Summary: Husbands are to give themselves completely to and for their wives.
I. It means husbands are to give themselves completely to and for their wives.
A. Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
B. Ephesians 5:2 "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor."
C. Chrysostom, a minister in the early church ¡V (Paraphrased from Barclay¡¦s Letters to Galatians & Ephesians) ¡V ¡§If it be needful that you should give your life for her, or to be cut to pieces a thousand time, or endure anything whatever, refuse it not... Christ brought the Church to His feet by His great care not by threats nor fear nor any such thing. So conduct yourself towards your wife.¡¨
D. A tyrannical husband demanded that his wife conform to rigid standards of his choosing. She was to do certain things for him as a wife, mother, and homemaker. In time, she came to hate her husband as much as she hated his list of rules and regulations. Then, one day he died--mercifully as far as she was concerned. Some time later, she fell in love with another man and married him. She and her new husband lived on a perpetual honeymoon. Her new husband was committed to her and her interests. Joyfully, she devoted herself to his happiness and welfare. One day she ran across one of the sheets of do’s and don’ts her first husband had written for her. To her amazement she found that she was doing for her second husband all the things, her first husband had demanded of her, although her new husband had never once suggested them. She did them as an expression of her love for him and her desire to please him. He had won her devotion by his demonstration of selfless love.
E. Marriage is a lifetime covenant: one man, one woman, under God.
F. In Thornton Wilder¡¦s play, The Skin of Our Teeth, the character Mrs. Antrobus says to her husband, "I didn’t marry you because you were perfect. I married you because you gave me a promise." She takes off her ring and looks at it. "That promise made up for your faults and the promise I gave you made up for mine. Two imperfect people got married, and it was the promise that made the marriage."
G. I Corinthians 11:11 "Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord."
II. It means husbands are to desire conformity to Christ for their wives
A. Ephesians 5:26-27 "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
B. Christ¡¦s desire for the church is that it might be holy and pure.
C. II Corinthians 11:2 "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."
D. Alice Peterson, Leadership ¡V Men have the tremendous privilege and responsibility to take women seriously, to call forth all their gifts.
E. Husbands are to love their wives to the degree that they protect the sanctity and purity of their wives and of their marriage.
F. Husbands should be first stirred to be holy (separate and untouched by evil) unblemished and then to stir their wives by love to be holy and without blemish.
G. I Corinthians 13:5-6 (Darby) Love... ¡§Does not behave in an unseemly manner, does not seek what is its own, is not quickly provoked, does not impute evil, does not rejoice at iniquity but rejoices with the truth...¡¨
H. Lewis B. Smedes, (Marriage Partnership, Vol. 8, no. 1). Love is fair when it builds up both the lover and the beloved, when it increases both and diminishes neither, when it brings them close and lets them be separate, when it nourishes both and leaves neither wanting.
III. It means husbands are to care for their wives with the same devotion they care for themselves.
A. Ephesians 5:28-29 "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church:"
B. A Christian husband is to care for his wife with the same devotion that he predictably demonstrates as he cares for himself.
C. Genesis 2:24 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
D. Matthew 19:5-6 "And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."