“’For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be married to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the Church. However, each of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:31-33
I was honored to help my niece get married in Knoxville, Tennessee this past weekend. Both husband and wife graduated from UT, so thankfully their team pulled out a victory the Thursday before the wedding and everyone was happy.
God does not talk much about how to be a proper football fan (though it would seem that good sportsmanship should be advised), but He does tell us how to live as husbands and wives. In the ‘profound mystery’ it seems God wants a Christian marriage to reflect the beautiful relationship between Jesus and His Church.
As the Church gladly submits to Christ and loves Him in such a way that shines brightly, so a wife is to respect, honor, and love her husband with a joy that makes everyone take note. And as Jesus has demonstrated perfect love by sacrificing Himself for His Bride the Church, so a husband is to lay down his life for the one he loves.
When the world witnesses the sacrificial love a man has for his wife and the beautiful loyalty a woman shows her husband, an impression is made. “Why is this marriage different?” the world asks. We answer, “Because of what we’ve experienced! We’ve had a Savior give up His life for us and we will never be the same!”
“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the Church, His Body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the Church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself up for her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant Church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the Church – for we are members of His Body.” Ephesians 5:22-30