I woke up early with my sweetie this morning... he is making his big presentation for the year today! I got to listen to the whole presentation last night (all thirty minutes of mostly medical terms... do I get a gold star??) and it was SO fun! I haven't had much of a chance to hear him in "public speaking mode" and he is so great at it.
So anyhow... once he left for the hospital, it was too late to go back to bed, but too early to start work. I picked up my Bible and randomly turned to Ephesians 5, the famous marriage passage. I've read it and heard it a million times. Every sermon on marriage, every marriage seminar.... it is a GREAT and very important passage in the Bible, but sometimes after hearing it a million times the words start to run together. (At least for me!) Here it is from the NIV:
Instructions for Christian Households21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
**Side note: Ryan got me an NIV/Message Bible for a wedding gift and I LOVE it! It is so nice to be able to read both at the same time. I mostly read the NIV, but referring to the message really helps me understand things sometime. I know a lot of people have issues with the Message, which I completely respect, but personally, it really inspires and helps me to know God better.
SO... as I was reading Ephesians 5, I looked over to the other side of my Bible at the Message. I don't know if I had never read this before, or if it just particularly struck me this morning, but I was so encouraged and inspired by this version of the text. Here it is, I highlighted the parts that especially struck me:
Relationships21 Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.22-24 Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.
25-28 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.
29-33 No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.
I love how the word "submit" is also described as "understanding and supporting" and "honoring" our husbands. As many times as I have read this, it's almost like this all really just 'clicked' for me this morning. (Only 16 months late??) Or maybe that it has just taken on a new meaning... I am not exactly sure. But I am glad. :)
Reading this verse this morning really made me want to love, help, and understand Ryan more! And better than I do now! With "a love that is marked by giving, not getting."
· sylvia ·