Ephesians 5:21-6:9 – New Halakah – The Importance of Relationships

We have been considering the New Halakah that is outlined in Ephesians. In what appears be a change of direction, Paul describes how we relate to people we are in constant contact with. We see this in Ephesians 5:22-6:9 – Where 6 types of relationships are described. Our relationships with our:

Wives – Ephesians 5:22-24, Husbands – Ephesians 5:25-33, Children – Ephesians 6:1-3, Fathers – Ephesians 6:4, Servants – Ephesians 6:5-8, Masters – Ephesians 6:9.

Relationships are a key element in the Kingdom of God. God is in an eternal relationship as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That relationship is functional, blessed and fruitful. We were created to reflect that to the world.

In Chapter 3 we learned about the Wisdom of God which is reflected in key relationships. Foundationally the Assembly of God’s people -. Jews and Gentiles brought together as one. But God’s wisdom in revealed to the world in our personal relationships. It is through our relationships that we reflect the love of God to the world.

Through marriage we reflect the image of God. “In His image He created them Male and Female”. It is through our children that we reproduce after our own kind and through them come in contact with others. It is through our relationships that we reflect the Wisdom and love of God.

Our relationships reflect the dynamics of the New Covenant: Submission, love, sacrifice, obedience, and honesty. By example we demonstrate in our relationships what is God’s will, and prepare others to be receptive to the Messiah!

Our walk is reflected in these relationships: Let’s consider our walk in Marriage: Wives in Ephesians 5:22-24. Wives are to submit to their husbands in everything…Just as they are to submit to the Lord. Just as the church is to submit to Messiah. So wives are called to submit to their husband. The reason: the husband is head of the wife, just as Messiah is head of the church. As there is lines of authority in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so too in the family.

In the family, it is God’s Will that the husband be the head of the wife, and that parents be over their children.  Wives have the opportunity to demonstrate the wisdom and value of an important principle: submission. Jesus taught by both word and example the importance of submission, washing the disciples feet. We all are to submit in one way or another and be subject to one another in the fear of Messiah – Ephesians 5:21. Through their submission, wives prove that God’s will is best.

The walk of husbands Ephesians 5:25-30. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Messiah also does the church. The command “ Husbands, love your wives”, continues the mutual submission mentioned in Ephesians 5:21. And be subject to one another in the fear of Messiah.”

The husband who submits to the Lord by being filled with His Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Is able to love his wife with the love Yeshua has for His own bride, the church. The world’s love is object oriented based on personal appeal. It is fickle, as soon as it loses that appeal the love it was based on disappears. 

God loves us because it is His nature to love not because we are attractive or deserve His love. He loves because He cannot do otherwise. It is His nature. God can command us to love as He loves because He has given us the capacity to love as He loves. We must chose to love. It is an act of the will as well as of the heart.

A husband is not commanded to love his wife because of what she is or is not. He is commanded to love her because it is God’s will for him to love her. It is that kind of love that purifies. It is a love that cleanses. It is the kind of love that God has for us. That purifies and cleanses us. It is this kind of love that world sees and marvels at. The walk of children – Ephesians 6:1-3. Children are to obey their parents in a way that honors them.

There are benefits for obedience “that it may be well with you…” Moreover as Colossians 3:20 reminds us “for this is well pleasing to the Lord”. By their example, children show the value of obedience to the commands of God.

The walk of Fathers: The are charged both negatively and positively: Don’t provoke children to wrath (discipline without love). Bring them up in the “training and admonition” of the Lord (discipline tempered with love). In the world, people usually fall into two extremes: Discipline without love (child abuse) or love without discipline. (permissiveness).When fathers Administer both love and discipline, They show how God raises His own children: We see this in Hebrews 12:5-6.

Servants were part of the fabric of many households in the First Century. Their relationship were the subject of much of the Scriptures. Joseph and Daniel are both examples of Biblical servanthood. Believers who were servants were to exemplify the proper kind of obedience required of God’s servants.

Obedience with fear and trembling:

Fear and trembling is a characteristic of a servant of God.Not the fear of a superior or a trembling that something unpleasant might happen. It is to fear and tremble before God lest we serve poorly and bring dishonor to Him.

The walk of Masters – those Believers who had slaves. Were charged to treat their slaves with the same guidelines given to servants. “with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Messiah”. Knowing that he serves the Lord. He is to oversee with grace and mercy like the Lord.

How we conduct ourselves in our marriage and daily relationships effects our testimony revealing the wisdom of God. Marriages and families that are not healthy do damage to the claims we make about the gospel and its power to transform lives. Marriages that reflect the teachings of God’s Word speak volumes of the principles inherent in the gospel; Principles God calls His people to:

Submitting to God and others in authority, Exercising authority with sacrificial love, Obeying those placed over us by God, Developing others through training and admonition, not intimidation, Rendering service that is sincere, not hypocritical, Exercising authority with justice and fairness.

So we are to “walk worthy of the calling” that we have in Messiah. Let’s not overlook those areas where it is most imperative to have a worthy walk”: In our marriages and families, In our work and overseeing those given to our charge. This is walk that pleases God as the Scriptures admonished Israel: Deuteronomy 6:4. Leviticus 19:18, Micah 6:8.

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