Husbands, Wives

A study of man (andras) / men (andres) and woman (gynaika) / women (gynaikes), husbands (aner) and wives (gyne, gynaiki).

Ephesians 5

Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ also loved us… Walk as children of light—for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth—discerning what is well-pleasing to the Lord. Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to each other in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks at all times for all things in the name our Lord Jesus Christ to the God and Father.

Ephesians 5:1,9,10,18-20

Be submitting yourselves to one another in reverence of Christ: wives, to your husbands as to the Lord; for the husband is head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the congregation, he himself savior of the body. But even as the congregation submits to Christ, so also wives to your husbands in everything.

Husbands, love the wives just as Christ also loved the congregation and gave himself up for her, so that her he might sanctify, having cleansed her by the washing of water by the word, so that he might present to himself in glory the congregation, not having spot or wrinkle or any of these such things, but that it would be holy and blameless.

So ought also husbands to love their wives as themselves, as their bodies. The one loving his wife, loves himself. For no one at any time hated his flesh, but he nourishes and cherishes it just as also Christ does the congregation—for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and his bones.

“Because of this, a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This mystery is great; and I speak as to Christ and as to the congregation.

However, you also, every one, let each so love his wife as himself, and the wife, that she may respect the husband.

So the letter to the congregation addresses husband’s role—instructions of what he should be, and not be—so that the wife may respect him, the husband.

Colossians 3

As the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on hearts of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with each other and forgiving each other. If anyone should have a complaint against another, even as also the Lord has forgiven you, so also you. And beyond all these, put on love, which is the bond of perfect unity. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing each other in all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with grace in your hearts to God. And all, whatever you might do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Wives submit to their husbands, as is fit in the Lord.

submit: present imperative passive; “The form of the verb (hypotassesthe, middle voice) shows that the submission is to be voluntary. The wife’s submission is never to be forced on her by a demanding husband; it is the deference that a loving wife, conscious that her home (just as any other institution) must have a head, gladly shows.” (Vaughan) as is fit: this is not the extent nor limit but motive, as a Christian.

Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh toward them.

love (agape): present imperative active; “Agapao does not denote affection or romantic attachment; it rather denotes caring love, a deliberate attitude of mind that concerns itself with the well-being of the one loved.” (Vaughan) a sacrificial, giving, absorbing, love. The word has little to do with emotion; it has much to do with self-denial for the sake of another, e.g. “Husband, continually practice self-denial for the sake of your wife.”

Whatever you might do, work from the soul, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the reward of the inheritance. You serve the Lord Christ! For the one doing wrong will be repaid for what he has done wrong; and there is no partiality.

Having a Christian home—as defined by these scriptures—women submit, as it is fitting. Husbands are required to love, in doing so their wives ‘submit’.

I Peter 3

Be in subjection … likewise wives, be subject to your husbands so that, even if any are disobedient to the word, they will be won over without word by the conduct of the wives, having witnessed your respectful, pure conduct… For this is how the holy women of the past —hoping in God— adorned themselves being subject to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, of whom you have become children, doing good, when you are not shaken with any fear.

Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as a delicate vessel, and with honor as joint-heirs also of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

Now the end: All be single-minded, sympathetic, loving as brothers, tender-hearted, humble, not repaying evil for evil or insult for insult; but on the contrary blessing, because to this you were called, so that you should inherit blessing. For,

“The one desiring to love life,
and to see good days,

let him keep the tongue from evil,
and lips not to speak deceit.
Also let him turn away from evil, and let him do good.
Let him seek peace and let him pursue it.
Because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears toward their prayer.

But the face of the Lord is against those doing evil.”

And who is he who will harm you, if you should be zealous for that which is good?

Redacted from above—focusing on the good, a Christian family of love, here is the contrasting scenario:

… But let sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness not even be named among you, as also is proper to saints, and filthiness, and foolish talking, or crude joking, which are not fitting, but rather thanksgiving. For this you know, realizing that any fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous man, who is an idolater, has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light— …

And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even expose them. For it is shameful even to mention the things being done by them in secret. But everything being exposed by the light is made visible, for everything becoming visible is light. Therefore it says:

“Awake you, the one sleeping,
and rise up out from the dead,
and Christ will shine upon you.”

Therefore carefully take heed how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Because of this, do not be foolish, but understand what is the Lord’s will, and not to be drunk with wine in which is debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit, speaking to each other in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks at all times for all things in the name our Lord Jesus Christ to the God and Father. …

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things above, not the things on the earth. For you have died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life may be revealed, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Therefore put to death the members which are upon the earth: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry, because of which things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience, in which you also once walked when you were living in them. But now you also put off all these things: anger, rage, malice, slander, foul language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, having put off the old man with his practices, and having put on the new, the one being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one having created him, where there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, slave, and free; but Christ is all and in all.

But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, you are blessed. “And you should not be afraid of their threats, neither should you be troubled.” But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord, always ready for a defense to everyone asking you an account concerning the hope in you; yet with gentleness and fear, having a good conscience, so that in the case that they might speak against you, those reviling your good manner of life in Christ, they shall be ashamed. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if the will of God wills it, than doing evil, because Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, so that He might bring you to God, having been put to death indeed in the flesh, but having been made alive in the spirit, in which also having gone, He preached to the spirits in prison at one time having disobeyed, when the long suffering of God was waiting in the days of Noah, of the ark being prepared, in which a few—that is, eight souls—were saved through water, which also prefigures the baptism now saving you, not a putting away of the filth of flesh, but the demand of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, angels and authorities and powers having been subjected to Him.

Therefore Christ having suffered in the flesh, you also arm yourselves with the same mind, because the one having suffered in the flesh is done with sin, so as to live the remaining time in the flesh no longer to men’s desires, but to the will of God. For the time past is sufficient to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having walked in sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and abominable idolatries.

With respect to this, they think it strange of you not running with them into the same overflow of debauchery, speaking evil of you, who will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For to this end the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that they might be judged indeed according to men in the flesh, but they might live in the spirit according to God.

Now the end of all has drawn near. Therefore be clear-minded and be sober for the purpose of prayers, above all things, having fervent love among yourselves, because love covers over a multitude of sins, hospitable to one another without complaint, as each has received a gift, to them serving each other as good stewards of the manifold grace of God: if anyone speaks, as oracles of God; if anyone serves, as of strength which God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory and the power to the ages of the ages. Amen.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fire among you taking place for a trial to you, as if a strange thing were happening to you. But as you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, so that also in the revelation of His glory you may rejoice, exulting.

If you are insulted in the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. For let not any of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evildoer, or as a troublesome meddler, but if as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this name. For it is the time for the judgment to have begun from the house of God; and if from us first, what will be the outcome of those disobeying the gospel of God? And,

“If the righteous one is saved with difficulty,
where will appear the ungodly and sinner?”

Therefore also, those suffering according to the will of God, let them commit their souls to the faithful Creator in well-doing.


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