The Love of a Husband for His Wife
June 21, 2021
Ephesians 5:25-28, NIV
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
In the February 2021 edition of the Marriage column, I wrote about The Heart of Biblical Submission. In that article, I discussed the true meaning of what submission is and how it is often misinterpreted and misrepresented in modern society. With that said, with so much focus and controversy being placed upon that portion of scripture in Ephesians 5, it is often forgotten that there is also a whole section which talks about the Biblical responsibilities and role of the husband.
From reading this text we can see that there is a single word that is repeated and that which sums up the way that a husband is to treat their wife. That word is love. The husband is to love the wife. Of course, there many ways in which people define love and many ways in which that word is used in the world today. But this passage goes on to describe the example of love that is to be followed. This is a love that is complete and willing to sacrifice all, even one’s own life, for the good of the one who is loved. There is nothing self-seeking about this love and there are no hidden motivations. There is nothing manipulative or controlling either. It is pure love.
The original Greek work that is used here is the word “Agapao” which might sound familiar. This is in fact the same Greek word that is used in perhaps to most well know passage in all the Bible, John 3:16 (NIV). It says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…..” A husband is to love their wife with the same level of love that God has for us! We are given the example of Jesus Christ and what He has done for us. That is a tall order and major calling to take on. To literally love someone with the same passion, compassion, tenderness, and devotion as God Himself. Is there any way that any human man could be capable of this? The Bible tells us also in Matthew 19:26 that, “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
The reality is that a husband is called to a standard that is impossible to achieve in their flesh. We are called to lay everything, our desires, our hopes, our dreams, our needs, and even our very lives down for our wife. There is nothing that we should not be willing to sacrifice in order to with our wife. There is only one way in which we can come to a place in which we can do this, and that is with the presence and the help of the Holy Spirit working in our heart, mind and soul.
Husband, if you are reading this today, I want to encourage you to exam yourself and be willing to answer this question honestly, “am I loving my wife with the same love that God loves me?” If we are honest with ourselves we will find that we always have space to grow to become more like Him in the way that we love our wives.
Wives, if you are reading this today, I want to encourage you to be mindful of the reality that your husband is not Jesus. He is a sinful and flawed human being who is struggling with this fallen world just as you are. Pray for him, encourage him, and support him as he seeks to love you more and more like Christ.