key verse: 33
THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY
In this section, Paul makes an analogy between Christ and the Church, based on Genesis 2:24. Of course, this text applies to human relationships but more importantly, it prefigures the intimate union between the heavenly Spouse and his bride, the Church. From this correlation between Christ and His Church, between husband and wife, Paul concludes four lessons:
1. Jesus is the head of the Church, His body. Man, due to his place in creation, has authority over the woman. 2. Christ asks obedience from His people who are subject to Him. In the same way, the wife must submit to her husband in everything (24), and this not only in public worship. 3. Jesus Christ gave His love to the Church and showed its depth in all that He accomplished in order to redeem her (25b). Inspired by the relationship Christ-Church, Paul states in verse 28 the culminating point: in the same way, husbands should love their wives. 4. Christ views His Church as a part of Himself, as His Body. He takes care of it. In mariage, likewise, the husband is responsible for his wife.
1. Wives, submit to our own husbands (22-24)
Authority belongs to both Christ and the married man. Wives must submit because husbands have the obligation of loving. A husband's tenderness is measured by the greater tenderness of Christ for His spouse. The purpose and effect of Christ's work for His Body is sanctification: the Church is taken out of the world of sin and placed in the world of holiness (26).
2. Husbands, love your wives (25-33)
The analogy continues. Just as husbands love their wives, Christ loves His Body, the Church. Husbands nourish and cherish their wives, which suggests deeply caring, and in the case of a spouse for his wife, implies "protection, affection and material provision". In the same way, the Lord takes care of the Church. Paul starts with the relationship between Christ and the Church and arrives at mariage, not vice versa, which is why we don't see the words "Wives, love your husbands". Christ loves the Church, and the Church obeys Him.