Epheser 5:25-28

25Οἱ ἄνδρες, ἀγαπᾶτε τὰς γυναῖκας, καθὼς καὶ ὁ Χριστὸς ἠγάπησεν τὴν > ἐκκλησίαν καὶ ἑαυτὸν παρέδωκεν ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς, 26ἵνα αὐτὴν ἁγιάσῃ > καθαρίσας τῷ λουτρῷ τοῦ ὕδατος ἐν ῥήματι, 27ἵνα παραστήσῃ αὐτὸς ἑαυτῷ > ἔνδοξον τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, μὴ ἔχουσαν σπίλον ἢ ῥυτίδα ἤ τι τῶν τοιούτων, > ἀλλ’ ἵνα ᾖ ἁγία καὶ ἄμωμος. 28οὕτως ὀφείλουσιν [καὶ] οἱ ἄνδρες ἀγαπᾶν > τὰς ἑαυτῶν γυναῖκας ὡς τὰ ἑαυτῶν σώματα. ὁ ἀγαπῶν τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα > ἑαυτὸν ἀγαπᾷ.

Ephesians 5:25-28 (NASB1995)

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 [a]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;

When one reads ( Ephesians 5:26-27 ) within the larger context of Ephesians 5, would it be correct to say that ( Ephesians 5:26-27 ) seems to indicate or suggest that the husband is responsible for taking the “leading” initiative of teaching, emphasizing, or discussing the Biblical Word when he interacts with his wife?

It would suggest that a woman looking for Christian male suitor would need to look for Christian men who have a Deeper Spiritual & Knowledgeable understanding of God’s Biblical Word than herself.

I personally find it sort of troubling because it might suggest that Christian men who work regular jobs (i.e., regular 9 to 5 jobs, doctors, lawyers, etc.) would be in a poor position to marry a woman who is in full-time Christian ministry. The reason being is that it is quite likely that a woman in full-time Christian ministry could spend far more time in The Biblical Word & Christian Fellowship which in turn could mean that she would have a far Deeper Spiritual & Knowledgeable understanding of God’s Biblical Word than said men who work regular jobs.

It would also fail in the very common case where the Christian husband works long office hours, but Christian wife works fewer office hours or might even be a housewife.

The reason being is that the aforementioned Christian wife, due to the fact that she works fewer office hours or the fact that she is a housewife, would have more time to spend reading The Biblical Word & having Christian Fellowship. Thus, the aforementioned Christian wife would very likely have a Deeper Spiritual & Knowledgeable understanding of God’s Biblical Word than her husband.

It is also troubling because there are many wonderful Christian women with very a Deep Spiritual & Knowledgeable understanding of God’s Biblical Word who strengthen Christian male suitors when it comes to their intimacy with God.

Could someone please give their opinion or interpretation of ( Ephesians 5:26-27 ), and how said verses would relate to Christian married couples in the modern 21st century rich/western world?

Related Postings:

What does "ἐν ῥήματι" mean in Ephesians 5:26?

  • I regret I am unable to answer your question from a hermeneutics perspective, but I can say, as a Christian woman, it is the responsibility of the husband to ensure his wife and their children are not left ignorant about God's word. Neither can he delegate the responsibility to a minister. Practically, it means the family prays together, reads the Bible together, attends church together, etc. Their lives are centred round Christian principles and living. It really has nothing to do with being "too busy". Oh, and women who hold down full-time jobs and have a family work longer hours than men!
    – Lesley
    Commented Feb 29 at 9:12
  • @Lesley, amen to that. In addition to this, women must also be on their guard, always.
    – Joshua B
    Commented May 6 at 4:30

1 Answer 1


How does one agapao one's wife to "sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word"?

  • Show her the love of 1Cor.13:4-7.
  • "The family prays together, reads the Bible together, attends church together, etc. Their lives are centered round Christian principles and living." - as Lesley says in her comment. And this is in spite of being tired or having things you would rather do. After all, Jesus could have been somewhere more pleasant on Good Friday.
  • The spiritual leader of the family needs to attend the church that is best for the family, not the church that is best for him in particular. I have seen a problem when this wasn't done, and I have seen success when this was done.
  • Do what is needed, such as baby sitting, so that she can get the Bible study that she needs.

Each of these leads to the wife being sanctified and cleansed "with the washing of water by the word".

None of this requires the husband to exegete the Bible to his wife, just to do, sacrificially, what he is capable of doing.

  • Welcome to the Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange. We are glad you are here. Please take a moment to take the site tour and check out what we are looking for in answers and the FAQs. We look for answers that show their work which means that we show references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support your answer.
    – Jason_
    Commented May 6 at 6:50
  • @Jason Thank you for your comment. In response, I have added two references. Commented May 6 at 17:10

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