Monday, April 23, 2012

Loving Your Wife Like Christ Love the Church.

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Written By: Sophia Reed

 As a Christian, I feel like the Bible has exceptional information about marriage and the way each person in the marriage should act to ensure that they have the optimal relationship.  That is not to say that by following all Christian rules in regards to marriage that your marriage will be perfect and without conflict, but there are  ways that we can adjust ourselves to ensure that were are playing our part in a marriage.  With this being said, I would like to address husbands loving their wives, like Christ love the church.  Before I get right into this, I would first like to explain where this phrase came from.  

In Ephesians 5: 22-33 it says this:

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 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, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

The reason that I chose to quote such a large section is because often times people get caught up in the wife being submissive, and leave out what the husbands are required to do.  Which as you read above is a lot more than the wives.  Two main things that stand out are them loving their wives like Christ loved the church and like he loves his own flesh.  When you really think about this concept this must really be a powerful love.  It is easy for people to say that they love their wife like this, but I have come to find, that many men may not truly understand this love, and are not living up to their part of the bargain. 

Therefore, I am going to go to the beginning of the Bible, with the story of Adam and Eve, to give you a true example of loving one like your own flesh.  People don’t typically think of Adam and Eve as this depicting this, but I will show you that in the beginning, this type of love was present and this is how God always intended love between a husband and wife to be. 

In Genesis 2: 18 it says:

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for[a] him.”

So from the beginning God intended for man to have a mate that is fit for him.  After bringing in all the animals and seeing that no one was befitting for Adam, he made women.

Now let’s take another part of Genesis (Chapter 2:20-24).

So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam[a] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[b] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib[c] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

There are several things to point out in this passage.  The first being is that Eve was created from Adam’s flesh, and note what Adam said about her (Now this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh).  What a strong statement to make about someone, not only that, but it is reminiscent of Ephesians in the fact that Adam says Eve is his fleshed and loved her as such.  Also like Ephesians, it speaks about leaving your mother and father and becoming one, similar to the passage in Genesis. Isn’t it amazing that the first book in the Bible (old testament) is much like one of the last books in the Bible (new testament) regarding the relationships between husband and wife. 
Now let’s get into the deep stuff……Are you ready?

In Genesis 2:16-17 after Adam was created, before Eve came into existence, God told Adam this,

 “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

With this being said, Adam did not eat from the tree, while he was the only person on Earth. Also note that God had told him if he ate from the tree what would happen.  So flash forward and Eve is created.   The serpent isolated her on her own and got her to eat from the forbidden tree.  After eating the fruit, she then brings it to Adam and asks him to partake of the fruit as well.  Now let’s ponder this for a minute, as mentioned above Adam knew very well what eating from the tree would do…however he also saw that Eve had already eaten from the tree, and therefore he knew that she would die.  How did he know this? Because that is what God told him would happen.  So why do you think Adam ate from the tree, knowing that he would die and be departed from God.  A misconception is that Adam was manipulated or tricked by Eve……But I think not.  I think that even though Adam loved God, and knew what would happen to him if he ate the fruit, he still chose to do so because he loved Eve so much….and if Eve was going to die and face banishment from God, then he was willing to do so as well.  You see, to Adam, Eve was his flesh, she came from his own body, and perhaps to imagine life without her was not possible.  So he chose to give up the perfect life that he had in Eden with God, to go into the wilderness with his women, Eve. Now that’s love. 

My point is this, men who are married, do you love your wife like you love your flesh.  Are you willing to take the hard road with her, as oppose to leaving her when you see that she has made the wrong decision?  Are you willing to share in her consequences and responsibilities?  Are you willing to give your life up for her, just as Christ gave his life for the Church?  See this is what I mean, by loving your wife as Christ loved the church, and it is attainable.
If you would like to achieve this in your relationship or marriage, and feel like you need assistance.  Counseling is available, feel free to visit my site to set up an appointment.