When looking at the relationship between husband and wife, often one does not look and think of the relationship between Christ and His church. But marriage is to be a display of that wonderful relationship. Your marriage is to be a beautiful display of the Gospel. Often we rather look at marriage as a business relationship more than a living organism. In this post and next, my hope is to help us see how we are called to represent the Gospel in our marriages.
Ephesians 5:25-33 “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, 30 because 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.”
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” More difficult words have never been uttered. In the marriage relationship, the husband is given the task of representing Christ in the relationship, to resemble the relationship of Christ to His church. Yet we so flippantly cast off this call because we are often so caught up on the wives task of submission that we negate the husband’s daunting task. Love your wives, as Christ loved the church. How did Christ love the church? So much that He set aside His Divine rights and went to the cross. In Philippians 2, Paul says that Christ laid down His rights, taking on the form of a servant. He humbled Himself and became obedient, obedient to the point of death. That is the call upon the Husband. Laying down rights and willing to humble yourself. To put her interests before your own. To sacrifice for her good. That she would be spotless and blameless.
“Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.” How much we love us some me. We love ourselves dearly. Paul says to the husband, as much as you love you, love her. Willing to sacrifice for her, to take care of her, to nourish her. Think about that imagery, what does that look like practically in a marriage? That is a lot of investment in the marriage relationship. That is being intentional in your reactions and actions towards her. Husbands, this is a call that God has upon us. So before you begin quoting to your wife for her to submit, check yourself.