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Ephesians 5:21-33 Discussion Guide

21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.—Ephesians 5:21-33

Today, we begin Part 3 of our study through the book of Ephesians. Our passage continues Paul’s theme of unity in Christ, but it also focuses specifically on the distinctiveness of the Christian family, which will continue to the book’s conclusion.

Discussion Questions

1. Mutual Submission: Ephesians 5:21 mentions “be subject to one another in reverence to Christ.” How does this concept of mutual submission contribute to a unified marriage?
2. Headship & Servanthood: The passage describes the husband as the head and the wife as submitting. However, Christ, the head of the church, serves the church. How can a husband reflect Christ-like leadership through service to his wife?
3. Sacrificial Love: Ephesians 5:25 compares Christ’s love for the church to his sacrificial act. How can spouses demonstrate sacrificial love for one another in daily life?
4. Nurturing & Growth: Just as Christ cares for the church, Ephesians 5:29 emphasizes cherishing one’s spouse. How can spouses create an environment that fosters growth and well-being for each other?
5. Shared Mission: The church has a mission entrusted by Christ. Discuss how a married couple can discover and pursue a shared mission or purpose together. How will this unify a marriage?
6. Imperfect Unity: The church isn’t perfect, yet Christ strives to present it as holy. How can acknowledging imperfections contribute to a more unified and supportive marriage?
7. Open Communication: The church functions best with clear communication. Discuss how open and honest communication strengthens unity within a marriage.
8. Conflict Resolution: Disagreements are inevitable. How can spouses approach conflict in a way that fosters understanding and strengthens their bond? What model for marriage can be found in the church’s relationship to Christ?
9. External Influences: The world often presents challenges to Christian values. How can a married couple work together to maintain unity amidst external pressures?
10. Role Models of Unity: Do you know any couples who exemplify Christ-like unity in their marriage? Discuss what qualities they possess and how they inspire you.
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