Ephesians 5:22-24 The Headship Of The Husband

by | Jun 20, 2023 | Ephesians, New Testament

I. The Design Of Headship

A. Established At Creation

1. God’s design of a husband’s headship over his wife predates Christianity
2. It was not a cultural arrangement or a bias of Paul, but was established in creation
3. We need to be careful to not assign blame to Paul as a chauvinist.
4. We need to not take cues and guidelines from our culture, but go back to the beginning
5. God created mankind to have dominion over creation.
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
6. Adam was created first, but in his dominion, he was incomplete until God made the woman

Gen 2:18 And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
7. Though man was made created first, and given headship, he was incomplete w/o woman. The man was given headship, but needed a suitable helper.
8. In the Old Testament, we see the Christian foundation for marriage.

B. A Picture Of Christ & The Church V. 23

1. A New Testament truth is based upon Jesus’ relationship with His Bride, the church.
2. This second reason is a more uniquely Christian explanation of the headship of the man
3. Only a born-again person can begin to understand the depth & preciousness of this.

a. What it cost Jesus to pay for our sins, to make us His own.
b. What it means for us, His Bride, to have him as our head, our savior.
c. The Unbeliever can’t feel or experience the impact of this statement.
d. Example- “Only a surfer knows the feeling”.
e. For us, only a Christian can appreciate this, and be motivated by it.

4. An unsaved man can never love his wife this way, or understand what it means, until they are born again, & understand the relationship between Christ & His Church.

II. The Relation Of Headship

A. Jesus & His Church Ephesians 4:11-16

1. The picture is that of a head & a body. There is a difference between the head & body.
2. But there is also a vital, organic, intimate union between the head and the body.
3. There is a sameness of life, but a difference in essence.
4. There is a difference of function, but there is a union.
5. Ephesians 5:32This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ & the church.
6. There is an aspect of the union between Jesus and the church that is understandable.
7. There are aspects of the union between Jesus and the church that remain very mysterious, hidden, beyond understanding. And yet that union is real and necessary.
8. Read John 17:20-22 Disciples of Christ experience oneness w/Jesus, yet submit to Him
9. Read Acts 9:1-5 To persecute Christians is to persecute Jesus.

B. A Husband & His Wife Ephesians 5:25-32

1. This further illustrates the vital, spiritual, emotional union of a husband and wife.
2. In marriage, there is a oneness that has as its example Jesus’ relationship w/the church.
3. There is a headship & leadership that is assigned to the husband.
4. There is an appropriate submission (hupotasso) that is for the wife to follow.
5. Though there is leadership & submission, there is not lack of oneness.

C. When This Relationship Breaks Down

1. The same is true in the human body.
2. The body is not a collection of parts loosely attached together.
3. It is an organic whole, a unity.
4. The husband and wife are not separate.
5. They are not two kingdoms which have diplomatic relationships, but are always in a state of tension, one never trusting the other.
6. Christ & the church are one, as the body & the head are one, as husband & wife are one.
7. Love of nature, not of duty.
8. If there is lack of function between head & body, we don’t rush to sever the two, but seek to rejoin them in harmony. That same goal must be what we seek.

III. The Blessing Of Headship

Ephesians 5:23c “…and He is the Savior of the body.

A. What This Doesn’t Mean

1. Jesus’ death for our sins brings forgiveness & justification. Husbands can’t do that.
2. Some suggest that this was a sloppy addition of Paul’s and doesn’t relate to marriage
3. The parallel meaning is found in the word Savior.

B. The Meaning Of “Savior”

1. 1 Tim 4:10 “…we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.”
2. Is God the “savior” of all men? According to the text, He is.
3. Is everyone is going to heaven. No, of course not.
4. The problem lies with the definition of the word “savior”

a. soter, so-tare‘; from G4982; a deliverer, i.e. God or Christ:–saviour.
b. sozo, sode’-zo; to save, i.e. deliver or protect (lit. or fig.):–heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.
c. savior- comes from the root word which means “To preserve”
d. Does God preserve people in this world? Doesn’t he send rain to all people? Doesn’t he allow physical healing to happen to all people?
e. Matthew 5:45 “…for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

5. Are not all people preserved, benefited, by the goodness of God?
6. Whether they believe or not, they are blessed by God.
7. Taking it a step further….Is not the church especially preserved by God?

a. Are not Christians especially protected, preserved, blessed by Jesus.
b. Is he not our preserver?

C. What Is The Application To Christian Marriage?

1. In the same way that Jesus is the preserver, protector of the church…
2. The husband is to preserve, protect, make whole, his wife. Re-read Ephesians 5:28-31
3. The husband is to preserve his wife, make her whole, help her be healed.
4. If Christian men understood this mystical, vital union, they would be better motivated to pursue their roles as husbands.

a. As the head naturally pays attention to the body, so husbands to their wives.
b. Not to do so shows a lack of sp. understanding & is foolish & self injurious.

5. If wives understood the blessings that submission brought to them they would seek to place themselves into this arrangement, and pray that it would exist.

a. It is unnatural for the body want to cut itself off from the head
b. So Christian wives ought to seek to be blessed under this design of God.