites civil war from the beginning. But something else is important. The Christian couple must be careful to submit to Christ’s lordship even before they are married. Unless the couple prays together and sincerely seeks God’s will in His Word, their marriage begins on a weak foundation.” Warren Wiersbe 2) Loving your Wife Self-Sacrificially

– A man should love his wife because she was created for him (a helper suitable for him), because she is physically weaker (in most cases), and because God created her with that need for love – knowing that she is safe, accepted/loved, and protected is huge for a woman!

– A man should be willing to sacrifice everything for his wife; he should make her well-being of primary importance; he should care for her as he cares for his own body

– This passage talks about a man loving his wife like Christ loved the church; Christ served the church by dying; a man should be willing to love his wife in such a way that dying for her would not be out of the question, this is an attitude of self-sacrificial love; a wife will not find it nearly as difficult to submit to a man who is loving her self-sacrificially. “Husbands are to have a Christ-like passion to bring their wives into deeper purity and holiness before God.” Tyndale Commentary

3) Caring for your Wife like you Care for yourself

– A husband should care for his wife as he would care for his own body

– Christ loved the church in a way that cost Him greatly, He was concerned for the well-being of the church before He was concerned for Himself

4) Being One with your Wife

– Genesis 2 is referenced here in this passage, it is a reminder of God’s intention for marriage – it is to be a relationship characterized by a unified couple (one flesh) living for God together

Martin Luther deeply valued family life. Before his marriage, he sometimes spoke of matrimony as a necessity for the flesh. Afterward, he saw it as an opportunity for the spirit. And he often quoted the saying, “Let the wife make her husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” Separation only increased Martin and Katherine’s appreciation of a healthy home.Most ministry families have a love/hate relationship with sermon preparation. They realize how essential — and how demanding — it is. And they often find themselves playing a part, intentionally or otherwise, in a sermon’s development, as Susie Spurgeon, wife of the prominent London pulpiteer, discovered late one night. Charles Spurgeon would finish preparing his sermons on Saturday night. One evening things

did not go well. He mulled over a text for hours. He had consulted commentaries, prayed, jotted down ideas that didn’t go anywhere, and now was becoming frustrated. “I was as much distressed as he was,” said Susie, “but I could not help him.… At least, I thought I could not.”

Finally, Susie urged him to go to bed. She would wake him at dawn. He would be able to think

more clearly then. But during the night, Susie heard him talking in his sleep. She listened. It wasn’t gibberish. “Soon I realized that he was going over the subject … and was giving a clear and distinct exposition of its meaning with much force and freshness.… If I could but seize and remember the salient points, he would have no difficulty in developing and enlarging upon them.”

She lay in bed, “repeating over and over again the chief points,” and fell asleep about the time

she was supposed to waken Charles. When he awoke and noticed the time, he was irritated. “You promised to waken me very early. See the time! Why did you let me sleep? I don’t know what I’m going to do this morning.”

Then Susie told him what had happened during the night and repeated to him the main points

he had made in his sleep.

“You mean I preached that in my sleep?” He could hardly believe it. “That is just what I

wanted. That’s the true explanation of the text.” From the explanation Susie furnished, Charles went into the pulpit and preached a powerful sermon.

Little wonder, then, that when missionary David Living-stone once asked Spurgeon, “How do

you manage to do two men’s work in a single day?” without a pause, Charles responded, “You have forgotten that there are two of us, and the one you see the least of often does the most work” — a response that could be echoed a great number of pastors’ homes today.


– A marriage that is healthy and honoring to God is characterized first and foremost by: submission to God. A marriage will be very unstable and unhealthy is both husband and wife are not submitted to God, if a wife is not willing to submit to her husband as the church submits to Jesus, and if a husband is not willing to love his wife as Christ loved the church. We can only do this with God’s help. But remember submission to God is the first step.

– Come back tonight for Message #4 in the series “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” as we explore “A Husband’s Relationship to his Wife”


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