Love… as Christ does the church

This past Saturday brought the special privilege and joy of attending a wedding in which Ephesians 5 was given as a challenge to the couple. It really gave me a good opportunity to reflect on my own marriage, and was quite a challenge. The main part that stuck out to me was:

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself.” – Ephesians 5:28-33

This gave me pause to think of how I’m suppose to reflect Christ in the way that I love my wife so that it resembles the love that He displays for His church. Here are some broad applications drawn from Christ’s prayer in John 17 that should be evident in my married life:

By Revealing God to her

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world (the church)… I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known. – John 17:6, 26

By Praying for her

“I am praying for them (the church)… that you keep them from the evil one… sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. – John 17:9, 15-17

By Guarding her

“Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them.” – John 17:11-12

By Dedicating my life to and for her

“And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.” – John 17:19

By properly Honoring her

“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.” – John 17:22

By Living so that the world will know that Christ sent me to love her

“So that the world may know that you sent me (Christ) and loved them (the church) even as you loved me.” – John 17:23

By Loving so she can see God’s love in my love for her

“That the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” – John 17:26

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