Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, Ephesians 5:25
In verses 25-27 we will see the stages of salvation presented to us. In verse 25 is the giving of Christ for us – justification. In verse 26 is the work of being cleansed by the water of the word– sanctification. And in verse 27 we will see the presentation of the church in glory, holy and without blemish – glorification. It is through this work of Christ that Paul now says, “Husbands, love your wives.”
There was the duty of the wife to submit to the husband just as the church submits to Christ. But the husband is not without direction. Rather, he is to not lord his authority over the wife, but rather is to love her “just as Christ also loved the church.” In Ephesians, we see on several occasions that Christ sees Himself not fully complete without the church. In Ephesians 1, it says –
“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:22, 23
Later in this chapter, we will read –
“For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” 5:29
We are the body of Christ, and He loves us as such. Likewise, the husband is to so treat his wife. This love of Christ for the church is so deep that He “gave Himself for her.” Thus, He has given the husband the pattern of how he is to also act towards his bride. His love is to be a self-sacrificing love that says, “No matter what the cost, I will honor this woman that God has given to me, even to death itself.”
Life application: A husband who abuses his wife, or who treats her less honorably than the most precious jewel that he could possess, is not honoring the Lord through his marriage. Paul’s words are imperatives for us to live by, not shun. When we fail to honor our spouse in the way that Scripture states, we are being disobedient servants of the Lord.
Heavenly Father, Your word tells husbands that they are to love their wives even as Christ loves His church. He gave Himself for her, hanging on a cross to bring her close to Himself. How few of us are that devoted to our bride! Are we willing to place her as our precious jewel, defending her even with our lives? Help us to be faithful in our marriage duties, and loving of the spouse that You have blessed us with. Help us to be like Christ in this way. Amen.