We’re nearing the end of our study of Ephesians and we are ending chapter 5 with a few verses on 5:22, Ephesians.
Actually we should read verse 21 because even though there’s a division here, as we well know, the Bible was not written originally, these letters were not written originally in verses and chapters. This was a convenience that was provided centuries later for the benefit of God’s people when they met collectively to be able to refer to the same things and know what they were referring to, breaking up the whole mass of scripture into organized segments. But really, most people would agree that verse 21, even though it is often left as part of the previous portion, and it is definitely also a part of the previous portion, but it also belongs to the following portion. And it says in verse 21:
“…. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ…”
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. That is the governing principle of what precedes and also what follows, because what precedes is speaking about this relationship of God’s people, how we should conduct ourselves, actually in the light of the congregation as we live as a community, right now for example, and as we grow older over the years, you know, all kinds of relationships will develop and all kinds of activities and things will happen and family will emerge, and we will have to learn how to manage the life of that family.
And so the Apostle is speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs and so on and so forth and always giving thanks to the Lord, God, the Father, for everything. And then, as part of that whole instruction giving of how the family of God should conduct themselves, it says:
“…. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ…” It’s a wonderful principle, but then he proceeds to develop that concept more specifically and he provides 3 examples from life, from areas of life. One area is the family, and another area is parents and their children. So one is husbands and wives; another is slaves and their masters and also one dealing with the parents parenting, parents and their children.
So these are examples of how we should submit to one another and that’s really an important concept because you can really loose that very easily when you get into the very politicized topic of how men and women should relate to each other and the bond of marriage. It’s a hot topic. It’s a very controversial topic and I put a lot of covering for myself this evening before I came over, as I dared to speak upon this subject, so that I don’t offend anyone or I don’t step on any sensibilities, but I don’t think so. I think we are people of the word and we will work through this hopefully with a lot of grace.
But, how does that principle apply of mutual submission to the relationship of a husband and a wife? And Paul says here:
“… Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord 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. Now, as the church submits to Christ so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything….”
So, you know, here the verb ‘submitting’ is very obvious and the connection with the previous statement, submit to one another, is pretty obvious and unquestionable. I mean, it’s clear. But then, I think, the problem lies that in the next phase when he speaks to husbands, he doesn’t use the verb submit, but remember that the thought is there. Because if you look at those three examples that he uses, he speaks to one group and then he speaks to another group.
He speaks to one group that is in authority whether it’s parents, masters, or husbands in the traditional society. You know, these 3 categories were in authority, but he also speaks to the ones who are under authority and he uses the same methodology to each.
Those who are under authority, he says, submit to them; and those who are in authority, he says, treat them in a certain way. And in each case it is a counter intuitive way. It is a way that was not expected in the world that the Apostle Paul moved in and preached in. I mean, this calling is totally counter cultural, which shows the intentionality of scripture regarding how these two groups should relate to each other.
So, clearly in the mind of the Holy Spirit there is a methodology here. Those who are in authority are supposed to behave a certain way and those who are under authority are supposed to behave also in a certain way. And it’s all part of a single system. That’s the thing. This is a system, it’s like clock work. If one thing breaks down, the whole thing breaks down. And I think that’s one of the big problems, one of the delicate things of these systems that the Holy Spirit is bringing out before us.
So, that, again, if we remember submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, and we see clearly from the way that he is developing this thought in those 3 different categories, we see clearly that there is this idea of submitting to one another: the person who’s in authority submits to the person who is under authority and viceversa. So the principle is there and we’ll see how it works.
But, in the case of men and husbands, you know, it’s not as clear that this idea of submitting is applicable. The word is not used, it’s not saying, now, husbands, also submit to your wives. And I think that the reason, think about that, the reason why the Apostle Paul would not say, ‘husbands, submit to your wives’, I think it’s partially because God was being very diplomatic in the culture that this statement was being made, where men had absolute power and women had absolutely no power.
And you know, that’s one of the things that really moves me about God, that God would take pains to consider the sensibility of the cultures that he speaks to, and that he would somehow take his all powerful spirit and limit it in the way he speaks to cultures, the way he speaks to people and ethnic groups and stages of humankind’s developments. That’s amazing to me. How he has been sort of portioning out his revelation over the centuries as humankind became more mature and as his relationship with humankind became more complex, God would speak more openly about certain things, but according to the culture, you know, God gave his servants wisdom to speak in a certain way.
And you know, God negotiates many times with cultures, because he’s so respectful of our freedom. He treats us like adult children. He doesn’t impose himself on us although he could, and I think that explains other things here. It explains, for example, by the way, this whole thing of why Christianity didn’t immediately, as soon as Christianity emerged, on the scene why the Apostles didn’t write immediately against slavery and say, ‘hey, slavery is evil and therefore wipe it out completely and destroy it. It is an abomination before God and so on and so forth’. Because I think what God did was he set up sticks of dynamite all over the slavery system through other expressions of Christianity and other values that were structured into the Christian value system. So that anybody that really incorporated the values of Jesus Christ and the love of Christ and the words of Christ, as treating others as you would treat yourself and so on and so forth, and serving those who are weaker and on and on, and on, you know, God put all these sticks of dynamite into the slavery system, so that any culture that really embraced Christianity, there time bombs would just explode and destroy slavery in a very systemic, thorough sort of way. The problem has been that men have refused to incorporate, out of stupidity, out of ambition and materialism and love of money, they refused to incorporate what the word very clearly really implicated, but that’s another matter. Let me go back now to that, we’ll talk about that later on.
So, I think that partially the reason why the Apostle Paul doesn’t say, ‘men, submit to your wives, husbands, submit to your wives’, it’s because I think the Apostle Paul wanted to be gentle. He wanted to say things in a different way, but in an even more revolutionary sort of way.
Because I think that if he would have said, ‘men, submit to your wives’, it would have been merely a kind of a legalistic kind of thing and it would have been very difficult for this culture to sort of embrace and absorb that right away. But when he says to men, ‘love your wives’, and then he spends….
You know, I’ve always thought, this is interesting, that he spends about four lines about how women should relate to their husbands, and then about 25 on how men should relate to their wives. Evidently the men needed a lot more instruction, and what God wanted to say needed a lot more of development and nuansing. So he took a lot more time to speak to the men and to set the principles that he wanted the men to govern themselves by.
And really, in a way, I would say, it is a lot easier to submit, I think in terms of ultimately clarity and so on, than to love the way Christ loves. I mean, that’s a tall order. That’s a very, very difficult thing to do. That’s a very ambitious schedule, if you think about it, and we’re going to hopefully develop a little bit more about that.
So, I think he was being covertly a lot more systemic and encompassing and ambitious towards men and how they should behave and telling them ‘love your women, love your wives as Christ loved the church’.
But this idea of men in that century, or men in any century given male nature of loving your wife the Christ loved the church is so counter intuitive that it is the equivalent of submitting, because men have to submit their pride, men have to submit their natural roughness, men have to submit their natural tendency to control and dominate, and they have to take all those carnal impulses and submit them in order to be able to love their wives the way God expects them to.
So, it is a submission in a sense. And also, I think, anybody who has been married for a period of time in the natural day to day negotiating, you know, who’s going to take out the garbage, who’s going to write the checks at the end of the month, what color is the car that we’re going to buy, in a real good relationship of husband and wife, there’s going to be so much negotiating and so much time for one to submit to the other.
Or in a genuine relationship of friendship and the way that God sees the marriage relationship, I mean, it’s submitting every day, all kinds of opportunities to submit to one another. So, you know, what I’m trying to stand out here is the fact that yes, God expects in a good, solid, healthy marriage relationship, for there to be mutual submitting to one another, mutual considering of the needs and the prerogatives of one another.
So, he says, “…. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it just as Christ does the church, for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church, however each one of you must also love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. And of course he says, wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord 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. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
So, you see this thing, one of the things that many commentators will immediately observe about this passage, is what I just said earlier: how totally revolutionary this treatment of women that is implicated here, and this relationship between men and women was, for the first century, whether it was Greece, Rome or in Judaism, in Israel.
The Jews, you’ve heard many times, one of the prayers every day, they said, God, thank you for not making me a slave, a gentile or a woman. That was part of their prayers every day, a Jew would say this. Women had absolutely no rights, they had no legal entities in a way, they became the property and the projection and extension of their husbands. Husbands had every right and women had none. A husband could divorce his wife, practically for any reason. Apparently there were two interpretations in so many religions, one was very strict and said, no, I mean, a husband should not divorce his wife.
It’s interesting that, I believe that when you read a lot of Christ’s statements about divorce, you see that one of the predominant concerns in Christ’s mind, read them as I have, was protecting women from the fact that you know a man, as long as he wrote a letter of divorce, signed by his rabbi, and gave it to her before two witnesses, that was it. You didn’t even have to go to the judge, or you didn’t have to make it a legal, public thing, just two witnesses and he could legally divorce his wife, send her away. The only thing he had to do is give her back her dowry, but that was the only thing. Men could let go of a woman, many years just by saying that.
In Arab cultures it’s even simpler. From what I understand, I hope I’m not exaggerating here, but I’ve heard it many times, a man simply has to say to a woman, I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you, thee times and it’s done. How’s that for, how easy it can be. You don’t even have to sign any papers.
And really that is the nature when you go through most cultures throughout the world, you see how little value women had or have and here you have the Apostle Paul and the word of God, the Apostle Peter speaks very in similar terms. It was a totally different relationship that was being established by scripture. It is calling for the man and the woman to complement each other, to treat each other with decency and consideration and all kinds of other things that were really revolutionary for the time.
In Greek culture it was the same thing. Women could be divorced easily and man had absolute power over the woman. The woman had no equality of any sort and she was not an entity in any big sense of the word.
In Roman culture apparently, it was more egalitarian and here the whole thing was a simple divorce, the institution of marriage was almost sham, like it is today here in many modern countries and men and women divorced each other, left and right, and it was just a big party. And the Apostle Paul comes in with this idea of the sacredness of marriage and comparing it to the relationship between Christ and his church, the unity that the absolute bond, mysterious bond between the two. It was something totally revolutionary.
Now, what is he saying? He’s saying that women should submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ. That’s a tall order for a woman to do, but the fact is that that’s the word of God. There is this idea that the husband, the man is the head of the home. He is a priestly figure and we’re going to develop that more, ladies, don’t through the tomatoes yet at me.
But, I think in any church where the word of God is held high and respected, that has to be preached. I cannot speak about other things, if I don’t submit to that. And I think it’s hard for modern women, with all their independence, and all the power that they have now, and that rightly gained sense of equality to say I have to submit to my husband. But you know, I believe that that call to submission in a woman, just as the call for priestly behavior in a male, is written in our genes. It’s not just an external call, but you can either choose to obey or not without any consequences.
I really believe that God has written this rule, this law, this tendency of the male exercising a responsible leadership in creation and woman submitting and also exercising all the beautiful, abundant gifts that God has given her, without which the male is very, very impoverished, and very limited. Because he has his strength, but he also has his weaknesses and woman has her weaknesses, but she also has her strength.
But in this relationship of a corporation, in this relationship of the system, somebody is the CEO and God for some strange reason, in many cases in particularly has given men that position of CEO. So the natural place for a man in a home is to be the head of the home, to lead, but to lead how? We’re going to get into that.
And a woman does well to respond to that man’s leadership with acceptance and enthusiasm and entering into that game, if you will, and embracing that. And as she does that, she enters into her home and she is in a position of strength actually, mysteriously.
And you know, I’ve always seen this comparison between Jesus, I think Jesus is, these are pure poetic approximations, by the way, that’s all it is. Jesus is so close to woman, and I think this is why Jesus was so surrounded by women many times. Jesus had a special affinity with women. You see him unnaturally closed and associated with women in his ministry, even to his death. The people who first saw him, the people who were at the cross, Martha and Mary, the women who gave money to his ministry, his mother, on and on, and on, he’s surrounded by women. There’s an affinity of Jesus with woman and it’s interesting that Jesus submits to the Father, even though, Jesus is the same as the Father, he submits to the Father and as he submits to the Father, he finds his true power, as Philippians 2:5 through 11 says, when he obeyed the Father and gave up his equality with God, then God gave him a name that is above every other name so that before the name of Jesus, everything would bow, every knee, every tongue would confess.
You know, the paradox of the gospel is that, God has sort of programmed these things into the cosmos and when he causes to submit and to die we enter into the fullness of our power. You know, the act of giving ourselves and submitting releasing mysteriously all kinds of power, it’s the power of the cross. Where did Jesus carry out his most powerful actions? On the cross. There, impotent, totally bound, deprived of all strength, dignity. That’s where he was at his most powerful.
And that essential mechanism by which, when you submit, you release power and you are raised up. Woman moves in that. Woman’s power is in that mysterious ability to submit in that way and as she takes her power and brings it under submission, she becomes very powerful, wise, understanding, penetrating, nurturing. She has a dignity like no other. It’s not the submission of fear, timidity and powerlessness. That’s purely carnal. Many women are submissive, not because it’s a spiritual act that they’re carrying out, but because they have been broken like an animal has been broken by life, and they don’t have power, and so they become mere projections of their man, dolls, rag dolls that have no power and that’s not what God calls.
When I see a woman submitting, I see her carrying out an action of great power and great consciousness. It’s almost like a conversion experience. She takes the right that she has to rebel and to say, ‘I’m your equal, why do I have to obey you, why do I have to do anything, why do I have to follow you?’ She can do that, but as she does that, she gets out of her access. She’s like a washing machine that has the clothes badly distributed and when she twists, she makes all kinds of crazy noise. But when she is in her access of power, which is keeping her power centered and using it in a spiritual sense, and her mind is lucid and her emotions are in order, and she’s filled with the Holy Spirit and she’s founded on God’s word, and she knows that God is her sovereign, and her Father and her foundation, when she moves in submission, man, you’d better watch out. She is powerful and you know what? She can bless her children, she can bless her husband, she can cover her husband even. I have seen the power of woman to redeem a man and to keep him powerful and to cover him.
But I don’t think woman can do that unless she moves in that dynamic of submission to God and submission to headship of man with total lucidity as an act of spiritual decision, something is released in her. Her femininity blossoms, her sexuality is full, her dignity is strong, her powers of perception are clear, her ability to communicate wisdom to her children and to transmit her spirituality is unimpeded because she’s flowing in the essence of the gospel which is the cross, and somehow God then lifts her to her power.
Now, when woman rebels and when woman goes against that spiritual coding that she has inside herself, she acquires a superficial power, but she is like a shell of what she’s supposed to be. So, she may be very powerful in the exterior level, but she’ll be brittle and she’ll be bitter and you’ll be able to sense that.
He who has discernment, she who has discernment will be able to discern that brittleness, that frailty, even as she moves in all kinds of illegitimate authority and power in the world, she is broken inside because she’s moving out of the access of power, and her emotions will be out of sink, and she will not be able to communicate the spiritual dimension to her children, her sexuality, her emotional life, her spiritual life. She’ll be in rebellion and when you are in rebellion, you have judgment, whether it’s a child who refuses to honor the father, or a man who refuses to acknowledge the authority of those who are above him, or a woman who refuse to acknowledge authority as God has constituted in the cosmos. You’re out of shape and so you’re under judgment and you’re moving in weakness.
So, that’s… I beg you, and I wish I had a skirt to be able to speak to you with more authority about this. I’m a male but I really believe the more I think of woman, the more I am in awe of the mystery of a woman. The more I am in awe of the mystery of male and female, and how God has created these two beings to carry out all kinds of statements that are being lived up by us as we related to each other.
So, this idea of submitting to the headship of the male is not some cheap way of enslaving women and of keeping them powerless. On the contrary, I think it is a mysterious way that is at the center of the gospel to bring women into the full manifestation of who they are and what God created them to be.
So, women submit to your husband… and we could go on, there’s a whole lot more about that. Then there’s the thing of man loving his wife. And really I think this is where it breaks down so many times and I tell you, both my wife and myself, we do a lot of counseling of couples and in that room where my office is, I see a lot of, we see a lot of brokenness of couples, of marriages. And I will say this, as a man, at least in Latino culture, and I think it is like that in many other cultures, 80% at least of the marital problems that we deal are due to the man. I’m sorry about that and I’m a man myself and I can say my wife is a lot more mature many times in many things spiritual than I am. But there’s some roughness in man that God has wanted to tame and men, we have a lot of problems. And I sometimes get the men in my church really angry at me, I think. Some men are angry at me because I stand up there… and you know, I don’t say this to hit anybody over the head, I mean, this is just a very clinical stuff, very objective. I do think that a lot of the problems in marriage today are because we men, mess it up. We do not follow the statements that are declared here. We do not follow the instructions that are given to us. Because I think that in most cases, most women who are healthy in any emotional way, will submit to a man that treats them with this kind of care. And so we need to, men, we need to, and I’m the first one, we need to wrestle with these verses here.
This idea that we are supposed to treat women as Christ treated the church. And here, again, the figure of Christ still remains as the central point of reference. Women submit to your husbands as the church submits to Jesus Christ. Now, men, treat your wives as Christ treats the church.
How does Christ treat the church? I mean, Christ gave his life for the church, that is the absolute measure of love. So, I mean, you know, men should see their position of leadership not as an opportunity to abuse, to serve themselves of the woman, or to impose themselves on the woman, but really as an opportunity to give themselves to their wives.
You know, I think the position of a priest of the home, of head of the home, is not a position of privilege as much as a position of responsibility. I see my calling as head of this home, as one where I need to live for my wife, for my family. So many men in our culture, I’ll speak about Latino culture, we see our position of authority as, hey, I arrived and the woman runs to get my slippers and everybody runs for cover, because Dad arrived, and if my food is not served on time, oh boys, we’re going to have it out tonight. And you know, I go and I buy a car and I don’t ask what brand, I just go and I buy it and I bring it on Saturday afternoon, and I tell her, ‘hey, I bought you a car’, but it’s the car that I chose, it’s the color, the brand, the model that I chose and that’s not the way God would have it.
If we agree that I am the leader of the home and of the family, (don’t go anywhere yet. Have a seat. Thank you. I know you mean good but for the moment I will ask you to remain there for a second. Thanks, you have good intentions and I receive them, but thank you. I started a little bit late.)
But here’s the thing, if I am the leader of the home and I am leading in the model of Christ, how did Christ lead? What was Christ’s model of leadership? He lead as a servant. There’s that famous passage where two of the disciples come to Jesus and say, ‘would you let us be one sitting at your right hand and another sitting at your left hand, when you’re in your kingdom’, and Jesus speaks to them about ‘hey, you know, being a leader in the economy of the kingdom is not about position, it’s not about dominating, it’s not about having privileges, it’s not about control, it’s not about benefiting from others. That is the way the world does things, but in the Kingdom of God if you are leader, that means really that you’re going to be a servant. You’re going to serve the people that you lead and Jesus gave the example, he served to the point of dieing. He served to the point of giving up his prerogatives and his benefits. He served to the point of making sure that the church was given enough responsibility and had enough power and functions delegated to them, that they could develop their gifts.
You know, could God do everything if he wanted? Run the world, preach the gospel, build buildings for his church. He could do everything and yet he devised this system where by he delegated almost everything to us, and simply gave the Holy Spirit to empower us, counsel us, advice us, consult with us and we do the work that in so doing the work, we develop our gifts and our love and our humility and our brokenness and our ability to pray and to forgive one another and to counsel one another and we come Christ-like. That’s the whole thing about this thing of being the church.
It’s really God teaching us how to become more like the angels through the process of living as a church. And God delegated all of that to us. Jesus delegated. He could have done it himself. He could have said, the power is mine. I can do this job ten times better than any of you guys can. I will do it. But he said, ‘No, I want you to do it’.
I see Jesus all the time delegating power and function to his disciples and once he said you call me Lord and you are right, because I am. And he knew, Jesus knew the power that he had. Jesus knew the authority that he had, but then he gave it away. And that is exactly the way a husband should act in the relationship with his wife. Yes, he has the authority and the wife is wise to acknowledge the authority.
There are other pastors who will not be as confrontative as I am in developing this idea: women submit, and we sort of, rush through that in order to avoid any offense. I think that’s a bad, personally I think it’s a bad decision. I think it’s better to establish a legal precedence, say yes, you know, women should accept the authority of man. There’s something about that acknowledgement that brings healing and wholeness to woman, but then we should take our time, say ‘ok, men, how are you to behave? In order for this thing to really work, you’re supposed to… yes, you have the authority, but what do you do with that authority? Do you hoard it all? Do you make the decisions in the home? You make the money, you get your wife’s money. You write the checks, you administer it and you do everything yourself, or do you enable your wife to come into the fullness of her calling?
This is what is says about Jesus that he worked for her in order that she would get to be perfect, without blemish, without wrinkle, a perfect church. And I think the commitment of a husband should be to facilitate for his wife everything that is possible for her to become what God wanted her to be. So if she needs to grow in an area of ministry and God has called her to do that, hey, he should wash some dishes and he should make some of his meals many times to allow her to grow into her calling, and to become what God gave her to be. He should delegate to her pieces of the economy of the home and decision making, that she would feel that she has power and that she has authority. He should be gracious and he should give it more and more away.
With his children, the same way. He shouldn’t make all the decisions for them. He should consult them, he should allow them space to make mistakes. He should, even allow them to do things that he doesn’t want them to do, but he can’t force them after a certain point in their lives.
So, it’s this idea if we lead the way Christ led as men, then you know, I don’t think it’s that hard for a woman. God, when you have a man delegating things away and engaging continual dialogue and negotiating and affirming and blessing the woman, and giving himself up for her and for the home, you know, it’d be easy for the woman to submit to that man and to acknowledge, yes, you’re a good leader. You’re a godly leader and the other thing is, you know, a godly man knows that he’s not strong in every field. A godly leader knows that he doesn’t have strength in every field, 360 degrees. He needs to delegate to people that have more strength in one area.
I was just counseling with a couple of ministers, a ministerial couple, you know, he is a visionary. He is an artist and he’s thinking a thousand thoughts a minute, but he’s terrible in administration and he has taken a very good ministry and dumped it a couple of times at least in a short time, because he doesn’t think about details, and his personality is mercurial. And that’s what enables him to have visions and to dare to do things and to undertake great things.
Now, his wife is a calculating gent, in the best sense of the word, gentle woman who is sober and she sees things and years ago I told them in a prophetic moment, I said, ‘you need to let her take part of the ministry. God has put her there to be complementary to you.’ Years later he’s beginning to get it, but after making all kinds of mistakes.
But, you know, we should know, I don’t have all the power. A good leader knows that and he delegates to people who have more strength in certain areas and together they create a very powerful institution. I think it’s like that in marriage. A godly leader will let his wife take those parts of the marriage and of the home that she’s strong in and he will help her develop that and he will just as Christ does the church and this is what provides for a beautiful relationship.
I think when men forgo that everything breaks down and things begin to unravel. That’s what’s happening in so many marriages, many women who are just totally dissatisfied and many men who are refusing the lesson and to do things as God is calling them to do.
And it is that mystery, that complementary. I think that in the way the Father and the Son relate to each other, this is the way I think a marriage should function in the husband and the wife, not comparing of course in any way, the husband to God. But it is in that relationship, you know, the Father delegates the Son, the Son submits to the Father, and the Father lifts the Son up and glorifies him: this is my Son, this is my beloved, listen to him
What beautiful relationship is the complementary. That’s what God is calling us. Men, women, I think God is speaking to both of us and this modern world is very counter intuitive now to say this, because now to say to women, ‘submit’, that it’s a scary thing. But to say to men, ‘love’ that’s also a difficult thing. So, we all have to learn from that. I have my pieces to learn, you do as well. Young women who are going to be married one day, I urge you, I call you to accept this mystery. Don’t rebel against it. Don’t listen to rhetoric of the world, it kills you. It gets you out of your access.
I would suggest to you, enter into the mystery, explore it more. Make sure that you find a man who will be able to love you. Make sure you do that and men, understand the calling of scripture, you are to be a gentle leader, a servant leader. Your power will come from giving yourself, giving of yourself, yielding and sharing your power and your authority. As you do that, as you give, as you love, as you take care, as you affirm, as you encourage, as you delegate, you enter into your zone of power, because you’re doing the same thing, you’re entering into the mystery of Christ. You’re giving up your own prerogatives for another and then great authority comes to you. Your wife will love you, your relationship will be full and strong. You will have the love and the respect of your wife, of your children. It’ll be heaven on earth.
God I wish that we could learn that lesson. If we did, there wouldn’t be so much of the struggles between the sexes and so on. But let us each enter into the call of God for our life and the particular call, the part that God is calling us to do.
So, Father, thank you for speaking to us and we pray, teach us, Lord what is this mystery of man and woman in a marriage relationship. May our church be a church where these things are modeled in a way that honors you. Forgive our mistakes, Father, we know that we all have made mistakes, either in rebelling or in oppressing and tonight we way we want to yield to your model, we want to yield to your mystery. And I pray that every young man, every young woman that is about to be married, or will be married some day, Father, will be able to move in that dynamic that our marriages will be havens and places of mutual submission and mutual love and that our marriages, those of us who are married will be able to have better marriages as we obey the teaching of the Lord.
We thank you tonight for your teaching in Jesus’ name. Amen. Thank you for your patience, I may have gone a bit over but I think these things are very hard to develop without taking some time. They’re so delicate. It’s so easy to mess them up that we do need to take a little extra time to do it, but I think it’s worth it. Praise God.