When the Lord laid this series on my heart, there were a few posts I was unsure of how to write. The more I prayed about it, the more several people were brought to mind. My husband was one of those people. And I knew right away which post I wanted him to write. So, I hope you will join me in welcoming my husband, Jacob, to the blog today. He’s pretty amazing – if I do say so myself!!
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself” Ephesians 5:25-33a (NASB)
When my wife asked that I write a post for her on “How to love your wife as Christ loves the Church” I can say that I 100% felt and still feel “unqualified” to do so. That being said I think we can discover some things from the text here that will help open our (including mine) eyes to how this might look.
How did Christ love the church? – “He gave Himself up for her…”
Christ loved the church (note that this was before the church was/existed, and while we – those who are members of the body of Christ Jesus – were still enemies of God, and haters of God) that He died on the Cross in order to provide a way to make us as Pure as a virgin in her white gown on her wedding day. Why, because like any man who is “smitten” with his girl, he was (and still is) quite jealous over us!
What does Jesus do for His bride (the church) now? – “nourishes it and cherishes it”
Christ is still at work through His Holy Spirit to nourish and cherish his bride. Paul says here that this “mystery” is very hard to grasp, but like the Scriptures say that when “a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” so also Christ and the church are in a sense “one flesh.” His ever desire is to supply your wants and needs, but remember also that His ever desire (and rightly so for what he’s done) is to be the “apple of your eye!” Not to get into to much “preaching” but it’s sad that we don’t “adore” our spiritual “husband” as much as he deserves!
How does this translate to husband and wife here on earth?
Very simply put, the Husband and Wife relationship has the opportunity to represent the great love of the Christ and Church relationship. We must comprehend the vastness of His love for us – though true comprehension here is unattainable. Paul’s instructions here can seem very elementary to the husband, “to nourish and cherish.” But that is until we read the “as Christ.”
So how do I “love” her this way? How can I love my wife as Christ love the Church? Here are some tips to help move your relationship into a deeper, more intimate experience of love.
- Pray! We (men) are going to need divine help here. You cannot honestly believe you have the power within yourself to Love a human as much as the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Pray some more, just for good measure.
- Start with nourishment, making sure you are providing for your bride what she needs physically.
- Times can be hard financially and this does not necessarily mean you are not doing your duty. In these times you must seek out the Lord Jesus and make sure your conscience is clear toward your “provision” and ask for him to make up the slack.
- If there is something you’re deeply convinced she “needs” pray for that thing specifically.
- Continue with nourishment, making sure you are providing spiritual leadership for your bride (i.e. read the bible and pray together)
- A NOTE TO WIVES: It really helps your man to do this when you “verbally” participate in bible study and prayer time. Don’t merely listen and nod your head, he is jealous for you, to know your mind, heart, and body!
- Cherish her! (One I particularly feel “inadequate” to teach)
- Do you know that the Lord likes to give us things we like? He enjoys providing things for our pleasure! Why else would there be such “fun” in our world. The imagination and creativity (granted by God) that came up with roller-coasters, jet skis, water parks, and football, is the same creativity that came up with massage, spa, whirlpool bath, and other things that she might enjoy more than we do.
- Do you have a “spa tub?” Then make her make time to treat herself! You can take the kids to dinner, or keep them “out of her hair” and let her relax.
- So you’re poor like me and that spa tub is something you might even dream of some days…? Take the kids to the local fast food playground and give your wife some alone time.
- Buy flowers, chocolate, timeless dust collecting knickknacks (hmm – perhaps i don’t like to dust).
- Do you see the difference between nourishing and cherishing? Don’t just give her what she needs, strive to bless her as Christ Jesus blesses you by giving her things to enjoy, the things that she often does without.
- Again, in hard times you may have to be creative, and will most likely be praying for help! – Let the hard time serve it’s purpose in growing you faith and trust in God and in growing your ability to creatively cherish your bride!
- In the bedroom (though it can most definitely be considered “nourish” I saved it for “cherish”) – desire with all your heart, mind, soul, and flesh, to cherish Her body! Focus on her, learn her, and yes – because, even though I’ve mentioned it everywhere else it’s still necessary here – PRAY for the lord to help you!
Another note to the ladies:
If you want your man to grasp these things, and I really hope you do – even more than I have – then you must understand that the biblical instruction for the Wife is the other half of this great picture of Christ and the Church. It would be too much to expect a mere man to do what the Bible says he should and have a wife unwilling to love and cherish him as the church should the Lord Jesus. If you find yourself reading this because you want your husband to learn something (so you’re checking it out to see if it’s “any good”), are you willing to learn also? Are you willing to grow also? I’ll give you the word that brings the power for any of this to work: PRAY! Ask the Lord Jesus Christ to come into your marriage (maybe even into your heart or his heart) ask him to make you’re marriage the loving example it should be, and be prepared to change as much as you “know” your husband needs to.
May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit, overflow into your marriage and bless your socks off!
Jacob is a native Oklahoman, who has been transplanted to southern Indiana. He serves as the Elder devoted to Teaching (aka Senior Minister) with the Old Union Christian Church in Williams, IN. He has been married to his wife, Annette of In All You Do, for 10+ years. Together they are raising their four children to know and love their Lord. Jacob enjoys reading his Bible and learning from the Holy Spirit. To unwind, he plays the Wii with his boys – Lego Star Wars & Lego Pirates of the Caribbean are their favorites – and also likes to play Candy Crush and rub-it-in that he is more than 100 levels past his wife! His new favorite strategy game is Clash of Clans. Despite his wife’s encouragement, he has not yet started his own blog. So until then, you can listen to his weekly sermons online at the Old Union Christian Church website.
Latest posts by Jacob Breedlove (see all)
- Day 10 ~ Loving Your Wife as Christ Loves the Church - February 10, 2014