Love and Respect


What do we do when a football is coming toward our face? We put our hands up to catch it, right? Otherwise, the ball would hit us in the face. We are doing this to protect ourselves. This quick response is more of a reflex than an action. In the same way, we eat if we are hungry, or drink when we are thirsty. And this is how God wants us to respond to our spouse: without delay, as if it is second nature to us, and certainly how we would respond to ourselves if we were the one in need.

  • In what ways do you struggle with being selfish, or are you good about putting others first?


22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What is the instruction for wives in verse 22? What rationale did Paul give for this instruction?
  2. Husbands aren’t off the hook. What is the instruction for them (vs. 25)?
  3. Why do you think God gives us this powerful example in Scripture of Christ and his church?
  4. Though this passage is aimed at husbands and wives, what truth is revealed that encourages all believers, single and married (vss. 26-27)?
  5. What can you do, personally, to change or continue the way you treat your spouse? Name three things and plan to put them into action today.


So, this is our calling if we are married. This is how God wants us to respond to our spouse. Protect.  Love. Respect. Honor. Submit. Love some more. Selflessly. Respond to our spouse the way we would to ourselves, and more. We are responsible for our own actions and choices, not others. We answer to God, and God is asking each one of us today to love and respect our spouses. Let us obey God together as a church, and show others who our God is by the way we treat our spouses. A marriage lived out God’s way can be a very powerful witness to a lost and dark world. Let’s let our actions speak loudly!

  • Thank God for your spouse and believe that he wants the best for you both. Pray and ask for his help to love and respect your spouse today.
  • If you are single, thank God that he is sanctifying you, and desires to present you holy and blameless.