May 3, 2021
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…
This week we start a new series on relationships, beginning with marriage relationships. And there is probably no Bible passage on the topic of marriage that has ever received more attention than Ephesians chapter 5.
What’s interesting to me about this chapter is what people always seem to focus on. Most Christian discussions (at least in my experience) revolve primarily around verse 22, which instructs wives to “submit to their husbands.” And yes, of course, that’s a valid and relevant verse to examine. Many Christians have much to say about it – and unfortunately it has also been misused in marriage relationships, perhaps as much as any other verse in the Bible.
Personally, though, I have never dwelled too much on verse 22. Is that because I’m a husband and not a wife? Perhaps. But I think the real reason is what comes after verse 22. I mean, have you ever looked at the instructions for husbands in verse 25?!
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”
If I take that verse seriously, exactly as it is written and as it reads… Well, as a husband that should make me tremble! Is my approach to my marriage relationship the same as Jesus’ love for the church and mankind? Would I lay down all that I am and own, and willingly sacrifice myself in a painful, brutal, torturous death just for the sake of my wife? It’s easy to say “yes” in theory, but how often does my pettiness or selfishness actually rear its head instead?
In truth, it is astounding to consider all that Jesus went through on our behalf in order to make a way for us to be reconciled to God, to become the church and ultimately to become the bride of Christ. If that’s truly a picture of what God is asking of husbands (and it seems pretty clear that it is), then as husbands perhaps we should take care not to consider this command too lightly.
If you are a husband (or soon to be or hope to be), ask God today to show you more about this verse. What does God want you to understand about your relationship with your wife? And if you are not a husband nor ever will be, ask God to show you a husband that you can pray for along these lines today.