June 12, 2011
Jesus died on the cross to save sinners from the eternal penalty of their sins. We see in the passage today that Jesus also died to present the church to himself in all her glory. The church forms a metaphor for the way that husbands must love their wives in Christ.
Ephesians 5:27, Page 1833
All Her Glory. The Lord Jesus Christ has a sense of beauty and perfection. He displays that sense when He talks about His plan for the church. Through His death on the cross, Jesus gave Himself up for the church so that he might present the church to Himself in all her glory. In this passage, notice that Jesus: (1) gave Himself up for the church; (2) sanctified the church; and (3) now presents the church to Himself in all her glory. Jesus views the church as His bride, and prepares her for eternity with Him. Jesus also says the church has no spot or wrinkle or any such thing. By His blood, Jesus has removed all of her imperfections. I notice more spots and wrinkles on me every day. Jesus said that the church will be presented without them. Instead, she will be sanctified, which means particularly that the church will be holy and blameless. Only the blood of Jesus Christ, which He gave for us in His death, cleanses us from all sin, and makes us holy and blameless before Him. You may recall that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that all believers would be holy and blameless before Him (Ephesians 1:4, page 1827; see also Colossians 1:22, page 1842). Have you ever noticed what care a bride takes in her dress, makeup, and hair before the wedding? She wants to look her best. In the same way, Jesus took deliberate steps to be sure His bride looks her best.
Ephesians 5:28, Page 1833
Husbands Ought To Love Their Own Wives. If you turn on your television today, or surf the web, or read a magazine, chances are people will try to influence your decisions in one way or another. They will try to get you to buy their product, or help you eat the right things, or exercise in the right way. They all claim, one way or another, to know what you “ought” to do. Jesus had taught this same principle to the twelve disciples: “the second is like it, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39, page 1542).
He Who Loves His Own Wife Loves Himself. Jesus comes right to the point for each husband: if you love your wife, then you love yourself. Jesus, writing through Paul, teaches us that the wife forms one marriage unit with the husband. They have become one flesh in Christ, as living temples united together in Him (2 Corinthians 6:16, page 1810). So often, I hear husbands complain about their wives. They say they made a mistake marrying that woman, or staying married. I hear the dissatisfaction in their voices. I am positive of one thing for each of them: they are not listening to Christ when they complain about their wives to other men. Christ commanded you to love your wife, just as you love yourself and Him. When we focus upon the problems we have with our wives, we are not giving our love and attention to Chris who wants us to have the greatest marriage known among men. When we stop listening to Christ, then our marriages will often fall into trouble. All kinds of lusting, sinful fleshly behavior, and corruption will attack us. If instead we listen to Christ commanding us to love our wives, then great blessing will come from Him to transform our marriage. As husbands, we must take the initiative and live in love to our wives. We do not wait on them to break down the barriers caused by our years of neglect or abuse, but rather when we get serious about the commands of Christ and following Him, our wives will be among the first to know about new change in direction. Our wives will feel our love for them grow and shine forth brightly. I remember going to the supermarket one day to buy a Valentine’s card for my wife. An older gentlemen with white hair stood in front of me looking over the cards. He turned to me and said: “You do not want to get too mushy!” I thought, but did not say,: “Dude, you need to get mushy with your wife, especially on Valentine’s Day.” In Christ, every wife needs to enjoy the constant love from their husband expressed in ways they can appreciate. They need their husbands to love them in Christ today.
So we learn more about spiritual husbands today and their role in daily devotions.
● Being a husband in Christ means that you love your wife, all the time, no matter how she treats you or what terrible things she has done in the past or is doing right now. Jesus intends to present her to Himself as part of the church, holy and blameless, and Jesus counts upon you to love her every day.
● Being a husband in Christ means that you know that when you love your wife, then you love yourself.
● Being a husband in Christ means that you follow the commands of Christ to love your wife, and you take the initiative. You show your wife, and every member of your family, what it means to follow Christ in your home. Forgive your wife just like Christ forgave you. Give up those grudges, hurts, and long- festering wounds. In Christ, love her today.
Application for Today
Today my wife will feel my lover for her. I will let her know that I have prayed for Christ to love her through me, with all of His divine power behind my love. I want to blow her away with His love flowing through me to her. Together we will walk with Christ, and as the husband, I will follow this command to love her no matter what she says, does, and how she responds to me. The command to love her remains absolute. I will count upon God to enrich my marriage and my life through His love flowing through me today. Will you love your wife today just like you love yourself? Will you love Jesus today, just like He loves you? Will you share that love with husbands, men and fathers who really need to feel that love from you today?