Sermon:  Mutual Submission: Marriage

	Text Reflection:  Paul said to be filled with the Spirit, and one result of being filled 
with the Spirit is mutual submission.  Paul could have used any number of different 
types of relationships to illustrate this principle in action, such as the relationship 
of one Christian brother to another.  Instead, Paul chooses three common relationships 
where there is an obvious superior and inferior.  To an ancient audience, "mutual" 
submission in the wife/husband, children/parent, slave/master relationships might 
have seemed revolutionary and went against the grain of popular culture.  Paul points 
to Jesus relationship with the church as the paradigm for the relationships we are to 
have with each other.  When Jesus humbled himself and came to earth as a bond-servant, 
he illustrated that there is not a "superior/inferior" dichotomy in his kingdom.  Jesus 
never forced anyone to submit to him, but in his humility, love, and kindness, people 
chose to submit to him.  In a similar way, no one ever forced Jesus to love them, Jesus 
freely chose to love.  We need to have the same dynamic in our relationships with each 
other.  In our freedom, we are to offer submission that expresses itself appropriately 
within the roles that we have been assigned, whether as a wife, husband, parent, child, etc.   
This mutual submission is integral for the body to carry out the purposes of God.  It 
would be difficult if not impossible to carry out God's purposes if we do not have the 
outward focus of mutual submission in our lives.

Summary:  Part of being filled with the Spirit is mutual submission.  The paradigm for 
mutual submission is the relationship of Christ with the church.  In marriage, this means 
wives submitting to the husband, and the husband loving the wife.

Know:  The relationship between ourselves and Christ should serve as the paradigm for 
our relationship in our marriage.

Feel:  A need to nourish and cherish in our marriages and each other

Do:  Identify features of our relationship with Christ that are to be present in marriage.  
Relate how marriage is to be analogous to our relationships with each other.  Choose two 
ways to strengthen your relationship with each other as a group, and with the brethren.

Text:  Eph 5:21-33

Scripture Reading:  Eph 2:19

1.  Man got in car accident, coma for 2 days.  Opened eyes, wife was ther
	a.  In tears, he said, Dear, you always by my side through the years
		- "At University, failed again and again, you were right there"
		- She squeezed his hand as he continued
		- "All those Job interviews I didn't get, you there clipping want ads"
		- "Then got job with this firm, lost job because of mistake, you still 
   		   here by my side encouraging me
	b.  Her eyes began to water as he continued
		- Then I finally landed this low paying job, but never got any 
   		  promotion, never recognized, and you stayed right by my side
		- Now I get in this accident, I wake up and you are right here
		- There is something I really want to say to you
	c.  Sobbing, she threw her arms around him
	d.  He said, "Honey, I think you bring me bad luck!"
2.  Marriage seems to be devalued these days.  Most don't understand it
	a.  I believe marriage is the crown of God's creation, the final thing he did
	b.  We will talk about marriage in the context of Christ's relationship to us
3.  Context:  Section actually begins in v.18 with idea of Spirit filled life
	a.  We are to have Spirit filled relationships with each other
	b.  Involves the principle of mutual submission
	c.  Three examples, each where looks like a superior/inferior dynamic
	d.  Wife-Husband; Child-Parent; Slave-Master.  This morning - Marriage
4.  We are to practice the principle of mutual submission in our marriage

I.  Wives are to be subject to their husbands as to Christ
	A.  This goes against the grain of our culture
		1.  Some try to explain it away, or dismiss it smorgasbord style
		2.  Part of the reason may be due to abuse
			a.  It does not say husbands are to domineer their wives
			b.  If Jesus is the model, did he ever force submission?
		3.  Husbands, This passage is addressed to wives, not husbands  
	B.  Why should wives submit to their husbands?
		1.  It is part of your submission to the Lord
			a.  v.21 - Submit in the fear of Christ
			b.  v.22 - The text says, "as to the Lord"
			c.  If you don't submit, then being disobedient to Christ
		2.  It is part of God's design
			a.  Husband is head of wife as Christ is head of church
			b.  Not just because it is what works, it is God's plan
				- Bible has shown God's way is always best way
				- Genesis, God assigned roles to men and women
				- Bodies designed differently to fulfill those roles
			c.  ILL:  Was building a birdhouse once
				- Couldn't find a hammer, used screw driver
				- No progress, gash on hand, house unfinished
				- Learned have to use tool for what it designed for
			d.  Many broken homes today
				- Husbands and wives not being what designed for
				- Wives, you complete your husbands
				- Stray from God's design, that is what happens
		3.  It reflects the church's relationship to Christ
			a.  As church is subject to Christ, wives to husbands
			b.  In everything.  Everything?
			c.  What if he makes unreasonable demands, or illegal?
	C.  1 Pet 3:1-6 - Gives Sarah as an example
		1.  Context: 2:23 - Jesus did not revile: 3:1 - In the same way…
		2.  NOTICE:  Paul said "in everything," Peter did not
			a.  Paul was dealing with Christian husbands, Peter was not
			b.  Rule of Thumb: Submit in all things unless ungodly
				- Not if it is only convenient, or don't like it, or disagree
			c.  Jesus, the model, was submissive to the point of death
		3.  An unloving husband does not release a wife from her duty to 
    		    God and her husband
	D.  What does this mean for us
		1.  For those girls and women not yet married
			a.  Be careful of who you marry
			b.  Make sure that man is a Christian who understands
		2.  For those women who are married - Honor your husband
			a.  We children of Abraham, good wives daughters of Sarah
			b.  If you don't, will have problems
				- With God, not honoring husband not honoring God
				- With husband.  
					-- Cease to be completer & become crippler
					-- Make it hard for him to carry out his role
				- With children
					-- Will see your example
		3.  For those not married - Marriage is an illustration
			a.  Not just of relationship we are to have to Christ
			b.  5:21 - But of submission to each other
			c.  Whether it is washing feet or cleaning house…

II.  Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church
	A.  This idea was revolutionary in ancient times, and still is
		1.  Paul's view was revolutionary
			a.  Women were like property in ancient times
			b.  Would have expected Paul to tell husbands to "rule" well
			c.  Instead, he says husbands are to sacrificially love wives
			d.  1 Cor 7:4 - Also revolutionary
				-Wife not have authority over her body, husband does
				-Husband not have authority over his body, wife does
				-Idea of mutual submission here
		2.  In modern times, think of equality
			a. Paul is not teaching equality here
				- Equality insists on getting my rights
			b. Submission means giving up my rights
			c.  In self sacrifice, Jesus poured himself out
			d.  That is what Paul is calling husbands to do
	B.  What kind of love is Christ's love
		1.  Selfless Love
			a.  Jesus' love was sacrificial, gave himself up for her
			b.  Jesus came not as a Lord, but as a servant
				- He washed the disciples feet
				- The would be about like washing dishes, clothes
			c.  Wives, this is directed as husbands, not at you
		2.  Sanctifying Love
			a.  Sanctify means to set apart, to dedicate
			b.  In this sense, it means that she is your special girl
			c.  Jesus sees no spot or wrinkle.  For husbands:
				- Means you don't put down, highlight faults
				- Means you appreciate her, love her
				- She is special, treat her as special
		3.  Self love
			a.  Love them as you love your own bodies.  Why?
			b.  Quotation from Gen 2:24 - Become "one flesh"
			c.  Exegesis on Gen 2:21-24 on Rib Heb: tsela
				- "Side" not rib.  Other places it is side of a hill
   				   side chamber of building, side of ark of covenant
					- Philo says it is "side" not "rib"
					- Gen 1:27 - Implies man and woman a unit
					- Gen 5:2 - God named "them" Adam (man)
				- Implications - She is literally your "better half"
					- God didn't make her out of mud
					- God used better building materials
					- Brought her back to Adam
				- She is your counterpart, she is part of you
			d.  Result:  Nourish and cherish her, she is part of you
	C.  ILL:  Martin Luther had a saying
		1.  Wives should make the husbands glad to come home
		2.  The husbands should make wives sad when the leave for the 
	D.  When we follow God's plan for relationships, they will be as he intends
		1.  Joni Eareckson Tada has a beautiful testimony of all of this
			a.  She is an author and speaker
			b.  As a teen, paralyzed in diving accident from neck down
			c.  She is bound to a wheel chair now & helpless
			d.  Several years ago, married Ken Tada, 
		2.  Here is the description of her wedding day
	“I felt awkward as my girlfriends strained to shift my paralyzed body into a 
cumbersome wedding gown. No amount of corseting and binding my body gave me a 
perfect shape. The dress just didn’t fit well. As I was wheeling into the church, I accidentally 
run over the hem of my dress. It left a greasy tire mark. My paralyzed hands couldn’t hold 
the bouquet of daisies that lay off-center on my lap. My friends decorated my chair for the 
wedding. But it was still a big, clunky gray machine with belts, gears, and ball bearings. I 
certainly didn’t feel like the picture-perfect bride in the magazines.
	The Wedding March began. I inched my chair closer to the last pew to catch a 
glimpse of Ken in front. There he was, standing tall and stately in his formal attire. I saw him 
looking for me, craning his neck to look up the aisle. My face flushed, and I suddenly couldn’t 
wait to be with him. I had seen my beloved. The love in Ken’s face had washed away all my 
feelings of unworthiness. I was his pure and perfect bride.”
Joni applies that experience to our faith. She continues. “How easy it is for us to think that 
we’re utterly unlovely—especially to someone as lovely as Christ. But he loves us with the 
bright eyes of a Bridegroom’s love and cannot wait for the day we are united with him forever.” (
Adapted from This We Believe: The Good News of Jesus Christ for the World, [Zondervan], p. 222).
		3.  Our marriages should be a wonderful reflection of Christ's love

III.  Remember Paul's overall purpose here
	A.  He is teaching us about mutual submission in our relationships
		1.  Marriage is just one area we are to practice this
		2.  Marriage is an analogy of our relationship with Christ
			a.  We are joined to Christ as his bride
			b.  He loves us selflessly, sanctifying us as his body
			c.  He nourishes and cherishes us
			d.  Jesus relationship should be example to our relationships
	B.  (Eph 5:32)
		1.  Paul is speaking with reference to Christ and the church
		2.  Our relationship with Christ should be the foundation of our 
     		     relationship with each other
		3.  Several principles we see
			a.  Mutual submission
			b.  Sacrificial love
			c.  Sanctifying love
			d.  Loving members of our own body
		4.  All members of his body are special to Christ
			a.  Therefore they need to be special to us
			b.  Think about it, the church is the bride of Christ
	C.  ILL:  My sons all slept with teddy bears (Stacey has a fish)
		1.  I remember tucking him in, and going through all who I love
			- Love you.  Why about Mommy?  Yes.  Brother?  Grandpa
		2.  Then he said, how about my Teddy?
			a.  Looked at it, all worn out, eye missing
			b.  I didn't love it, it was beat up, and just a thing
			c.  My son held his breath, waiting for me to answer
			d.  I said, yes, and he smiled and went to sleep
		3.  What if I had said no?
			a.  I could have pointed out how ugly it was
			b.  I could have pointed out I love him, not the teddy
			c.  Would have hurt him.  Why?
			d.  It was important to him
	D.  The church is important to Christ
		1.  Don't down the church, back bite, speak against it
		2.  The church is precious to Jesus

1.  May think it's ugly, beat up, worn out, should be thrown out
	a.  But Christ doesn't see that.  He renewed it, no spot or wrinkle
	b.  Have you been renewed?  (Invitation)
2.  If renewed, remember the principle of mutual submission
	a.  In marriage
	b.  In our relationships with each other

Small Group Questions:  Mutual Submission - Marriage

Summary:  Part of being filled with the Spirit is mutual submission.  The paradigm for 
mutual submission is the relationship of Christ with the church.  In marriage, this means 
wives submitting to the husband, and the husband loving the wife.

- Which marriage to you find most admirable? Most ridiculous?  Mr & Mrs. Cleaver.  Archie 
and Edith Bunker.  Ray and Deborah Barone.  Mr and Mrs. Brady.  George and Jane Jetson.  
Fred and Wilma Flintstone.  Other?

Explore:  Eph 5:21-33

1.  What does it mean for a wife to submit to her husband?  What does it not mean?  

2.  Why should a wife submit to her husband?

3.  What does it mean for a husband to love his wife?  What does it not mean?  

4.  Why should a husband love his wife?

5.  How do you feel about the instructions in this passage?  How do you think you should 
feel and why?


6.  Identify features of your relationship with Christ that are to be present in your marriage.  

7.  What does our relationship with Christ have to do with our marriage relationships?  
What bearing does it have on our relationships with each other?

8.  How would understanding this lesson help us to carry out God's purposes?

9.  Choose two ways to strengthen your relationship with others in the group, and with the 

Eph 2:19