2012-10-14 Ephesians 5:21-6:4
Leader: Pastor Biebert
Meeting Time: 8:00 AM & 10:15 AM
only god makes marriage heavenly.
Ephesians 5:21 – 6:4
Traditional Roman family values showed how the head of a house should deal with his family members. These discussions broke down husband-wife, father-child and master-slave relationships. The Holy Spirit had Paul borrow this format to give God’s design for the Christian home. Having the male head of the house submit to family members and employees was unheard-of. In the Greek, verse 22 borrows the verb from verse 21.
Why apply the general principle of verse 21 specifically to the wife?
Some ancient marriage contracts even stated a requirement for absolute obedience from the wife. This made sense especially to Greek thinkers, who didn’t conceive of wives as equals. Age differences contributed to this disparity: husbands were normally older than their wives, often by over a decade in Greek culture.
Doesn’t this mean Christian wives will make themselves doormats (5:23-24)?
Ancient household codes never list love as a husband’s duty. Those codes told husbands only to make their wives submit. For Christians submission does not mean inferiority.
Should the Christian wife condition her behavior on her husband’s love (5:24-33)?
Instead of demanding that his wife live for him, the Christian husband does his best to live for her. Rather than keeping her under, he seeks to lift her up. He has a unique motivation for this, one that deviates from what’s normal for society.
How many verses for the wife section? How about the husband’s section? What does this tell us (5:23)?
God didn’t pick us because we’re so irresistible. Ephesians says we have spots and wrinkles. Spots come from flaws in our skin. Wrinkles happen because we break down on the inside. Getting cleaned up was important in Bible times whenever a person wanted to impress someone else, especially a bride for her groom. Notice how Jesus’ wife got her beauty treatment.
How can Jesus be the inspiration for both husbands and wives when He never married (5:25-28)?
Often Jesus tried to teach His first students and us not to throw our weight around. God established marriage for many reasons. For one thing, it meets people’s emotional needs. “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18). Marriage also has a social purpose in bearing children to continue the race (Gen. 1:28). Paul indicated a physical purpose for marriage—to help man and woman with the normal desires God gave them (1 Cor. 7:1–3). In Ephesians 5, we have also a spiritual purpose in marriage. The husband and wife each have a role in reminding the other of Jesus and what He did.
What’s the connection between 5:30 and 5:31?
Men care for their bodies even though they are imperfect. They should also care for their wives even though they are imperfect. Adam had to give part of himself to get a bride. Jesus gave up His whole self at the cross to get us.
7. How come it only tells the wife to “respect her husband” (5:32)?
Jewish and Greek/Roman writers unanimously agreed children needed to honor their parents, and, at least till they grew up, needed to obey them as well. At the same time, the father’s parenting tool was the beating, which was standard in child rearing and education. Greek and Roman society was even harsher on newborn children. The father only accepted an infant as a legal person only when he officially recognized it. If the father refused this, babies could be abandoned or, if deformed, killed. God assigns parents the task of giving their children the training they need. At the root of “discipline” is “disciple.”
8. Point out the sections of 6:1-4 that speak to children’s physical needs. Where there does it speak to children’s spiritual needs?
Jesus never bases His treatment of us on our performance record. God wants us to translate this philosophy into our closest relationships. The only things we can take with us from this life are the people God uses us to bring to Jesus. That’s why God wants us to be role models of Jesus.
1. How does this section connect to Mark 10:2-16? What’s the connection to Genesis 2:18-24?
God shows us His design for heavenly marriages. What’s the biggest challenge for making this work?
What non-Christian tools do family members use to get their way?