Ephesians  ◦   Chapter 5

1 Model yourselves after God, as children after their father,2 and live your life in love–practicing the principle of beneficence, the principle of giving, upon which life was created to operate — just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, beautifully revealing God's character to all.

3 But within you, there must not be even a trace of sexual immorality or any kind of impurity, because these arise out of selfishness and destroy the higher faculties of the mind, and are inconsistent with growth into God's holy people.4 Nor should there be cursing, foul language, vulgarity, ugly comments, coarse joking, or rumor spreading–these are all evidence of a heart filled with selfishness and evil. Instead, speak words of praise and thanksgiving, and reveal that God's love is in your heart.5 For you can be sure of this: No immoral, impure or greedy person (such a person is an idolater, because their character is selfish, and they worship themself) will be in the kingdom of Christ or God, because God's kingdom is the kingdom of self-sacrificing love.6 Don't be deceived by flattery, or proclamations, or declaration without evidence, for those who believe claims without evidence are easily deceived, and God ultimately lets them follow the self-destructive course of their choosing.7 Therefore do not join forces with them.

8 In the past, you promulgated the dark lies and methods of Satan, but now you are conduits of the light of truth and the life-giving methods of the Lord. Live as children of this light9 (for those who live by the light practice the principles of goodness–doing right in all situations)10 and understand God and his purposes, and what he is pleased with.11 Don't have anything to do with the destructive practices of those whose minds are darkened, but rather present the light of truth, which exposes them.12 For it is damaging and degrading to dwell upon what the disobedient do in secret.13 But everything exposed by the light of truth becomes understandable,14 for it is the truth that reveals all things. This is why it is said: "Wake up your brain and start thinking. Stop zoning out like you're dead, and Christ will shine the light of truth into your mind."

15 Be vigilant in your lifestyle–make choices that are healthy and wise, not unhealthy and foolish–16 and make the most of every opportunity for growth, because the days in which we live are filled with temptations that lead to self-destruction.17 Don't be foolish, but understand God's methods and what he is trying to accomplish, so that you can cooperate intelligently with him.18 Do not get drunk on wine or get high on drugs, as it leads to wild living and destroys the brain. Instead, be filled with the Spirit of truth and love.19 When talking with each other, talk of God's love and character, and sing songs of praise together. Keep your hearts in tune with the Lord,20 and be thankful to God the Father for everything revealed in the character of our Lord Jesus Christ.

21 Humbly serve one another out of appreciation for Christ.

22 Wives, follow the Christlike leadership of your husbands.23 For the husband is the spiritual leader of the wife, as Christ is the leader of the church–his body–of whom he is the Savior.24 As the church follows the leadership of Christ, so also wives should follow the Christlike leadership of their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave everything he had (including his life) for her26 to purify her–by the application of the truth, cleansing her from everything that destroys and defiles–27 to perfectly heal her, enabling her to meet him face to face, without any defect or deformity, but perfect and pure.28 In the same way, husbands should love their wives as part of themselves, doing everything in their power for the good of their wives. He who loves his wife loves also himself.29 Think about it: Does a healthy person hate their own body? No! They care for it, eat nutritiously and exercise regularly, just as Christ constantly nurtures the church —30 for we are members of his body.31 "For this reason, a man will leave his parents and join himself together with his wife; and the two separate individuals will become one joint partnership united in heart, love, mind, devotion, confidence, purpose, and motive."32 This is a wonderful mystery–I am talking about Christ and the church–33 but remember that each husband must love his wife, sacrificing himself for her good, and each wife must respect the Christlike leadership of her husband.