By Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline
We continue reading Ephesians, and on Sunday our guest preacher, Sue Melrose, preached on this text:
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. 24 Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, 27 so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 because we are members of his body.[b] 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. 33 Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.
Thankfully, she unpacked this particularly troubling passage and helped us to salvage the blessing of radical mutuality.
If those words intrigued you and you haven’t yet, I’d go to the church’s website and find the video of worship.
This passage has been, at times, a text that would be read at weddings. Not any weddings that I’ve ever done, and not any weddings I hope to do, but the fact remains that this is still in the rotation for some folks. Luckily, the day before reading this text, I had the antidote of a beautiful wedding that I had the honor of officiating.
Part of this wedding was a poem read by the bride’s grandfather, Bill King, who was a pastor at Covenant for many years. Because I just made you read that Ephesians text, I want to reward your perseverance with the poem they selected entitled "Love":
Love is not the sort of thing into which you dive or fall. It is not a gooey quagmire of too clingy sentiment.
Love is not a dotage. It is not adoration of one’s self-wishes mirrored by another.
Love is a bond of freedom that offers a safe haven for one to be simply real, and to find that held sacred.
Love is being beside oneself and fully with the other, and in all of that, to be at last, to one’s own self, most welcome.
I pray that you have found that measure of love, whether it be wit
use, partner, sibling, parent, or friend.
I pray that the real you may be held sacred.