Why You Need the Spirit (Part Two) by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

Ephesians 5:21
And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

I find it revealing that Paul discusses the Holy Spirit (see Eph. 5:18-21) just before moving into a practical discussion of family relationships (see 5:22-6:4). Obviously, a clear result of being “filled with the Spirit” is to have a submissive spirit. Men and women are to submit to each other and to serve each other’s needs.

Each of us needs to defeat selfishness. On more than one occasion I have a desire to be angry at Barbara. Yet, at the same time, I realize that my life is a temple of God, that the Holy Spirit lives in me with the same power that raised Christ from the dead. The Spirit helps me control my temper, impatience and my desire to say things I would later regret.

In marriage, there is to be mutual submission where a woman yields to the leadership of a man who denies himself in order to love his wife as Christ loved the Church. What a mystery this is! He is still the leader, but he submits his life to his mate.

In this type of situation, the woman’s responsibility of “submission” takes on an entirely new meaning. Any husband who is living out Paul’s instructions here in Ephesians 5 could never treat his wife as a second-class citizen or with chauvinist disregard for her needs and feelings. That is the farthest thing from Paul’s (and God’s) mind.

As you and your mate ask God to empower you with the Holy Spirit, His fruit will become a growing, increasing part of your life together. And as the God of peace and harmony fills your hearts and takes up residency in your marriage, you will experience the oneness and intimacy only He can provide.

Prayer:
That the Holy Spirit would give you not only an understanding of your unique roles and responsibilities in marriage, but also the ability to subject your lives to each other.

Discuss:
What evidence could you, as a husband, present to show that you consistently love your wife as Christ loves the Church? What evidence would you as a wife present to show that you are being submissive to your husband?

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