Duties of the Christian Life (Part 3)
Eph. 5:22 -33
We have touched a bit about submission last week and today I want to say more about it. The Word
of God tells us to submit to one another. As children of the Lord, we are to submit humbly to the
authorities not only in the church but also to civil authorities regardless of who we are or what our
position in society is. Paul in this letter is telling the duties of husbands and wives, beginning with the
wife’s duties first.
I. Marital Responsibilities (Eph. 5:22-33)
A. Duty of the wives
1. She is to love her husband (Tit. 2:4).
2. She is to submit to her husband (Eph. 5:22-24,33; Col 3:18).
3. She is to maintain a meek and quiet spirit (1Pet. 3:4).
4. She is to keep the home (Pr. 14:1; Tit. 2:5).
5. She is to be trustworthy (Pr. 31:11).
6. She is to be virtuous (Pr. 12:4; Tit. 2:5; 1Pet. 3:2).
7. She is to preach to him by her manner of life, not her words (1Pet. 3:1-5)
8. She is to meet the physical needs of her husband (1Cor. 7:2-4)..
B. The biblical reason and explanation
1. When the woman was in her unfallen state God appointed her to be
subordinate to the man (Gen. 2:18). This was a matter of rank and did not imply
any inferiority. It was an honourable position.
So we see, first, a woman is a subordinate.
a. This is a matter of rank.
b. It is by God’s appointment.
2. After the woman had sinned, in her fallen state, God imposed subjection on her
So second, a woman is in subjection.
a. This is the matter of her husband’s rule.
b. It is imposed by God
3. In the New Testament, the woman is commanded to be in submission to her
So third, the woman is to be submissive
a. It is a matter of inner attitude
b. It is to be voluntarily assumed
4. The inner attitude is toward the subordination appointed and the subjection
imposed in Genesis.
5. In extrabiblical Greek it was primarily a military term that denoted a rank under
another. Literally the verb means to arrange or to rank under.” The word implies
a rank subordinate to one who is in authority, to whom obedience and respect
6. It does not imply an inferiority of person but only subordination in rank. As a
person you will be no more inferior to your husband, than the citizen is to his
government or Christ is to God. Yet the citizen is subordinate in rank to the
governor. Christ in His humanity was subordinate to God the Father. You are to
assume volitionally and voluntarily a rank or office under your husband in the
administration of your home and family.
7. It does not justify suppression by your husband but does imply obedience to
your husband. Submission does not stifle your leadership, creativity, and
initiative as a wife. You may well wonder if it implies that you will make no
decisions, offer no argument, participate in no discussions. Absolutely not. What
a vanilla wife you would be! What kind of a helper is this? It is not only your
right but also your responsibility to function as a partner in this partnership.
Every Christian husband should consult his wife as his closest advisor and make
decisions with her interests in view. Often responsibilities will be delegated to
you requiring important decisions that must be made by you. And yet, when
your husband makes decisions, you are responsible to obey. That is submission.
(William J. McRae, Preparing for Your Marriage)
Illustration: Eve’s Name Was Also “Adam”
Many people familiar with the Bible do not know that Eve had more than one name. In Genesis 5:2
we read God “called their name Adam.”
In other words, from the day God started His first created pair of human beings, Eve shared Adam’s
name, as well as whatever life should bring him. — Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
B. Duties of the Husbands.
1. He is to love his wife (Eph. 5:25).
2. He is to leave father and mother and dedicate himself to his wife (Gen. 2:24).
3. He is to nourish his wife (Eph. 5:28-29).
4. He is to cherish his wife (Eph. 5:29).
5. He is not to be bitter against his wife (Col. 3:19).
6. He is to honor the wife as the weaker vessel (1Pet. 3:7).
7. He is to treat the wife as part of his life and ministry (1Pet. 3:7).
8. He is to meet the physical needs of his wife (1Cor. 7:2-4).
9. He is to meet the financial needs of his family (1Tim. 5:8).
10. He is to be trustworthy (Pr. 5:15-21).
Illustration: On True Love
If my children would ask “Mom, how do I find true love?” this is what I’d say—
“Love is a state of mind and heart. It is not dependent on beauty, physical strength or the romantic
“Your Dad doesn’t arrange intimate dinners or second honeymoons. He doesn’t bring me flowers.
What he does is keep my car repaired and full of gas so I’ll never be stranded. He vacuums the carpet
when your grandmother is coming—not because he cares, but because he knows I care.
“Though your Dad is not a pet person, when our old cat died, Robert buried him for me. He held me
while I wept. After I’d mourned for several months, he encouraged me to adopt a kitten.
“So remember, true romance—the enduring kind—often comes so cleverly disguised it’s easy to
overlook.”Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations:
As husbands and wives, we have a duty to God first then to our spouses. Will you obey
God’s commandment and your commitment to your spouses? You must a spirit filled
Christian who loves the Lord to do this.