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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Misplaced Instructions: Day 5

For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies…
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.          
 Ephesians 5:23-28, 31-33


Scripture affirms that every aspect of the created world bears silent, but unmistakable witness to God. Marriage as the only pre-Fall institution was woven into the foundation of the world. 

In the New Testament, the word “mystery” has a unique meaning. It is something that God had kept partially or completely hidden from mankind until its full revelation at the coming of Christ. In this case, the mystery revealed is that the purpose of marriage—from its institution in the Garden--is to give the world a picture of the future relationship between Christ and His bride, the church.  

Doubtless, you have heard the phrase beginning, “For this reason a man shall leave his wife…” many times. Haven’t you ever thought, “For what reason?” The reason, in part, is that Christian marriage is for the purpose of demonstrating to the world, through two human beings as they live out their one-flesh, forsaking all others commitment for a lifetime, just how Christ would love and sacrifice Himself for His church and how the church would follow in loving submission.  

When a man loves, leads, protects and cherishes his wife, he is giving the world a picture of Christ-like love. When a wife responds to that kind of leadership with faith-filled submission (whose meaning is simply to order oneself under another in service of a common goal), then the world is given an irrefutable witness of the reality of God’s presence and the goodness of His plans for His children.

Nancy Shirah  

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