The questioning Huffington Post headline read: “What Does The Bible Actually Say About Marriage?”, then proceeds to tear apart verses selected for marriage ceremonies, states there are no “biblical family values” and basically asks if we “Conservative Christians” read our Bibles. As you know, I do. And, I encourage others to do so, too. In fact, the article ends with:
Christians will always turn to the Bible for guidance -- and we should.It is to one reference the author uses that I turn to – and have written on before:
Ephesians 5:22-33 commands wives to obey their husbands and husbands to love their wives. Conservative Christians may try to explain away the offense of this passage, but there's no escaping its ugly reality.This is a diametrically opposed conclusion from my own viewpoint. The author discusses wifely submission out of context. As others who find this concept offensive, he dismisses the scriptural references to the wife's and the husband’s full responsibilities.
The author does not delve into the relationships, studying them in these scriptures. This is not “ugly reality” when wives consider that their husbands are to love them as Christ loves His church. The depth of that sacrificial love is what my husband gives to me.
The opening verse requires me to understand that my submission is as it would be to our Lord – not as it would be to an abusive relationship I am required to endure. Not as it would be to a selfish man bent on getting his own way, but:
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22 KJV)
My Beloved Husband has his own requirements to meet:
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Ephesians 5:25 KJV)
Why should a woman marry for anything less than this depth of love? With their greater responsibility, husbands get a few more verses, too:
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: (Ephesians 5:28-29 KJV)
Nourished. Cherished. That’s what our Lord requires my husband provide to me. Oh, how I adore that reality! I have for more than 50 years!
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (Ephesians 5:31 KJV)
One man. One wife. As it was in the beginning. Loving each other, and their Lord, unselfishly. Growing daily in the nourishment that love offers. Imperfect creatures that we are, we need that daily growth. I can honestly give my Beloved Husband exceptionally high marks in achieving his responsibilities – better than mine, I’m certain.
How sad it is that the author’s Bible reading, his very religious belief system, does not offer the same to him. It usually doesn’t when we try to make His word fit our lives instead of allowing our lives to respond to His word.