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Husbands, [aner] love [agapao] your [heautou] wives, [gune] even as [kathos] Christ [Christos] also [kai] loved [agapao] the church, [ekklesia] and [kai] gave [paradidomi] himself [heautou] for [huper] it; [autos] KJV-Interlinear
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave
Himself up for her; NASB
The wife is to place herself of her own free will, under the complete subjection of her husband.
As a single person she has no such obligation. But once she marries, she then places herself under the command and will of her husband, and she should know this, and certainly him, prior to entering into marriage.
The husband on the other hand has the authority of command, but that does not come lightly to him. He likewise has a tremendous obligation and responsibility to his wife, in that she is not his slave, but now his responsibility.
His pattern for rule is love. But this is not just any love and certainly not the kind that you are probably thinking about.
Love, 'agapao,' is a reference to the principles of truth. This is not friendship, not intimacy, but principle.
Christ is the pattern. Christ did all for the church, which is the body of believers. Christ participated in the establishment of the divine decrees, which it the detailed plan for all of history. Christ created an entire universe, in all of its phenomenal detail. Christ executed a plan for salvation which took him to the very brink of death and beyond. And he did it for only one reason, which was you and for your eternal benefit.
Everything that Christ did and has done and will do, is for the benefit of the church on the whole and for you individually.
This then is the pattern of the husband.
He has a wife, and then presumably a family. In the typical family structure, the husband is the master of the home, but the wife is the commander of the family within that home.
A smart husband will clearly identify his wife's strengths and utilize them, by allowing her to function freely within the home. One never attempts to micro-manage the area of responsibility of another. Micro-management only ends in chaos and confusion. This is true in government, in the military, in organizations, and especially in the family, which is the fundamental organizational and support structure for all of society.
As goes the family, so goes society.
Now, obviously in our contemporary times, there are many different types of family structures. In most families, both parents work, just to be able to make ends meet. And in those situations, the successful family divides up the home responsibilities for practical purposes, but the main objective of the family is the unity of that family, and not the individual objectives in entertainment. Both parents must work together with common goals.
Where there are questions, then common sense and unselfishness should be the guide.
But remember the overall responsibility of the husband is to place his wife's welfare ahead of himself.
Christ gave everything so that the church could thrive and have eternal life. The husband cannot give eternal life, but he can place his wife's needs first on his priority list.
Later we will see that the wife in not commanded to love her husband, but to respect him, and that is a very different attitude requirement from what is mandated of her husband. That study is still several verses away.
When both husband and wife give their all respectively to each other, then the marriage can only be successful. But that giving of all, incorporates all aspects of the marriage, and cannot be used to pick and choose what one will or will not abide with. Manipulation or control, are not a part of this marital formula.
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.