What is required in order to live a Godly marriage? Ephesians contains a section on living wisely. Wisdom is knowing what to do, how to behave, how to live. Within this context is a short section on marriage, the responsibilities of the wife and of the husband. It requires godly wisdom in order to fulfill these responsibilities.
The verse just before the section on marriage, Ephesians 5:21, states that all who are committed to God by way of Jesus Christ are to submit to one another out of respect for Christ. Given the context, it refers to people living in godly wisdom submitting to others who are also living in godly wisdom. The word "submit" here is the same word that is used in reference to the wife. This submitting is not to result in slavery, abuse or anything evil. It is not a thoughtless action but is done with great godly wisdom which results in godliness. In short, we work together to exhibit the will and love of God in the physical realm.
We will begin with the responsibilities of the husband. The husband is to love his wife in the same manner as Christ loves all the believers, collectively, throughout all time. The husband is to love his wife in the same manner as Christ gave himself up for the believers. Jesus Christ first committed himself to God to do what God wanted. Jesus Christ communicated and illustrated God's love for each one of us, regardless of our response. Jesus Christ does not manipulate, coerce, nag or abuse anyone into doing what He wants. That is the manner of love that a husband is show towards his wife. That is the manner of love that he is committed to have for his wife. He must live with godly wisdom in order to fulfill his responsibilities.
The scripture about the responsibilities of a wife states that the wife is to submit to her husband in the same manner in which she submits to Jesus Christ. This does not mean that she is a puppet or a slave of a thoughtless man. Rather, as the couple both understand the will of God in each specific situation, she applies her godly wisdom in coordination with the husband in order to bring to pass the will of God.
The husband is to love his wife and the wife is to respect her husband. This love and respect is to continue throughout all stages of their life together. Emotions, good looks, health, and finances may change, but your commitment to God and each other should not change.