Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 5

A husband and wife, and their decision to love each other

Ephesians 5:31

At the time of the Bible, a son did not actually leave his parents’ home at the time of his marriage. Instead, he usually brought his new wife there. They would establish their new family at, or as close as possible to, his parents’ home.

So, Genesis 2:24 in fact describes how a man’s responsibilities change at the time of his marriage. Before, his love and respect for his parents should have directed his actions (Exodus 20:12). After, he must still respect his parents (Mark 7:9-13), but his love for his wife must direct many of his actions. Much of the attention that he formerly gave to his parents, must now go to his wife. Before, he only had the responsibilities that his father gave to him. Now he has his own responsibility in his family, and the authority that comes with it.

The Bible does not consider love to be a mere emotion; rather, love is a serious decision that a husband and wife make at the time of their marriage. That decision to love should last for their whole lives, even when their circumstances change (Mark 10:1-12). For example, they might lose their home, their money or their health, but their decision to love each other should not change. That is possible because the decision to love is a very powerful force (Song of Solomon 8:6-7).

So, that kind of love joins a husband and his wife together. It is as if two people have become one person. The husband loves his wife deeply. He cares for her in the same way that he looks after the needs of his own body (5:28). The wife respects her husband deeply. She is eager to obey him (5:22). That is how God intends marriage to be.

Next part: The true meaning of marriage (Ephesians 5:32)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.