this is as per requested. 🙂
Lesson: Love & Respect (Eph 5:21-33)
there are many ways to look at and focus on actually, one is that you look at the obvious and that would be wives and husbands and the other is from this drawing parallels between God and yourselves (the church).
i suppose from the previous lesson led by Si Jia, the main thing you should have taken back should be Eph 5:21:
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”
which was the basis for Gabriel’s and Si Jia’s lessons. and as you can see the lesson starts from vs 21 instead of the supposed vs 22 if you have subheadings in your bibles.
vs 22-24 “wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” at first glance, this may seem unfair to females as in a way, it says outright that we girls are supposed to be humble and give in to our husbands, which of cause is not what the world says with stuff like ” the men don’t get it” which obviously promotes feministic individualism. yet, if you look back at the reason why females where created (Gen 2:18), you will realise that the female’s role is to help, while the men’s role is to lead. however, this does not mean that in terms of status, the men is superior as it is often mistaken as. (i will elaborate on this later) so what does it mean to help? in many instances in the bible, we girls often make the mistake that as a helper, we are inferior which has resulted in alot of conflict especially now, since women have the earning ability too. i think one very good bible passage to refer to would be Proverbs 31. i feel that helping means that we support and understand our husbands. now as a leader teaching you all, support is essential as sometimes we are discouraged by people leaving and stuff and it is not easy. to me, as i read a book called the power of a praying wife, our role as helpers is to encourage our husbands to serve and help them when they are face with problems. thus, submission is emphasized here as there is no way 2 can cooperate when they both want to be leaders. hence as females are created to help, we girls are called to submit and listen to our husbands.
vs 25-27 ” love your wives, and to make her as…” when reading this, i feel that this is something that is REALLY difficult to do. as i mentioned during the lesson, i think its easy to love, but its VERY difficult to ” make her holy…” correct me if i am wrong, but based on my experiences, think about your dads, the men’s role is to support for the family and provide for the family’s needs, so the main focus is on their careers. the important thing that men often neglects is the emotional needs of the wife. i think most men associate loving their wife as providing for her needs and ensuring that she lives in comfort. however, sometimes we girls just need a listening ear and for christians, a person who could help us through our spiritual struggles. therefore the passage says love your wife, to not only provide for her physical needs but also her emotional and spiritual needs by “making her holy”. that in a way is submission as i think it is not at all “manly”, doing what the bible says would mean that as men, you would have to forgo perhaps soccer and social bonding to sit down with your wife and talk, to change your mindset that providing physical needs is enough to love your wife. therefore, men are called to lead, as leaders, the focus is not only on the “project” (which in the case of marriage would be committment and providence) but also to ensure that there is teamwork, respect and understanding amongst the team members (which in this case would be between the husband and the wife) so come to think of it, both parties are not superiorto one another but are having different roles which encourage one another to become more Christ-like.
vs 28-33 often we think that Christ and His church, husband and wife are 2 seperate entities, but the bible says that that as we commit to marriage, we become one flesh (Gen 2:24). i suppose (correct me if im wrong) that this portion of the bible emphasises on the fact that the wife and the husband may have very different personalities, as are we the different “members of His body” that perform different functions. As much as we are different, i think the passage here encourages us to love one another even though we may have differences in the way we do things and view things. i guess why the passage says that husband love wife instead of the other way round is that often we girls are emotionally charged and are the ones who usually start quarrels over little things, hence when the husbands realise this and communicate back in a calm manner, many quarrels can be avoided. (im just guessing since i have nvr been attached, but i got this by observing my parents)
after knowing all this, what has it got to do with you? if you are single or not married then does this passage apply? at this point i think we should go back to vs 21, “submit to one another our of the reverence of Christ” what does it mean? who does one another refer to? i think it refers to everybody, namely wives, husbands, children, fathers, slaves and masters which were the main clusters at that time. submission does not start when you are married or when you are with children or even when you are employed, it starts now, as children and as brothers and sisters in Christ. note that we submit because we love Christ and not because we take on a certain role. i was reading a dating book and it says that preparation for marriage does not start when you are about to get married, it starts now, with the brothers and sisters in Christ around you. practice submission out of your love for Christ.
another way of looking at this passage would be to concentrate on the relationship between husbands and wives and draw parallel to the relationship between Christ and us. sometimes in order for a bgr to work, we have to put in alot of time and effort to get to know the other person better, to antagonise on the part of the boy to think of ways to capture and keep the girl’s heart and for the girl to reciprocate the affections. but yet in a way, Christ loved us when we were unlovable, He even died for us and is “standing at the door” to come into our lives (Rev 3:20). think about it, are we spending enough time with Him? are we interested to know Him and His promises more? if we are not then do we love Him enough in the first place or are we loving some other things more than Him and He is taking the backseat in our lives?