#DailyDevotion How Do Husbands Love Their Wives As Christ Loves The Church?
Eph. 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 3 0because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
So yesterday we talked about how wives submitting to their husbands as part of how all Christians submit to one another. Today we look at how husbands submit to their wives as part of all Christians submitting to one another.
Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her. Now a number of people understand this as Christ showing his love for the Church by dying for her on the cross. Well they are not far off. People think Paul is talking about willing to die for the wife. If that is true it isn’t who most people think about dying. How often is a man going to have to take a bullet for his wife? Not very often. We should therefore think more in terms of sacrificing themselves on behalf of their wives for that is what Jesus properly did on the cross, offered up a sacrifice.
Now husbands can offer themselves up as a sacrifice every day. How does he do that? The husband sacrifices himself on behalf of his wife by placing her needs, that is what is best for her above his own needs, what he thinks is best for himself. It is a call to be unselfish in terms of relating to his wife. A couple’s interest may conflict with one another at times. Love calls for the husband to place his wife first above his own. And the man does this not because he is hen-pecked but because he loves his wife.
Love also calls the husband to continually look at his wife as the bride he married, in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. For that is how Christ Jesus views the Church, his bride. Through the waters of Holy Baptism Jesus has cleansed us from every spot and stain, every blemish and wrinkle of sin and looks at us clothed in his own righteousness and glory. Likewise the husband loves the wife. He is to cherish his wife like his own body. You don’t abuse your own body and the wife is one flesh. To hate one’s wife is to hate yourself. So treat your wife tenderly and with care. You are one flesh with her.
A husband and wife are an icon, an image of Christ and the Church. Make your marriage image that.
Heavenly Father, grant to all husbands such love for their wives that image Christ in their marriage so that those who look upon them may see Christ and is relationship to his Church. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.