By Oscar M. Baker
"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God" (Eph. 5:20,21). Too many think that prayer is begging for something from God. But thanksgiving should preface all prayer. And be thankful for everything. Can you do that? And how about this submission one to another? Our slogan is all too often, "Me first." We can and should consider our neighbor Christians better than ourselves. How easy, then, to get along.
"Wives, submit yourselves unto you own husbands, as unto the Lord" (Eph. 5:22). Note again the word submit in the preceding verse. There is the place to find its meaning. Remember that husband is head of wife ... Christ Head of the Church ... and Savior (preserver) of the body. Read verse 24 carefully and take it to heart. Practical.
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it" (Eph. 5:25). Note that verse 22 did not say for wives to love their husbands, but to submit. It is not till you come to Titus 2:4 do you find that wives are to love their husbands, and that in an indirect manner of saying. So there must be mutual love and respect. Read verses 26-33 here and note the stress made on the responsibility of husbands. The wife is a part of the husband, even of his own flesh. This is a mystery, not fully understood. And so it is with Christ and the church. How much can we comprehend of the relationship?
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right"
(Eph. 6:1). You may ask Why; but the simple answer is that it is right. But what does it mean about the Lord? Does that mean that if the parents are not in the Lord, the child is not to obey? Not ever. The child has no right or ability to judge. He is subject entirely to the parent. And the parent is responsible, not the child. Many a child has been ruined for being a Christian by some well-meaning pastor or evangelist advising them not to obey non-Christian parents. Beware! Note that the 5th commandment is mentioned, but not quoted entire. The Gentiles of Ephesians have no promised land in which to live long.
"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). This is very short, but needs no explanation. Note all along in these verses that there is a lot of responsibility on the husband and father. He is to be the head of the family. They are to look to him for wisdom, strength, and ability. But if he cannot measure up to this, then of course the wife will have to take over. Example, Abigail.
"Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters, according to the flesh, with fear and trembling" (Eph. 6:5). Note every word of this.
(Reprinted from Truth For Today, Vol. 31, No. 8)