After a relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the relationship between moms and dads is a priority when it comes to making disciples of your children. Your children need to observe and experience the love of Christ living within your home. The marriage relationship is described in Ephesians 5:22-33 as a picture of Christ Himself and the church.
What God’s Word says to wives and husbands
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
The command to wives: submit to and respect your husband
Wives are commanded to submit to and respect their husbands. Jesus submitted to and respected His authority as an example to all, especially wives. Submit to your husband’s leadership. This is especially important in public or with your family. If you have an area of disagreement or see some scriptural area that seems to be violated, lovingly appeal to your husband in private (1Cor. 4:35). Loving your husband this way will give Him great joy and enable Him to better fulfill His God-given role. As you die to self as Christ taught, you will show your husband honor and deference. Your children will observe that you support your husband and follow him.
Submitting to and respecting your husband will fulfill a God-given desire in your husband’s heart. If you submit to and respect your husband, it will be easier for him to love you as Christ loved the church.
The command to husbands: love and give yourself up for her
Husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the church; to give themselves up for them. Jesus loved the church so much that He literally died for the church. Loving your wife this way means more than being willing to physically die for her. It means that you’re willing to die daily to yourself. Loving your wife enough to die to your own selfish motives will give her joy and enable her to better fulfill her God-given role.
You are to do what Jesus did with His disciples. Remember the four components of the way Jesus made disciples. They were His expression of love to His Bride, the church. Like Jesus, do these things with your wife:
1. Jesus called His disciples to follow Him, while He showed them how to follow God. Be your wife’s shepherd; love her and nurture her. Tell your wife to follow you and show her how to follow Christ. Create a lifestyle of discipleship for your family.
2. Jesus was with His disciples all day long. Be with your wife for a significant amount of time each day. If you are away from home during the day, touch base with her. When you are home, turn the television and computer off and be with her. Tell her about your day. Listen to her and validate her.
3. Jesus was constantly teaching scripture to His disciples, and He showed them how to minister to others. You are commanded in Ephesians 5:22-23 to wash her with the word of God. Read God’s word to her and with her; feed her with the Bread of Life. Listen to God-glorifying music. Discuss with your wife how you will minister to others and start a ministry together.
4. When Jesus sent His disciples out, He sent them out in twos for protection from wolves. Make plans for protecting your wife from wolves. Don’t send her into dangerous situations. Be aware of the wolves in her life. Protect your wife by being with her as much as you can when she goes into the world. Like Jesus, arrange to send your wife out with another trusted Christian if you cannot be with her.
If you truly love your wife as Christ loves the church, she will be more inclined to submit to and respect you.
In summary, Jesus showed husbands how to love and nurture and He showed wives how to submit and respect. He gave His life for His disciples and for His bride; that is true love and the ultimate example for husbands. Jesus also submitted to and respected His authority and Father; and that is the ultimate example for wives. As parents fix their eyes upon Jesus and do what He did, children get a glimpse of what it means to be a true follower of Christ.
Article from Disciple Like Jesus