Sermons About Marriage

Title: Mutual Submission in Marriage

Text: Ephesians 5:21-33

The context of this sermons about marriage goes back to verse 18. There Paul tells his readers to be filled with the Spirit. Then there are a series of participles that describe what a person filled with the Spirit will act like. Those participles are the characteristics of a Spiritual life. They are:

  1. Speaking
  2. Singing
  3. Giving (thanks)
  4. Submitting (to one another)

These participles describe the behavior of a Spiritual person – a person who is energized by the Spirit of God.

The final participle, "submitting" is where our current passage picks up. Often times, we start this sermons about marriage at verse 22 ("wives submit to your husbands"), but in fact to be accurate in our sermon, we should begin at verse 21 ("submit to one another"). The word "submit" doesn't really appear after the word, "wives," it is implied from the participle in the first half of the sentence.

Therefore, we need to focus on verse 21 if we are to really understand this passage. Paul is not telling wives to be the only ones who are to submit. The passage is careful to state that both husbands and wives are to submit to each other.

Then, to really get a handle on the passage it is helpful to go to the end of the text (verse 33) and read Paul’s summary of what he meant by what he said in verses 21-32. His summary shows that each person in the marriage is to submit to the other. A husband is to submit by sacrificially loving his wife. A wife is to submit by respecting her husband.

Now that we understand the context, we can look at an outline for the passage.

Mutual Submission in Marriage Reveals a Couple Controlled by the Holy Spirit.

  1. Spirit Controlled Wives Respect Their Husbands (vs. 22-24) – When Paul summarizes these verses in verse 33, he explains what he meant in verses 22-24. That is that wives should respect their husbands.
  2. Spirit Controlled Husbands Sacrificially Love Their wives – The word "love" in this passage is the Greek word, "agape." This is no casual love. It is a love that gives up whatever it takes to see that a wife develops into a mature Christian. In that, it is a sacrificial love: a love like Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

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