In Ephesians 5:25 the Apostle Paul commands us to love our wives just as Christ loved the church. Could there possibly be a higher standard or calling than to do something ‘just as’ the sinless Son of God did? As impossible as it will be to love your wife with perfection as Christ loves us, His church, we are given insight into the ways we are to love our wives and what our motivation for this love should be. Let us take hold of this sacred opportunity to display the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world through our marriages.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” Ephesians 5:25
Christ ultimately gave up His life on the cross to redeem His church from their sins but Jesus likewise lived an entire life of sacrifice for His bride. Although we too should be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice of putting our lives on the line for our wives, the word “love (ἀγαπᾶτε)” in verse 25 is emphasizing the ongoing aspect of a daily sacrificial giving up of ourselves for our wives. Let us look back on the life of our Savior and see some of the ways that our Lord sacrificed Himself for His bride so that we may in turn do the same with our wives.
And He appointed twelve, so that they could be with Him...Mark 3:13
- Jesus called out a specific people so that would be with Him. He
would pour Himself into this bride more than He would the multitudes of crowds that were around him. Jesus dedicated His time to be with them. We too should pour our lives into our wives in a special way and be willing to spend the majority of our time with them.
Jesus answered(the disciples)“To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.” Matthew 13:11
- Jesus gives to His bride a more intimate depth of grace in teaching and discipleship. Our wives should be our foremost disciples and we should likewise model Jesus in our disclosing of God to our wives and teaching them about Him.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail” Luke 22:31
- One of the sacrifices that is often overlooked is the sacrifice of prayer. As Christ prayed for His bride we are to intercede with the Father on behalf of ours. We should pray for the sanctification of our wives, for their protection from sin and the evil one, and for their faith to remain strong.
“And He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?” Mark 14:37
- What patience and grace the Lord has showed us. How short we have all fallen and how many times we have let down the Lord who has bought us. Let us show the same grace to our wives that the infinitely righteous Savior has shown to us! As Peter was one of the ones found asleep on the job it’s quite fitting that Peter is the one who wrote the following words in his first epistle “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
May we keep our eyes focused on the reward of our sacrifices; the eternal glory that our wives will partake in when they have finally been glorified along side of us and can stand in the presence of Him who sits on the throne and the Lamb!