Summary: How important love is in the marital relationship
“Loving Your Wife”
Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…”
I. The principle of spousal love - “Husbands love your wives…”
a. A special relationship – This love should exceed that of all other human relationships. The language “…they two shall be one flesh.” indicates that the husband is to love his wife as he loves himself for she is “his body or flesh (synonyms).”
b. A serious responsibility – We will answer to God for the way we love our wives.
A college man walked into a photography studio with a picture of his girlfriend… He wanted the picture duplicated… The owner of the store noticed the inscription on the back of the picture, it said, “My dearest Tom, I love you with all my heart… I love you more & more each day… I will love you forever & ever… I am yours for all eternity…” It was signed “Diane,” and it contained a P.S.: “If we ever break up, I want this picture back…”
Friends, when Christ calls us & we follow Him, there’s no “PS” with Christ… You’re His & He’s yours…
c. A sanctifying result - It produces a relationship that blesses the home and honors God.
Donald Grey Barnhouse wrote that, “Love is the key. Joy is love singing. Peace is love resting. Long-suffering is love enduring. Kindness is love’s touch. Goodness is love’s character. Faithfulness is love’s habit. Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness. Self-control is love holding the reins.”
II. The parallel of the Savior’s love – “… Christ…loved the church…”
a. His passion for the church – v. 25b “…even as Christ also loved the church…”
b. His purpose for the church – v. 26 “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word…” v. 27 “That he might present it to himself…”
The text doesn’t say that He loved the church because it was these things but to make it that way.
c. His plans for the church - v. 27 “…glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
The objective of Christ’s love for the church is that He might purify and present the church to Himself and the bridegroom.
III. The profile of spousal love – “…and gave Himself for it.”
a. The mandate for love – v. 33 “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife…”
b. The manner of love – This love is sacrificial in its essence
29 “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:”
What do these two words have to do with a husband loving his wife you ask? No man hates his own body; rather he gives it nourishment and warmth (Greek – thalpo meaning to warm). Husbands therefore should give their wives the kind of love that will both nourish and warm their hearts.
c. The mystery of love - v. 32 “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
The word mystery means something that God had to reveal that could not be learned from mere human resources. Only a spiritual minded person (husband) then would recognize how special the marital relationship is.
Recently I came across a true story that happened during the Holocaust of the Second World War.
Solomon Rosenberg, his wife and their 2 sons were arrested, together with Rosenburg's mother and father for the crime of being Jews. They were placed in a Nazi concentration camp.
It was a labor camp, and the rules were simple.
"As long as you can do your work, you are permitted to live. When you become too weak to do your work, then you will be exterminated."
Rosenberg watched as his mother and father were marched off to their deaths. He knew that the next would be his youngest son, David - because David had always been a frail child.
Every evening, Rosenberg came back into the barracks after each day of hard labor and searched for the faces of his family. When he found them they would huddle together, embrace one another and thank God for another day of life.
One day Rosenberg came back and didn’t see those familiar faces.
He finally discovered his oldest son, Joshua, in a corner, huddled, weeping and praying. He said, "Josh, tell me it’s not true."
Joshua turned and said, "It is true, Dad. Today David was not strong enough to do his work. So they came for him."
"But where is your mother?" asked Mr. Rosenberg.
"Oh Dad," he said, "When they came for David, he was afraid and he cried. So Mum said, 'There is nothing to be afraid of, David,' and she took his hand and went with him.