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Throughout Ephesians, Paul has been using the image of a body to describe how the church and Christ relate to one another. Now he points out another place where this happens – marriage. In a marriage, the two become one body (Gen. 2:24, 1 Cor. 6:16). This has implications for how a marriage is to work.
Wives, Submit to Your Own Husbands v. 22-24
In the marriage, a wife is called to submit to the leadership of her husband, who is her head (Col. 3:18, 1 Pet. 3:1-6). There are many ways of dodging this. You can mistake domestic achievement for submission. Or you can make it entirely theoretical, without ever actually having it happen. But Scripture is clear, a Christian marriage is one where the wife is called to submit to her husband. This isn’t a claim about an innate superiority to men (Gal. 3:28, Luk. 20:35). It’s a claim about how two become one.
Husbands, Love Your WIves v. 25-29
A Great Mystery v. 30-33
This is why we should not be surprised that the secular world is particularly taking aim at the institution of marriage. The two becoming one, as they do when a man and woman unite themselves, is a picture of the Gospel. It is in the submission of a woman to her husband, and in the glad assumption of responsibility of a husband for his wife, that we see what Christ has done for the church.