Thursday, March 9, 2023

A Husband’s Model (Ephesians 5)

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church …" (Eph. 5:25).

Paul tells the Ephesians at the beginning of chapter 5 to “walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:1). After describing how Christians in general should live unto Christ, Paul narrows his focus and expounds on the marriage relationship. He then concludes the chapter with his commencement theme, that of love. But this time the exhortation is to husbands in particular. Beginning in verse 25, he gives this directive: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it.… So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies.… let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself.”

Husbands are commanded by God to love their wives as Christ loves the church. This love is necessary because without it husbands would abuse their position of authority. The headship of the husband must be tempered by a loving heart. Christ is supreme ruler over all, but His kingship is not tyrannical. He does not brandish the sword capriciously, but only in the cause of righteousness. Likewise, husbands, if they are to be godly leaders in their home, must show love according to the model of Christ.

How then does Christ love the church? What is this model husbands must follow? First, it is unconditional love. Christ loved us while we were yet sinners. Likewise, husbands must love their wives despite whatever faults and failures they may have. The love of Christ is patient, consistent, and enduring. He does not threaten to remove His love if we do not measure up. He does not forsake us when we turn from Him or when we are disloyal. In the same way, husbands ought to be consistent in their love. A godly man’s wife ought to possess the assurance that if she fails in some way, her husband won’t abandon her.

Lastly, Christ’s love is sacrificial and is given for the benefit of the church. A husband’s love needs to be a selfless love, a love that considers his wife first, that sees her needs as more important than his own. It is also selfless in that it is not self-serving—the goal of the husband’s love is not to build up himself, but to build up his wife that she might grow in purity and holiness.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us” (1 John 3:16). Husbands, in what ways can you practically lay down your lives for your wives? Wives, for your husbands? If you are single, how can you lay down your life for others in the body? Determine to put one of those ways into practice today.