“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 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. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”(Ephesians 5:25–33, ESV)
With A Sacrificial Love (Ephesians 5:25)
“Just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself up for her”
Sacrificial love was demonstrated on the cross. Christ died for unlovable sinners while we were in the mire of our sins and enemies with God. Romans 5:7-8 says, “For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare to even die. But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Husband, this means that you are commanded to love your wife sacrificially even when you think that she is unworthy of such radical love.
Sacrificial love is a willingness to serve others. Christ demonstrated a servant’s attitude that was willing to give himself completely and totally to demonstrate his love. We can sometimes believe that we would be willing to give our lives for our wives, yet we fail in the everyday duties of serving our wife and family as Christ did. John 13:14 reminds us of the words of Christ, “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” This further illustrates Paul’s point of mutual submission in Ephesians 5:21. In Philippians 2:7 we see our Savior himself setting the example for us, he who…“emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”
Sacrificial love is a willingness to lay down you own life for another. First John 3:16 describes love not in romantic terms, but in radical sacrifice. It says, “We know love by this, that He laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
With A Purifying Love (Ephesians 5:26-27)
Purifying love desires the best for the wife and wants to see her pure and undefiled. Husbands who discourage their wives in Bible reading, church attendance, serving in ministry, going to church functions where she can be edified and grow in Christ are undercutting this type of love. Husbands who encourage their wives to get involved in sin to allay their own guilt are also guilty of pulling down their house with their own hands. They are like those described in Romans 1:32 “they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”
Purifying love is exemplified in:
- Husbands who are the spiritual leaders in their homes. (Eph. 5:23; 1Cor. 11:3; 14:35)
- The husband leads by example-He is a godly man growing in maturity and obedience.
- Time spent in the word and prayer as a family (Eph. 6:4)
- Time together at church worshipping together (Heb. 10:25; Deut 6:7)
- Encouraging involvement in ministry and other activities
- Confronting and confessing sin in loving and biblical manner (James 5:16)
With A Caring Love (Ephesians 5:28-30)
This is a love that not only sacrifices and purifies, but nurtures and embraces. Does this passage teach that we need to love ourselves before we can love others? No. It says we already love ourselves. Those who claim to hate themselves really don’t.
- We feed ourselves.
- We clothe ourselves.
- We clean our bodies.
- We avoid pain and abuse.
- We protect ourselves from danger.
- We give ourselves shelter from the elements
Nurturing can include providing in many ways:
- Providing for the family by working hard at your job.
- Providing housing, food and clothing (physical needs).
- Providing security and protection.
- Providing love and affection.
- Providing attention and shared experiences.
With An Unbreakable Love (Ephesians 5:31-33)
- A love that no man or woman can separate. This means, husbands that are still hanging on to their mama’s apron need to cut the strings. Wives that are still “Daddy’s girl” need to cling to their husband instead.
- You need to cling to one another in the storms of life understanding that divorce is not an option. If you leave even the option of divorce as a possibility, that crack will widen when difficult times come.
- Separation should be as impossible as Christ separating from His Church-Rom 8:38, 39.