Rev David Kowalick – Christian Marriage
The nature of the marriage relationship portrayed in Paul’s famous words in the fifth chapter of Ephesians seems to be almost universally misunderstood. Unfortunately all reference to Christ in this passage is overlooked and instead we project our own fallen ideas of ‘headship’ and ‘submission’ onto it. This is hardly surprising given the broken role models we have all been exposed to say nothing of the vested interest of men in maintaining the status quo of a power imbalance massively skewed in their favour.
If we really want to get some idea of what the model husband looks like then we must look directly at Jesus Christ. Then we can reread Paul’s words about the relationship of the husband and wife in the light of the relationship between Christ and the Church. The key phrase in this passage is of course this: “As Christ loved the church.”( Ephesians 5: 25). Once we understand what that looks like then – and only then – can we begin to discuss what the model husband looks like.
The same principle is also true of the wife as well. As Christ submits to the Father, so the church is to submit to Christ, and the wife to the husband. In a way, Jesus is not only the model husband; he shows us what the model wife looks like as well. Real submission is all about receiving and responding to the initiative of self-giving love.
Of course if you’re anything like me you’re imperfect and broken and all this can seem like an impossible dream. Marriage isn’t easy – but it can be a beautiful reflection of the love between Father and Son and Holy Spirit and that’s got to be worth aiming for at least.