Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Ephesians 5:25)
In our studies of the Sermon on the Mount, there is a recurring theme of the inability of any person to become righteous with God on the basis of his own merit. When Jesus expounded the Old Testament law, He clearly confronted the people with their shortcomings in how they had failed to reach the perfect standard of righteousness that God requires. Every command spoken by the apostles as they taught New Testament Christians was in effect a command of God. They spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit so that every word spoken under inspiration is as if Jesus had spoken the words Himself.
As Paul gives this command in Ephesians 5:25, it is the Holy Spirit telling us one more time that in the power of the flesh we are helpless to please God. How can we keep this command? We cannot even fathom the depths of the statement much less fulfill it with our sinful heart. I cannot explain to you how much Christ loved the church. Paul steers us in the right direction by saying that Christ was willing to die for His church. Theologians and preachers spend their lives declaring this sacrificial love but none of us can ever touch the bottom of its meaning.
And yet, this kind of love is what Christ demands of husbands. It should be immediately apparent that Paul can only be addressing redeemed, born again believers. No husband that has never received Christ nor known His love would have a clue where to start. But for those of us, who have been touched by the saving grace of God, we know where to begin and we know the one who gives the grace to fulfill it.
The duty of a husband is to be a Spirit filled man. As we become closer and closer to Christ in our daily walk, we learn more about Christ’s love. We reach higher levels of understanding of His love and this knowledge teaches us how to obey the command. Husbands, your ability to love your wife as Christ loved the church is in direct proportion to your spirituality. The conclusion—if you want a happy wife and a happy marriage, spend more time working on the spiritual man!
Pastor V. Mark Smith