Loving Your Wife Like Christ Loves the Church
I am constantly baffled by some of the stories I hear from husbands and about husbands. I hear of men who still mostly live like they’re bachelors. Maybe they think they are owed the time to do whatever they want when they are at home because they work so hard everyday. Maybe they are simply selfish. Maybe they’ve never seen a good example of a husband.
I have been blessed in my life to observe several good examples of husbands. Aside from my own dad, I’ve had several other men that have let me into their lives to see their example as well as instruct me verbally. I hope to get do the same for other men.
I am by no means perfect at loving my wife, but I am certainly aiming to be. I think Scripture sets a high standard for us as men and we would do well to pay attention. One day we will answer to Christ for how we loved our wives and our families. The Bible sets a pretty high bar.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” - Ephesians 5:25
Just taking that at face value should make us say, “Whoa!” Christ not only loved the church, but He perfectly loved the church and gave up even His own life for her. This means He held nothing back. He loved her to the point of giving His own life to save hers.
Time to Give it Up!
Practically, for us husbands, this means that we hold nothing back from our wives. My wife stays at home with two kids each day and that is hard work. When I get home, I am seeking to serve her. That might mean that I give her a nap if she’s tired (even when I’m secretly wishing for one myself). It may mean that I watch the kids and let her leave the house so she can have some quiet time or adult interaction. I am looking for how I can give myself up in order to make her better.
Sometimes that means that I ask God for that extra push to do a chore that needs done when I’d rather just sit on the couch. It might mean being the first to repent when we have a fight, even when I still think I’m right. I am ultimately seeking to lay down my life, my wants, selfishness, and pride for the betterment of my bride.
Many feminists and women in general may balk at the idea of the biblical language of wives submitting to their husbands, but we must paint the full picture. The husband is supposed to be seeking to give himself up for his wife. In all things, he is seeking to see her thrive. If we painted this picture and husbands lived this out, I don’t think many of these women would have a problem submitting to a guy like that.
This is a Gospel Issue
Several places in the Bible use wedding imagery to refer to Christ and the church. Our earthly marriages are meant to be living pictures of Christ and the church. Christ is the perfect groom wholly committed to His bride. He serves as the example for how husbands are to treat their brides.
Christ was and is fully committed to the church. He held nothing back. He gave it all. Likewise, He continues to give it all. We, as the church, are an unfaithful bride. We sin against the Savior who bought us every day. Yet, He forgives us over and over and over again. His commitment to us is unfailing. He will not decide one day that we are too much trouble and that it’s time for Him to bail. He won’t get angry and walk out on us. He is patient and kind.
Husbands, we are to be these things for our brides. We must lay down our lives to love them well. We must be men that are fully committed and willing to do whatever it takes. If we need to repent then we must repent. If we need to get counseling then we must get counseling (no matter what you’re afraid anyone might think). If we need to start serving our wives, then it is time to start serving them and showing them you love them rather than just saying it.
Satan loves to destroy marriages. Think about it. If marriage is the earthly picture for a lost world of Christ and the church then Satan loves to mess that picture up. He loves especially to destroy Christian marriages. A lost world watches and says, “They are just like us. Why do I need Christ?”
As husbands seeking to look like Christ to our wives, we must be praying asking God to help us. Any time I am supposed to look like Christ I certainly can’t do that on my own. We need to be looking for good examples of husbands who are committed to love their wives like this because we need encouragement and community. Finally, we need to remember that we will give an account one day for how we loved our wives and our family. We won’t be perfect, but we should always be striving to look like Jesus.