Ephesians 5:25 – Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
My pastor was preaching the other day on marriage and asked the question, “Who has to give more in a marriage?” Not thinking, I quickly answered 100/100 reasoning I was one step ahead of the worldly answer of 50/50. Like many people, I was more than a little off. The Bible likens the relationship of the husband to the wife as that of Christ to the church. Ephesians 5 makes this very clear.
In the relationship between Christ and the church, Christ obviously gives much more to the church than the church gives to him. First, the church is dependent on him for salvation. Christ had to give his life for the church. He had taken on sin that was not his. He had to take the blame. He suffered the defraud. He paid whatever ransom or cost necessary to purchase the church. That price was his own blood. He gave it all and expected nothing in return.
So it is with the husband. The husband needs to give his life for his wife. He might not have to die for his wife, but he should be willing to make whatever sacrifice is necessary to see that his wife is sanctified or made holy like the church. Just as Christ tries to prepare a bride by cleansing the church, so a husband should look after the spiritual growth and well-being of his wife. First he needs to make sure she is saved and instruct her. After that he needs to have spiritual conversation with her and watch out for her soul. He needs to take the blame and suffer the defraud when tension erupts. He needs to give and expect nothing in return. That is what Christ did for the church and that is what a husband should do for his wife.
Christ first loved us. We, as husbands, should always be willing to make the first step in love. Just as Christ loved us first, we eventually returned that love back to God. That love for God grows more and more as we grow. A wife will return the love of a husband in the same way. Men in general are very selfish and want to take advantage of the fact a wife needs to submit. They like to boss them around. But that is not how Christ treats us. He earns our respect even though he could demand it. He only takes willing obedience, not forced. If you love your wife it is like loving your own flesh according to the Bible.
So the answer to the question at the beginning, the husband needs to give more. Sorry guys. That is the way it is. And if you are not married, until you are ready to love a woman like described above, you are not ready to get married. The greatest picture on earth of the relationship between Christ and the church is a good Christian marriage patterned after Ephesians 5. It is a testimony to the world and can draw men and women to Christ. So husbands, how is your marriage?
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