Ephesians 5:15-33, See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, (16) Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (18) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (19) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (20) Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (21) Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. (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.
The most important thing I try to get across to a couple that comes for marriage counseling is that Biblically they will never be right with each other until they are right with God. I am not saying that as a cliché. For a saved couple who are experiencing marital difficulty either one or both of them is not being a Spirit controlled person. Most of the time it is both parties because they have never understood what it means or how to be a Spirit controlled person.
Did you notice in Ephesians 5:15, See then that ye walk circumspectly, (carefully) not as fools, but as wise.
So, what is foolish behavior here? Ephesians 5:18-33 is about two saved Spirit controlled people. Not two lost people or carnal (selfish) Christians. Selfishness is universal in the old nature. When you got saved the Holy Spirit came to indwell you and gave you a new nature. However, the old nature did not go away. It does not get any weaker, but God has given you tools to use to deal with the old nature.
Ephesians 5:17, Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
So, who is the foolish and unwise person who does not understand the will of the Lord? A person not filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18, And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled (controlled) with the Spirit;
There are two very important things to consider. A Spirit controlled person is a submitted person.
Ephesians 5:21, Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
A Spirit controlled person understands they are to submit to each other with a right and caring spirit. The chapter talks about a husband loving his wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.
Ephesians 5:25, Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
You see that is a supernatural giving caring love that can only be had by a person submitted to Christ in their life. By submitting they can be controlled by the Holy Spirit in thought, word, or deed.
If a husband is right with God by being a saved, submitted, and Spirit controlled person, he will love his wife with a supernatural love. A wife who is a submitted Spirit controlled person will respond to that kind of love.
So, my Biblical counsel to every couple who comes for marital counseling is you will not be right with each other until you are right with God, by being a saved, submitted, Spirit controlled person! Ephesians 5:18 is commanded activity. Do not be deceived that you can have a godly marriage without being a Spirit controlled person. Much tragedy and destruction happens today because of wrong thinking that is selfish and based in the old nature. Being a Spirit controlled person must be pursued at all times, not just if you feel like it. I have found that a Spirit controlled person is a faithful person.
James 4:7, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Do you want to know how to be a Spirit controlled person? I would encourage you to read our booklet, How to Have a Real Relationship With God-The Work of the Holy Spirit in a Person’s Life.
You may order this booklet at www.hopebiblicalcounselingcenter.com