This wonderful verse explains quite simply the role for the husband and wife. It starts off with “Nevertheless” – nevertheless what? This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (Eph 5:32) Paul speaks of Christ and the church as a “great mystery.” The word mystery is used 22 times in the Word, all in the New Testament. But only once is “great mystery” ever used. That should draw our attention. We are to compare the role of husband and wife to Christ and the church. Christ loves (agape love) us so much He died for us. So should the husband have this agape (unconditional kind of love) for his wife. The church is to reverence her Saviour. So should the wife reverence her husband.
Would a man deprive himself of food, shelter, clothing, etc.? Would a man hurt himself? Does a man hate himself? No – A man loves himself. It is evident because he cares for his body and provides for it. God tells a man that he should love his wife just as he loves himself.
The woman is commanded to reverence her husband. Noah Webster defines the word reverence as:
REV’ERENCE, v.t. To regard with reverence; to regard with fear mingled with respect and affection. We reverence superiors for their age, their authority and their virtues. We ought to reverence parents and upright judges and magistrates. We ought to reverence the Supreme Being, his word and his ordinances.Those that I reverence, those I fear, the wise.
They will reverence my son. Mat 21.
Let the wife see that she reverence her husband. Eph 5.
As a bride-to-be, are you ready and willing to reverence this man who will be your husband? The Christian woman needs to prepare herself prior to her marriage in order to be the wife spoken of in today’s verse. If the man you are planning to marry is not the type you can reverence, you should reconsider marriage. Is he the kind of man that will love you as much as he loves himself? This does not automatically come when the wedding band is placed on your finger.
The Christian man must also be sure that he will be able to love his wife as much as he loves himself. Will her needs take a back burner to yours? Christ did not put our needs on the back burner. In fact, He died for us because He knew we could not gain heaven on our own. Are you willing to do so for her? If you are, then ask yourself if the woman you are about to marry will be the kind of woman who will reverence you? If she is making light of this topic, or if she is belittling you before marriage, it will only be worse after marriage.
Marriage does not bring with it a “bed of roses.” This cliche has been used so much but have we ever thought about its meaning? Roses need to be planted in just the right soil, have just the right amount of watering and sunshine, and continually need pruning if they are to grow healthy. One can see the difference between neglected roses and a rose bush which has been meticulously cared for. A good marriage takes years of nurturing by both husband and wife. Starting marriage off equally yoked with a desire to serve the Lord together is a wonderful start. But the key to a good and successful marriage begins with Eph. 5:33.
Don’t be fooled. If your relationship has hurdles now that you are sweeping under the rug, these same hurdles will be mountains after marriage. This is not a possibility but is a definite! Work your issues out now. Talk about them. NOW is the time to talk about apprehensions. Search and share the Scriptures together, like today’s verse, and see what the other thinks and feels. Better to know now than to be yoked for life with someone who does not desire to be all that God wants him to be. If your Pastor hasn’t already arranged to do so, ask him to have pre-marital counselling together. My son is engaged and he and his fiance will be going through several months of counselling to prepare them for their life together.
Search the Scriptures together – Talk about the Scriptures together – Heed the Scriptures together!
May the eyes of those who read
Ephesians Five and Thirty Three
Realize now before their wedding
How their marriage ought to be