Ephesians 5 focuses on how to improve our relationships with our spouse.
Ephesians 5:29: “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:”
This shows that men are such lovers of their bodies and flesh. Compared to women, men tend to nourish and feed their bodies more, hence they have less sensitivity. Therefore, the Bible advises men to also nourish their wives, just like how Jesus nourishes His bride; the Church.
God has been so gentle to us in our Holy walk. Even though He is full of perfection and holiness, He can’t expect us to be afflicted and suffer like how Jesus did on the cross. Otherwise, we would have already perished. God knows mankind is weak. That is how God perceives the wife of Jesus Christ. Comparatively, men need to treat their wives the same way too, being gentle is important because a woman’s design is different from a man. Hence the level of endurance and resistance to forces is also different.
Nonetheless, in today’s society, men have been brainwashed and consequently becoming more sensitive like women, thus dropping their level of toughness and manhood. Society’s fight for equality in men and women is not doing men a disservice. Men should be tough and strong, that is God’s design for men.
Biblical Christianity is about having soldier strength, being the army of God, and pressing through trials. In addition, men need to pair that with gentleness, nourishment, and patience. We learn from the Bible that men and women both have distinct roles, and when both come together, it becomes equal and rubs off each other’s distinct character in a good way. However, the world today has wholly perverted the right level of normalcy for men and women, this blurring the roles of both genders in such a wicked way.
1 Peter 3:7: “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
The men have to honor their wives because women are made weaker so that men can nourish them. This is how men should acknowledge the difference and have empathy towards women despite being emotionally insensitive.
Ephesians 5:30: “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”
We are made in God’s image. God treats us like His body well. So, men should be treating their wives well, because women come from mens’ bodies.
Notice it does not say flesh and blood, but bone. The blood is shed somewhere else, and blood cannot go to heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:50,52-53: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
This is because God sees mens’ blood as corruptible. Hence Jesus had to die and shed His blood for us, only His blood is considered as pure and sinless.
Verse 52 and 53 are talking about the rapture, and when we ascend to heaven, we will leave behind a pool of blood, which can be quite a scene.
Luke 24:39: “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”
When Jesus ascended into heaven, He mentioned ‘flesh and bones’, not blood. This matches 1 Corinthians 15:52.
Ephesians 5:31: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”
Speaking of blood, when a man and a woman come together as one flesh, they start a new family and a renewal of blood line. Hence they are ought to leave their parents. God considers sex equivalent to marriage.
Genesis 2:23-24: “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
The Church has absolute zero-tolerance towards pre-marital couples living together because it is very easy to yield to the sin of fornication. Sex is a blessing from God, which is why He sees it as a holy gift, and wants us to take it seriously.
Ephesians 5:32: “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
The mystery that this book is trying to point out is God and believers becoming one. 1 John 3 says that we will have bodies of Christ when we go to heaven, as unworthy as we are. That is God’s promise to us, which is why it is considered a mystery.
Besides this one above, there are also other mysteries of God revealed in the scripture. They are the following:
- 1 Timothy 3:16, which is about the incarnation of Christ.
- 2 Thessalonians 2, the mystery of iniquity.
- Colossians 1:27, indwelling Christ in us.
- Revelation 17, the mystery of Babylon.
- Romans 11:25, the mystery of the blindness of Israel. This is fascinating as to why Jews are so difficult to come to Christ.
- Ephesians 5 is about the mystery of the body of Jesus Christ.
- And, 1 Corinthians 15: 52-53, the mystery of the rapture.
As Bible believers, we need to memorize these verses and mysteries because God considers us as the stewards of His mysteries, to take care of them.
Ephesians 5:33: “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
Men are reminded to be selfless when it comes to treating their wives.
Men are called to be loving not just towards their brethren, but also towards their wives, which is considered fulfilling the law. Love is mentioned three times by Paul.
Usually, when God repeats something important to us, it counts three times.
Firstly, at the throne up in heaven, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ is mentioned three times in Revelations 4 and 5. Secondly, in Mark 9, God takes damnation in hell so seriously that the related context about the burning of hellfire was mentioned three times. Thirdly, John 21 is about the love of God which has three repetitions.
On the other hand, Ephesians 5:33 also convicts women to revere and to be obedient towards their husbands. It is considered a disrespect if they don’t do so. The boundary line is unless men cause women to sin or to disobey God. We need to know that there is a Biblical hierarchy that we should follow.
1 Peter 3:6: “Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
The mens’ action should not catch the women by surprise and then get them to be afraid. The women should revere men without having any terror. Whoever we obey, whether if it is our parent or husband, it should be done for the sake of our heavenly Father, under His command. If we go against that, we are disobeying God.
This applies also to the younger generation. The Bible says children should obey their parents, meaning children that have not developed a proper moral conscience. Once they have developed a level of maturity in thinking and conscience, God’s instruction and will be prioritized.
Ephesians 6:2-3: “Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
God understands our cultural perspectives are different, and how we translate the word respect into our actions. Therefore we should always reflect on the way we conduct ourselves, especially on how we treat our parents. This will help to ensure we live a long life. This comes to show why some young adults or teenagers nowadays have a short life span, and it can be associated with their suicidal ideation, caused by selfish and rebellious mentality,
Ephesians 6:4: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
We see how God is balanced, as He also reminds the parents to lead and edify the children with care, and not provoke them to anger.
One factor that causes children to be rebellious is associated with parent’s negligence and abusiveness. How can parents expect their children to be obedient when they are not leading by example.
Verse 4 uses the word ‘admonition‘ which means setting them straight, to nurture and rebuke them, but not to the extent that it causes wrath and anger. Parents should be convicted not to lose patience when it comes to educating their children. Parents should only increase their rebuking when children do not listen.
Hebrews 4:5,7: “And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”
Chastening means disciplining the children. The level of severity should gradually be increased, so it has to start with nurturing and admonition.