Marriage and the church

By: By Gilbert Owens - Contributing columnist

There is a very important passage of scripture that appears to be lost or forgotten by the world and the church. That passage can be found at Ephesians 5:22-33. The passage was intended by God to tell us that marriage is symbolic of the church.

The passage begins with a strict command that says wives are to submit themselves unto their own husbands, as unto the Lord. That means that a wife is to submit herself to her husband in the same way that she submits herself to the Lord. Many wives have a problem with the word, “submit.” The problem occurs because they fail to read the verse before the passage, that says we are to submit to each other in the fear of the Lord. Therefore, wives are to submit to their husbands because submission to the husband is the same as submission to the Lord. But her submission is limited to the directions of the husband being in the fear of the Lord and in compliance with the Lord’s will. If the husband’s directions are in line with the Lord then the wife is to submit to him in all things.

The church is to do the same with the Lord. The church is to submit its will to the Lord in all things. A church doctrine, worship, service, giving, and all other activities is to be in submission to the directions of God’s word and not to the directions of church leaders, if the directions of the leaders are in conflict with the Word of God.

The passage clearly stipulates the husband is the head of the wife, even as Jesus Christ is the head of the church. That means the husband is the authoritative figure in the marriage and the wife is to submit her will to his will whether she agrees with him or not. The only time she can disagree if when the husband is outside of the will of God and His word.

As the head of the wife, the husband is responsible to provide leadership in the household and that also includes spiritual leadership. It is the husband’s responsibility to study and to know God’s word so he can teach and relate the same to his wife and children. Any husband as the head, who delegates that authority to the church is completely out of line with God. True church is in the home and not in some building designated as “the church.”

The church is to be in complete submission to the authority of Jesus Christ. It is Christ who sets the rules and boundaries of the church, not the denomination or pastor. It is Jesus who has the responsibility of the welfare of the church, while the husband has the responsibility to protect his wife and family. In both cases, the responsibility to protect is inseparably linked with the responsibility to provide spiritual leadership.

The husband also has the marital responsibility to love his wife in the same manner that Jesus Christ loved the church. Let us not forget that Jesus died for the church!!! That is why husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. Ephesians 5:29 says, “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourished and cherisheth it, even as the Lord {loved} the church.”

The passage ends by saying, “Let every man love his wife and he loves himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” The only person other than God that a wife should reverence is her husband. She by all means should treat her husband better than she treats her pastor, for this is the will of God! Children will never see Christ fully, until they first see Christ operating in the home through the wife and husband.

By Gilbert Owens

Contributing columnist

Gilbert Owens is a native of Roseboro and a columnist for The Sampson Independent.

Gilbert Owens is a native of Roseboro and a columnist for The Sampson Independent.