“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. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.” Ephesians 5:25-30
Marriage is a covenant bond between a man, a woman, and God… a covenant bond between one selfish sinner, another selfish sinner, and a holy, righteous God.
God the Father sacrificed His Son for our redemption. Christ cares for His church and selflessly gave His life for us. We are members of Christ’s body. Our wives are members of our body. No one ever hated their own body. In the way Christ cares for His body, we are commanded to care for ours. He who loves his wife loves himself. We must nourish our body, our wives, ourselves. We are to love our wives, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word. The Word. We are called to live the Word, breathe the Word, speak the Word, wash our wives with the Word. Like the flood of mercy and grace in which our Father sweeps us away, we should cover our wives in a flood of mercy and grace… the Word (John 1:1). We must center ourselves in the Word to be able to know the Word. The Word is Christ and Christ is the Word. Our source of endless love, mercy, and grace for our wives can only come from the endless spring that is Christ (Psalm 23:5). We will fail to love our wives when we try to provide mercy and grace from our own reserves. We will empty ourselves. As husbands, we cannot stand ankle deep in God’s mercy and grace. We must walk toward the crashing waves. We cannot touch the bottom. We cannot turn back. No final breath, no gasps for air. Drown. He is our breath and He will fill us. Center yourself in the Word, in Christ, and then wash your wife in the Word. Drown her in the Lord’s mercy and grace.
Sacrifice your wants, your needs, your desires, your dreams, your aspirations, your self… for your wife… but not for your wife’s sake. The point is not to sacrifice yourself so you can focus on her wants, needs, desires, aspirations. Sacrifice yourself so that you may be filled with Christ. If you want to be the man your wife longs for, be Christ. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The only place two sinners can be satisfied with each other is in Christ. Selfishness leads to broken marriages (James 3:16). Self must not exist in marriage. When we drown ourselves in Christ, we become patient, we become kind. We won’t envy, boast, or be full of pride. We will honor our wives. We won’t be quick to anger. We won’t hold a record of wrongs. Husbands, rejoice in the truth and turn away now from all that is evil.
We are not called to spend our lives building sand castles, splashing on the beach. Step into the deep. Lose your footing and be swept away by Christ.