"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her."
Ephesians 5:25 (NASB)
Men, we have often heard how our wives are supposed to be submissive models of grace and selflessness, serving us in all love and faithfulness; but how many of us have stopped to think of how and why this may be possible, other than immense doses of grace beyond any possible human comprehension?
You see, my beloved brothers, most of us have been failed by our fathers, our former pastors and teachers, and/or our own egos by overlooking our own responsibilities in this matter which make all the difference in the world, and these responsibilities are two-fold. The first is to give ourselves over to our wives as Jesus did for us, even to the point of death (read that, “in every imaginable way”); and the second is that as we are given the responsibility of being high priests of the home, it is up to us to take the initiative to make this greater submission first and allow our wives to respond.
So let’s take a brief look at a few ways in which we are to loves our wives, for after all, “The relationship between believing husbands and wives illustrates that which exists between Christ (the bridegroom) and the church (His bride). See also Matt. 25:1-13; Rev. 19:7-8; 21:2.”
Christ’s love for us is selfless, genuine, pure, and total, and so too must be our love for our wives. As Jesus did, we must give completely of ourselves to these glorious creatures who were crazy enough to marry us, without considering ourselves, our agendas, what we have to gain or lose, or any of the sort. We must love them genuinely and totally without any forethought because:
a) They deserve it for who they are.
b) We are commanded to do so.
Instead of waiting on these beautiful gifts from God that we have been given to cater to us, let’s instead follow Jesus’ lead. Let us empty ourselves of our own greeds, grudges, and expectations and love these women for who they are, right where they are, just like Jesus did and does for us; and give of ourselves freely and completely to them, putting their needs before our own. And if, consequently, you are hesitant because you think your wife may be showing you a little hardness of heart, dare to try this Biblical principle on for size and shower her with the love, respect, and care due her; and see if her heart does not open wide for you when she realizes that your Christ-like submission to her is the “real deal.” I could fill many paragraphs and pages with suggestions of how to make a human effort, but it would turn out to be artificial and short-lived. However, if we allow Jesus to transform our hearts into the likeness of His own, no suggestions or instructions will be necessary; as the genuine, complete, and selfless love for our wives that is both due them and required of us will naturally flow through us as we allow Him to help us empty ourselves and fill us with His love.
Let’s give this Biblical charge a try, my dear brothers, and let us see together if our marriages do not improve, invigorate, and perhaps even spring back to life like “the good old days” of our youths.
 Ryrie, Charles, C. "Ryrie Study Bible: Expanded Edition, NASB." Moody Press; Chicago. 1995. (p. 1884)
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