Reposted from 2011:
Read Ephesians 5 at Bible Gateway.
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. Eph 5:1
Paul is continuing to discuss what it means to walk worthy of the calling with which we have been called (Eph 4:1). He begins by explaining to the ekklesia, that the way we are to walk is the same way that God walks, and when we walk in this way, we are imitating Him.
Eph 5:1-7: Walk in love, not being deceived in what “love” means, for what the world calls “love” (fornication, immorality, covetousness, idolatry) God does not call love, and those who do not walk in love as defined by God, will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Eph 5:8-14: Walk in light, not participating in darkness with children of darkness, but expose darkness, just as light illuminates the deeds of darkness when it shines on them.
Eph 5:15-17: Walk circumspectly, (being careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences, prudently watchful or discreet in the face of danger or risk, by surveying all possible consequences before acting or deciding – Webster’s), wisely, not foolishly, by understanding what the will of the LORD is.
When I was a new believer, I was told by a teacher of the Word, that nowhere in the Word does God reveal His will for us, that it is up to each one of us to figure out from the LORD what His will is for our individual lives. I was told that the one passage which expressed God’s will, is the one that says, Give thanks in all things, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 The 5:18). I was told that other than giving thanks, God was silent on what His will is for us.
That is such a blatantly false teaching, but it did years of damage in my life as I went on believing that I just had to figure out each day what God wanted me to do, but that there was no foundational standard. There is a foundational standard; the entire Torah expresses the will of God for His people; and the wise man is wise partly because he understands what the will of the LORD is (Eph 5:17) and then walks circumspectly, in that will.
Eph 5:18-20: Walk in the Spirit, fill your days with worship, singing, praises, thanksgiving.
Eph 5:21-33: Walk in submission and tenderness toward each other, especially of wives toward their husbands and husbands toward their wives. It is so true that pride and anger are destroyers, tools of the enemy which he uses to destroy us when believing husbands and wives do not treat each other with humility, respect, and tenderness toward each other’s heart.
As a wife, I can testify that in order to turn my heart against my husband, the enemy tries to make me feel justified in whatever hurt or offended feelings I might have. “If he had not done this, then I would not feel this way,” etc. So then we begin to think that hardening our hearts against our mates is justified, or right. The Word of God is clear: there is no justification for hardening our hearts against our mates. If they have sinned against us, well, we have sinned against them, so forgiveness and tenderness is to characterize our walk before our mates and before the world.