HUSBANDS AND WIVES PART 2
Ephesians 5:21 says, “And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Jesus.”
Ephesians 5:25 expands on this concept for husbands. It says, “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.”
This raises a question — how much did Jesus love the church? The answer is He loved the church so much that He died for it. His decision to do that was not based on the attractiveness or worth of the people in the church, because they had none to offer. Jesus loved the church, because it’s His nature to love, and because they NEEDED to be loved.
Husbands are commanded to love their wives in this same way. It’s not a matter of choice. It’s a mandate. When God issues a mandate, He always provides the necessary resources to meet it. Let’s look at 1 Thessalonians 4:9.
“But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.”
God is the Teacher, so husbands are without excuse. Now it’s true God created men and women, He intended for husbands to be attracted to their wives. God intended for men to be drawn to the feminine form as well as the feminine mystic. We are talking about chemistry. However, chemistry is not to be the basis for love. Eventually chemistry will wane, but the husband is still under obligation to love his wife. The husband must put aside his own likes, desires, and preferences to love his wife and meet her needs. The Bible says the husband must “die to self” in order to live for his wife.
Ephesians 5:26-27 explains why Jesus loved the church.
“To make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.”
There is a lot of truth in this passage, so let’s unpack it.
In verse 25 we saw that Jesus gave His life for the church. He did that to pay for sin — so sin could be removed – so the Holy Spirit could come and indwell all who believe. As a result, believers are forgiven of all their sins. BUT they are still defective. They still have a sin nature — they still screw up — and that has to change. That’s the primary job of the Holy Spirit. This passage says that the Holy Spirit changes us through the Word of God. It says we are washed by the cleansing of God’s Word. The Holy Spirit does that by changing the way we think. He replaces our evil thoughts with God’s thoughts. Eventually we start thinking like God, and that changes our behavior.
Jesus wants the church to be holy and pure. In the same way, husbands must love their wives with a purifying love. This kind of love never condemns – it never finds fault – it only seeks to cleanse and restore. This kind of love wants the best for the one it loves. Husbands must protect their wives from defilement, and they must protect their holiness and virtue. On the other hand, if a man says he loves a woman, and wants her to compromise her purity at the same time — that’s not purifying love. That’s defilement.
Ephesians 5:29 says, “No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.”
In keeping with the analogy of Christ loving the church — the husband nourishes and cherishes his wife — just as he nourishes and cherishes his own body. The wife is much more than just a cook or a house keeper or a nanny or a sex partner. The wife is a God given mate to be loved and cared for and cherished by her husband.
Paul has more to say about the role of the husband in Ephesians 5:30-33. Next week we will talk about it.
Until then have a great week…