First things first
But be filled with the Spirit… Ephesians 5:18 (NKJV)
"Context is king!" That's a well-known rule of thumb when it comes to studying the Bible. Whenever you attempt to interpret a particular passage, it's absolutely critical to understand the context in which the passage appears. In other words, know what comes before and what comes after the Scripture you're looking at, because it will often shed light on the passage you're studying.
Our focus is going to be on Ephesians 5:21-33 for the next few days, but there's an important contextual consideration we need to make first. That consideration is discovered when we back up a few verses where Paul tells his readers to "be filled with the Spirit."
Take note: Before launching into a discourse on how husbands are to treat their wives and how wives are to treat their husbands, the Apostle tells everybody to be filled with the Holy Spirit. That must come first, because if husbands and wives bypass this step, they won't have the ability to do what they're supposed to. They're going to lack the love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, self-control, etc. that they need to have a God-honoring relationship (Galatians 5:22-23). They won't be able to act spiritually without the Spirit's help.
This makes sense, doesn't it? Yet it's amazing how often couples try to fulfill their marital roles in their own strength. Naturally, they fail. And when they do, they throw up their hands in frustration and determine it's an impossible task. And they're right, it is an impossible task for them to accomplish…but the Spirit can and will do it as they pray for His filling in and upon their lives.
God has a plan for marriage, a plan that works—and works well. But it's a plan we can only truly accomplish when we put first things first by seeking the Holy Spirit's help.
Think about it…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?