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Reflecting Jesus in Our Most Important Relationships - Eph 5:15-6:9 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Tsang   
Monday, 20 November 2017 16:01


I find that this passage has unnecessarily caused a lot of debate. Some will debate on the theory of what Paul instructed the wife but when we see a couple trying to live this out in a real life, we have no problems with this at all.


In their book, The Meaning of Marriage, Tim and Kathy Keller told the story of deciding whether to move to New York or not to plant a church. Tim felt that they should go and Kathy did not. Tim conceded and said to Kathy, “OK, if you don’t want to go, we won’t go.” But then, Kathy replied, ‘Oh no you don’t! You’re not putting this final decision on me. You have to make the decision and bear the responsibility.” Kathy interprets the Ephesians passage (she wrote the chapter in the book on submission), “Submission means that in matters of disagreement, I get a vote; he gets a vote; but I yield to Tim the deciding vote.” Here is how one couple seeks to live out the Ephesian passage of love and submission. The Kellers also made it clear that submission does not mean the wife can’t push back or confront her spouse.


In this portion of Ephesians, Paul addressed three pairs of relationships – husband and wife, father and child, and master and slave (closest parallel would be the area of our work life). There is one constant, who is the husband, father, and master who is the head of the household, he is to serve as head of the household as Jesus is the head of the church with a spirit of love, sacrifice, and servanthood. In all the different roles listed, we are to do so “ …to the lord”, letting our relationship with Jesus transform the way we relate to one another.


When you read this passage in its historical setting, it is a radically counter-cultural way of living that values the wife, child, and slave (employee) not as property, but as individuals with dignity and worth, created in the image of God. May we learn to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.


Peace and grace, John

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 November 2017 09:04