A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Most women do not submit to their husband because they do not trust God.
Leonard Ravenhill said, “If we had more sleepless nights in prayer, there would be fewer souls to have a sleepless eternal night in hell.”
Today, we are moving on to the next major section of Paul’s discussion on the Christian life. First, we talked about how the Christian should be walking in the light rather than in the darkness. Then, we talked about how the Holy Spirit ought to be filling and controlling each believer. Now, we are going to talk about the role of wives and husbands in the home.
The first thing Paul says is, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” This verse sounds so simple, yet it has been the source of much controversy down through the years. False teaching on this verse (or not teaching this verse at all) has resulted in many marriages being ruined and families being destroyed, simply because people have refused to do marriage God’s way. I have found that many Bible-believing churches and pastors seem to believe and preach the Bible on everything except for marriage and the family.
To understand this passage, let’s begin by defining the word “submit.” “Submit” comes from the Greek word “hu-po-tas-so”, which means: “to arrange under, to subordinate; to subject one’s self, to obey; to yield to one’s admonition or advice.” Notice how this word carries with it a willingness on the part of the wife who is to be submissive to her husband. In a marriage, the husband should not have to force the wife to submit, but the wife is to submit willingly. John Piper said submission is the wife’s “disposition to follow a husband’s authority and an inclination to yield to his leadership.”
Many women find no difficulty in submitting to other men on the job or in the church. That is why Paul stresses, “submit yourselves unto your own husbands.” The Bible commands all people to submit to legitimate authority, but specifically commands a wife to be in submission to her own husband. Tony Evans said, “To submit to your husband means you recognize his position as head of the household to accomplish God’s purposes as it relates to the family. You may say, ‘I can’t submit to that man!’ Well, you may not agree with everything Mr. Jones at your job tells you, but you submit. If you’re in court you may not like what the judge thinks, but you submit. We see that these examples do not have to do with submitting to a man, but submitting to a position.”
This submission is to take place “as unto the Lord.” In other words, submission is the duty of a wife who claims to be a follower of Christ. When she submits to her husband’s authority she is obeying Jesus Christ. A wife cannot claim that she is submissive to Christ if she is not submissive to her husband.
The Bible does not speak of submission only as it relates to the husband-wife relationship. Submission is found all throughout Scripture. Samuel had to submit to Eli. Saul had to submit to Samuel (and was punished for not doing so). David had to submit to Nathan. John the Baptist had to submit to Jesus. When Jesus was a child, He had to submit to His earthly parents’ leadership. Jesus had to submit to God regarding His death on the cross. Submission is not a dirty word. It is something that is necessary to human relationships. If there were no authority and no submission there would be chaos in society. And, unfortunately, there is chaos in many homes because the roles of authority and submission are not being filled by husbands and wives.
One Christian woman who realized her responsibility as a wife, wrote these words in a letter to her pastor: “I realize that my submission to my husband is not my gift to him, to be received gratefully on his part, and to be returned in kind. Nor is it to be a subtle form of blackmail. In fact if I were submitting to him as unto the Lord I wouldn’t care what the results were — that’s his business. Actually, a woman is never more free to be herself than when she is most joyfully submissive to her husband’s authority. What a relief to be free to be what I was made for!”
Revive the Family Prayer List
PRAY FOR SPECIFIC FAMILIES
— Rosemary in Chicago, Illinois
heal her husband, Paul, of lung cancer; give her strength
— Lamonica in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
help her friend, Stephan, to be delivered from drugs and alcohol and accept Your love
— Wesley in Wauconda, Illinois
heal his roommate’s friend, Jennifer, of heart problems
help Jennifer’s boyfriend to be caring
— Alice in Beijing, China
have her parents to become real Christians
heal her son who is very ill
PRAY FOR CHURCH LEADERS
Statewide Leaders of the National Baptist Convention
Rogers Kirk, Jr., of Iowa
Garry Levy of Wisconsin
Robert Manaway of Washington State
Kenneth B. Martin of Georgia
Leon R. Massey of Arkansas
Keith B. McGee of Illinois
Calvin McLoyd of Ohio
Marvin Mercer, Sr., of Tennessee
Michael O. Minor of the Mid-South Cooperative Region
Lester Mosley of California Bible Convention
PRAY FOR GOVERNMENTAL LEADERS
Chris Van Hollen
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.