Realizing our Riches | Ephesians 5:25-27
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Men, God has placed quite a responsibility on us in our verses today; That we ought to love our wives as Christ also love the church. This seems like an impossible request, but rest assured that if it has been asked of us, then it is certainly possible, in Christ. If we are in Christ then we should love like Christ, a love that is willing to go to the grave, although the grave was rest compared to the things Christ suffered on our behalf. Love was the motivation behind the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus for us; " For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son." "No greater love hath any man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." "Herein is love, not that we loved him but that he loved us and gave his son to be a propitiation for our sins." Love for The Church, His Bride, is why He took the nails, the thorns, the scourging, the ridicule, the crushing weight of our sins, and every other thing He suffered. He loves us therefore he gave himself for us. In every sense, he gave himself for us; Physically, He was tempted in all points such as we are, that we might have a faithful high priest, one who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. Spiritually, He, who knew no sin, became sin for us; He was separated from God in the darkness of Calvary as He cried "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" He gave His entire being to His Bride. Now we are commanded to have this type of love for our wives. A love that endures suffering, a love that forgives, a love that would take you all the way to the grave and a love that goes beyond death. Sadly, we fall short of this quite often. We can't endure a sharp word or a discomfort to ourselves without retribution and retaliation, but Christ endured, being spit on, beaten, and mocked because through this display of love His Bride would be won over and cleansed from her sin. He saw beyond the suffering he endured to a glorious day when His bride would presented to him at the Marriage supper of the Lamb, not having spot nor wrinkle, or any such thing! Christ endured patiently, because through his act of love, His Bride's heart would be softened, and they would be brought into a loving, heavenly relationship. Men, this is the ultimate example of how we are to love our wives, if there comes a time when there is trouble between you and your wife, then it is up to you to be the bigger person and forgive. If you have to endure hard words, if you have to endure cold shoulders, if you have to endure speechless dinners, what is that compared to what Christ endured for His Bride? Would you be willing to take a beating for your wife, what about being spit upon? Christ did and much more. Consider the ones who He did this for: "Not that we loved Him, but that he loved us." He did all these things for a bride who did not currently love him, but he knew that through His act of love, His bride would be brought to repentance and faith in Him, and therefore cleansed from her wicked ways. There may be some man out there who is really suffering through his marriage, if there is, just keep on loving, forgiving and enduring. Through your acts of love, endurance, and forgiveness her heart can be soften to a place of repentance, apology and faith in you, not as a savior, but as her head. You cannot follow someone you have no faith in and many times the wife doesn't have faith that the husband is going to lead her in the right way. Men, we need to prove to them that we love them and have their best interest in mind, and we are worthy of being followed. Christ has never steered me wrong and I know He has my best interest in mind, He has proven Himself to me time and time again. We as the head of the home have to prove ourselves as a faithful head that can be trusted and followed. The only way they will ever trust us is if they know we love them unconditionally and have their best interest in mind. They may not understand our decision, but they can trust when they don't understand, just as I don't always understand His decisions for my life, but I trust Him either way. This love that Christ had for His bride cleansed her form all her sins and is making her a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Just as Christ love changed His bride so can your patient, enduring, forgiving love for your wife bring her to a place of faith in you, as head, and love for you as her husband. You may have to suffer a great deal, endure a great deal, forgive a great deal but through all of it you can come to a place where she honors and happily submits to your leadership, because she has seen your love demonstrated in patient endurance. There may be some lady reading this and I would say that you doing the same for your husband would be applicable as well. Love covers a multitude of sin, and in the marriage of man and woman there will be many sins that need covering. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church!
According to the Riches of His Grace!