READ : Ephesians 5:25-33
It would seem that Paul’s advice to husbands is clear-cut: “Husbands, love your wives” (v. 25). But wait a minute. First Paul said that husbands and wives should “be subject to one another” (v. 21).
So there are really two commands here for every husband: be subject to your wife (v. 21) and love your wife (v. 25).
Let’s consider some of the implications of that second command. Paul uses two rather remarkable images to show men how they are to love their wives.
First, husbands are to love their wives “as Christ loved the church” (v. 25). And how did Christ love His church? Not by bravado, by power, or by force, but by “giving himself up for her” (v. 25), by serving, by sacrificing, by caring, by nourishing, and—yes—even by dying. Christ loved the church, not for His own sake, but for the sake of the church.
Second, husbands are to love their wives “as their own bodies” (v. 28). Granted, some husbands don’t love their own bodies enough to take good care of them, but generally men are rather attached (no pun intended) to themselves. If, indeed, husband and wife are “one flesh” (v. 31), the pain that hurts a wife will also hurt her husband, the anxiety that drains a wife will also concern her husband, and the joy that thrills a wife will also thrill her husband.
Help us, God, to love and care for each other as You love and care for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.