A profound mystery – Ephesians 5:32

wedding cake

Hi! If you haven’t read yesterday’s post on Ephesians 5:1-2, I’d encourage you to do that prior to reading today’s.

So, as I arrived at the section of this chapter that I was looking toward studying, I settled on verse 24:
“Now as the church submits (hypotasso) to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”

I had to look up that word submits, so back to my favorite Bible study app – which is also my favorite Bible study website – Blue Letter Bible I went. I highly recommend it. This is where I find much of this info I share with you guys!

Anyway, while reading Ephesians 5:24, I clicked on the verse, then went to “concordance/interlinear”. So painless!

Hypotasso
* to arrange under, to subordinate;
* to subject, put in subjection;
* to subject one’s self, obey;
* to submit to one’s control;
* to yield to one’s admonition or advice;
* to obey, be subject;

This word was a Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.

For those of you who haven’t heard my testimony, this was a key verse the Lord used to change my heart. This verse spoke to my deepest places of control, of independence, of self-reliance. First, I needed to submit myself to CHRIST. Second, I needed to submit myself to my husband. Submitting to Christ is hard enough, but submitting myself to a fellow, fallen human being, now that is doubly tough.

Then, in verses 25-30, Paul instructs husbands to love their wives.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. [Eph 5:25-30 ESV]

As I just shared, it is HARD for me to submit to my husband, but, sisters, it is just as hard for my husband to love me self-sacrificially. I pray the Lord will fill me with empathy for Bill as he struggles to give himself up for me, as I struggle to give myself up for him.

But, keep waiting, there’s more.

31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. [Eph 5:31-32 ESV]

Look here. So, God joins the man and woman together and they become one flesh. They are joined together. They become one body. Remember, what GOD has joined together, let no man separate.

In the same way, Christ and the church become one. We are no longer our own. We have been bought with a price. We are to glorify God in our body. We have become joined in our flesh with GOD. We are temples of the Holy Spirit. We are the BODY of Christ.

We submit to Christ because He is the head of the body, the Church. We submit to our husbands because he is the head of the one body which we have formed. (Look back at Ephesians 5:23)

Suddenly all these verses are joining together in a way that I had never grasped before.

This is indeed a profound mystery.

Lord, I pray You would give me the strength and the humility to submit myself. As Christ gave Himself up for me, let me give myself up to Him and to my husband in willing submission and love and obedience. Father, I pray for all my sisters who cannot fathom giving up control, who cannot imagine letting go of the hundreds of plates they are trying to keep spinning. I ask you to help us. Give us the strength to humble ourselves under YOUR mighty right hand as we submit to You, the head of the church, and submit to our husband as the head of our one flesh.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s look at verse 33.