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The Church as the Body of Christ
Page 2: The Marriage Application

One of the most noticeable applications springing from this relationship is the teaching of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:22-23:

"Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body."

The principle is that the body is in submission to the head. This principle can be seen in such areas as:

  • Politics, where the body of citizens is subject to the laws and leadership of its parliament, congress, monarch, president, or other such individual or group that would make up the governmental "head" of the nation.
  • Sports, where the body of players on the team is under the guidance of the coach as its "head," and the they are in submission to the coach's decisions and calls.
  • Business, where every major corporation has an individual or group of executives as the "head," who is over the whole "body" of employees in the company.

In Ephesians 5, Paul teaches that in a symbolic, spiritual, but very real-life and practical way, the husband is "the head" of the wife. It is a matter of male spiritual leadership. He is the head of the home, and he is the head of his wife, as Christ is the head of the church.

The parallel here in Ephesians 5 develops into these applications:

  • Wives are encouraged to be subject to their husbands as the church is to Christ. (5:22-24,33)
  • Husbands are challenged to truly love their wives, not just in any old way, but in the way that Christ loves the church, as demonstrated by the amazing acts of love and sacrifice He made on her behalf. (5:25-27)
  • Husbands are taught to love their wives as they would their own physical body, since the wife is the spiritual, symbolic body of the husband. Among other things, this involves nourishing and cherishing her. (5:28-30,33)

Throughout all of this practical, down-to-earth teaching on the marriage relationship, Paul is referencing the relation between Christ and the church, as he notes at the end in verse 32:

"This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church."

Some Implications in the Religious World -->

 Article info: 
By: Robert Hindman

 This Series: 
1 A Universal Metaphor
2 The Marriage Application
3 Some Implications in the Religious World
4 Some Implications Within the Body

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