July 30, 2017 – Ephesians 5:25-33

Lesson Date: July 30, 2017

Focal Scripture Passage: Ephesians 5:25-33

AIM: To lead students to discover how Christian husbands are supposed to relate to their wives, and to commit themselves to following God’s guidelines.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Ephesians 5:25-33 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Read the following case study to the class:

John, a husband and father, was more interested in doing what he wanted than in meeting the needs of his family. On payday John would often spend most of his paycheck on liquor and lottery tickets. His wife had to work two hard jobs to keep food on the table.

Tell the class that the national news sometimes reports the sad details of a husband who brutally murdered his wife and children. There are many abusive husbands in our world. Police answer thousands of “domestic dispute” calls each year. There are also many unfaithful and unloving husbands who destroy their homes and endanger their families through immorality. Many men abandon their families, refusing to provide the financial support that is their responsibility.

Ask: “What does the Bible have to say about these things? What instructions does the Bible have for Christian husbands?” Today’s lesson will answer those questions.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the class that we are studying the New Testament book of Ephesians. Locate Ephesus on the map.
    • Remind them that chapters 1, 2, and 3 are primarily doctrinal, while chapters 4, 5, and 6 contain very practical instructions for living the Christian life.
    • Ask: “What did we learn about in Ephesians 5:15-21?” (being filled with the Spirit).
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (God’s instructions for Christian wives).
    • Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (Eph. 5:22).
  2. God’s Command to Christian Husbands.
    • Read Ephesians 5:25.
    • Ask: “What command does God give to Christian husbands?” (love your wife).
    • Ask: “Who is the model for the kind of love husbands are supposed to express to their wives?” (Jesus Christ).
    • Ask: “What did Jesus do for the church?” (gave His life for it).
    • Lead the class to discuss the following questions: “In practical terms, what do you think it means for a Christian husband to love his wife like Jesus Christ loved the church? What would that kind of love look like in action?” Allow time for some responses.
    • Remind the class that this command comes in the context of the previous command to be filled with the Spirit (v. 18). It is impossible for a husband to truly love his wife like Christ loved the church unless he is filled with the Holy Spirit of God. This is one reason we must be filled with the Spirit!
    • Summarize: Christian husbands are commanded to love their wives completely, sacrificially, and without concern for their own well-being. That’s a big job!
  3. Christ’s Example for Christian Husbands.
    • To learn more about the kind of love Christ has for His church, ask a volunteer to read Ephesians 5:26-27.
    • Ask: “According to these verses, why did Jesus die for the church? In other words, what does Jesus Christ want to do for His church?” (sanctify it, cleanse it, wash it with His Word, and bring it to a state of glorious perfection).
    • If Christian husbands are supposed to love their wives like Christ loved the church, then they should work toward sanctifying, cleansing, washing with God’s Word, and perfecting their wives!
    • Ask: “What do you think that would look like lived out in a real-life marriage?”
    • Remind the class that the Christian husband must be filled with the Spirit to do this.
    • Summarize: Christian husbands are commanded to follow Christ’s example of giving themselves for the good of their wives.
  4. An Illustration of How Christian Husbands should Love their Wives.
    • Read Ephesians 5:28-29.
    • Explain that the word “So” at the beginning of this verse ties it to the preceding verses. It literally means “in the same way.”
    • Ask: “How should men love their wives?” (like they love their own bodies).
    • Ask: “What does loving one’s wife show about the husband?” (that he cares for his own well-being).
    • Ask: “What does verse 29 tell us about human nature?” (that we all look out for our own safety and welfare).
    • The devil has perverted this truth in recent years, as evidenced by the many suicides and murder-suicides in our modern society. Normal human nature, however, is to protect and care for one’s body.
    • Ask: “What does this tell you about how a Christian husband should care for his wife?” (he should protect, nourish, and cherish her).
    • Ask: “What do you think that would look like lived out in a real-life marriage?”
    • Remind the class that the Christian husband must be filled with the Spirit to do this.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Ephesians 5:30.
    • Ask: “Why should husbands take care of their wives?” (as Christians, they both belong to Jesus Christ and both are part of His body).
    • Summarize: Christian husbands are commanded to love their wives like they love themselves, providing for their spiritual nurture and protection.
  5. The Lesson Taught by Christian Husbands.
    • Read Ephesians 5:31.
    • Tell the class this is a quotation of Genesis 2:24, in which God laid out His original blueprint for marriage.
    • Ask: “Who is the husband supposed to leave?” (his parents).
    • Ask: “Who is he supposed to be joined to?” (his wife).
    • Explain that the proper relationship between a married couple requires a separation from their parents (“leave”). Over-attachment to parents is a common cause of marital strife.
    • Read Ephesians 5:32.
    • Remind the class that a mystery is a spiritual truth that was previously hidden, which has now been revealed to believers.
    • Ask: “What relationship does a godly marriage symbolize?” (the relationship of Christ and His church).
    • Explain that the proper relationship between a Spirit-filled Christian husband and his Spirit-filled Christian wife presents a picture of the relationship between Jesus Christ and His church.
      • The institution of marriage was given to us for companionship, happiness, and to replenish the earth ( 1:28), but there is even more to it than that.
      • One reason God created marriage is that it pictures the relationship of Christ and the church (the bride of Christ).
    • Tell the class that Ephesians 5:33 summarizes the entire passage. Ask a volunteer to read that verse.
    • Ask: “What is the husband commanded to do?” (love his wife as himself).
    • Ask: “What is the wife commanded to do?” (“reverence” her husband).
    • Ask: “What do you think that would look like lived out in a real-life marriage?”
    • Remind the class that the husband and wife must be filled with the Spirit to do this.
    • Summarize: The loving and orderly relationship of a Sprit-filled husband and wife portrays to the world the loving relationship of Christ to His church.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: To summarize the lesson, ask the class to describe how the Bible commands a husband to relate to his wife.

Remind the class that all of these instructions are based on being filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). If the husband is filled with the Spirit he can sacrificially love, care for, and nurture his wife. If he’s not Spirit-filled, his selfishness will prevent him from doing those things. Further, if he can’t love his wife like Christ loved the church that is because he is not filled with the Spirit.

As in last week’s lesson, tell the class that learning the facts from the Bible is only half of what we need to do. Our learning is not complete until we not only grasp the facts, but also apply them to our lives. Many people know the facts but ignore them. The result is disastrous!

Urge the students to obey and apply God’s commands for their lives. Ask everyone to bow their head and privately evaluate their life to determine if they are obedient to God. Urge them to confess their sins and commit themselves to obeying God’s instructions in their marriage (or future marriage). Lead a closing prayer of confession and commitment.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Ephesians 5:25. Encourage them to ask the Lord to fill them with His Spirit daily, so they can walk worthy (Eph. 4:1) of Him in their home.

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