Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Revelation 21:9b …Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.


MEMORY VERSE: And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. —Revelation 21:2


CENTRAL THOUGHT: God instituted marriage as an illustration of this great spiritual truth: there is one bridegroom, Christ; and one bride, the Church, which He purchased with His own blood. When we are redeemed by His blood we become part of that one bride and are united to Christ; by the same redemption we are also made members of one another.




Ephesians 5:23 “Saviour”: deliverer; preserver.
Ephesians 5:27 “Glorious”: honorable; splendid; gorgeous. “Figuratively equal to free from sin” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon).
Ephesians 5:29 “Nourish”: nurture; bring up to maturity; feed. “Cherish”: nourish; keep warm; foster with tender care; comfort.




Today’s lesson draws from both the story of the creation of man in lesson one and Paul’s comparison of the human body to the body of believers in lesson two. Here Paul presents the analogy of marriage, which typifies Christ and His bride.

The analogy is not the first in the Scriptures. Many times the prophets referred to the relationship between God and his people, Israel, as a marriage; in idolatrous times, Israel is presented as an adulteress wife or a harlot.

The relationship portrayed in the Song of Solomon points forward to the love between Christ and His bride.

Isaiah prophesied that in the times of the Messiah, the “land”—God’s chosen inheritance of holy people—would be “married,” and that He would rejoice over “her” as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride (Isaiah 62:4-5).

Hosea’s message was of the devoted way God wooed his wayward people back to Him (Hosea 2:19-20).

In the New Testament, John the Baptist referred to Jesus as being the bridegroom who has the bride (John 3:29). Paul’s writings allude to this same concept several times, as well.

In I Corinthians 15:45 Paul compares the first man, Adam, with Christ, Who is called “the last Adam.” What a thrilling connection! Consider: from the first Adam’s rib, the Lord God made Eve, “the mother of all living.” Out of the last Adam’s side came the church, His bride, purchased “with his own blood.” To the Galatians Paul wrote that the church, the New Jerusalem (which John saw coming down from God out of heaven and called “The Lamb’s wife”), is “the mother of us all.” To Eve, Adam said, “This is now flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone.” Of Jesus, Paul said, “We are members of His flesh and of His bones.”

This important truth is integral to the doctrines concerning Biblical marriage, the church of God, and the unity of God’s people.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




  1. A Comparison: Of what is marriage a type? Discuss the different parts of the analogy.
  2. A Mystery: Give your thoughts on why Paul calls this a mystery.




My heart has been very thrilled and stirred by the importance God has placed on oneness. His desire was to have unity and fellowship with every living soul—a vertical relationship, if you will. God desired oneness, unity and fellowship between His children—a horizontal relationship—the result of oneness with Christ. The spiritual and physical relationship in a natural marriage, which were instituted to portray the relationship between Christ and the Church, were all present in God’s design from the very beginning of time and were His crowning creation. That was the setting forth of a great PURPOSE and a great mystery unknown throughout many ages, which was fulfilled and completed in Jesus Christ.

I’m thrilled because I’m glimpsing a beautiful vision, of both marital unity and Christian unity. I’m stirred because I see how satan has sabotaged unity over and over. I see it as the goal, the possibility. Like the human body, it is fearfully and wonderfully planned and made. Fearful because it can be thwarted and hindered by sin and disobedience. Full of wonder because of the way the Scriptures, from beginning to end, fit together to present a complete, beautiful plan!

I am challenged to the quest and the possibilities. In marriage, how can we better experience true unity and present to the world a clear picture of God’s plan? With my brothers and sisters in the whole scope of humanity, how can I better relate and enter into a greater bond of sympathy and compassion for them? How can I make life more about US and less about ME? In the body of Christ—those who, being redeemed by His blood, are baptized into one body by one Spirit—how may I experience greater and more perfect unity and harmony? I am seeking earnestly. Will you seek too?

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




Adam Clarke writes, “We find that the authority of the man over the woman is founded on his love to her, and this love must be such as to lead him to risk his life for her. As the care of the family devolves on the wife, and the children must owe the chief direction of their minds and formation of their manners to the mother, she has need of all the assistance and support which her husband can give her; and, if she performs her duty well, she deserves the utmost of his love and affection.

The husband is to love his wife, the wife to obey and venerate her husband; love and protection on the one hand, affectionate subjection and fidelity on the other. The husband should provide for his wife without encouraging profuseness; watch over her conduct without giving her vexation; keep her in subjection without making her a slave; love her without jealousy; oblige her without flattery; honour her without making her proud; and be hers entirely, without becoming either her footman or her slave. In short, they have equal  rights and equal claims; but superior strength gives the man dominion, affection and subjection entitle the woman to love and protection. Without the woman, man is but half a human being; in union with the man, the woman finds her safety and perfection.”

–Sis. LaDawna Adams