The Perfect Spouse
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Notice again how Paul begins in : “Husbands, love your wives.” As you may know, there are several specific words in Greek which are translated by the rather broad English word “love.” The verb used here is agapao, from which we get the noun agapé. It is used whenever God’s love is spoken of. So when the Bible says “God so loved the world,” the verb agapao is used. When Jesus says, “A new commandment I give you, love one another as I have loved you” the verb agapao is used. Paul is saying here, “Husbands, have agape love for your wives.”
Paul is challenging those of us who are married to reveal the immeasurable, unfailing love of God. And the verb is in the present imperative, which is a command and an earnest ongoing appeal. Love, and keep on loving, your spouse with a heavenly love.
Perhaps someone is thinking, Let your love for your spouse be a revelation of the immeasurable, unfailing love of God? What do you mean by that? Well, fortunately, the Apostle Paul outlines three aspects of that heavenly love.
unfailing love of God? What do you mean by that? Well, fortunately, the Apostle Paul outlines three aspects of that heavenly love.
Sacrifice for your wife!
Sacrifice for your wife!
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
Christ demonstrated His ἀγαπάω (agape) love for us, his church, by making the supreme sacrifice for us. He gave Himself up on our behalf. He gave Himself up in favor of us. He took what we deserved, which was death, that we might receive as a free gift what He deserved—everlasting life. And He did not come saying, I'll give 50 percent if you give 50 percent. He gave 100 percent, unconditionally, even though He knew that many would not even appreciate His gift.
That is how we are to love our wives. Love your wife with a heavenly love. Sacrifice for your wife. Unconditionally give 100 percent. You say, “That doesn’t sound fair! Why should I have to give 100 percent? What about my needs? My rights? I can’t love like that!” You’re absolutely right. We can’t love our spouse with a heavenly love if our hearts are selfish and unconverted. Unless you have committed your life to Christ and have asked Him to fill you with His agape love by the Holy Spirit, you cannot love your spouse with a heavenly love. It’s impossible. You'll fall short every time. But if you pray each morning, “Lord, please fill me with your agape love,” then God’s love can flow through you to your spouse. Part of loving your spouse with a heavenly love is this: you will sacrifice for your wife.
One evening after spending all day working very hard I got home ready to just get on my couch and put my legs up on the recliner and watch the evening news. As soon as I entered my house, Zoey came to me and explained how difficult her day had been with the kids and that she needed a time off from them. I quickly thought I have spent all day working and she has just been at home. But God calls us to be a sacrifice, as a result, I told Zoey that she could take the time off and that I would take care of the kids. Zoey felt loved (agape) because I put her in front of my wants.
Nourish your wife!
Nourish your wife!
So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
A second aspect of loving your spouse with the immeasurable, unfailing love of God is to nourish your wife.
Paul uses the illustration of a person caring for his own body. He says just as a person nourishes his own body, and Christ nourishes the Church, so as a Christian you should nourish your wife. The verb used here, ἐκτρέφω (ektrepho), means to nourish fully or to encourage growth. Loving your spouse with a heavenly love means not only to sacrifice for your spouse but also to nourish your spouse, to encourage her, to grow and develop.
A second way to nourish your spouse is to encourage your spouse to grow spiritually. In fact, listen carefully my friends, I would suggest that nurturing your spouse spiritually is the best way to strengthen and safeguard your relationship. Are you praying with your wife? Are you praying for your wife? Are you having worship together? Are you encouraging your wife to grow spiritually? Those are ways to nourish your spouse, part of loving your spouse with a heavenly love.
One good way to nourish our spouses is spending some time for both of you to discuss about your marriage. Zoey and I have had a good habit of going on a date every week where we try to discuss only about our marriage. We make an effort of doing a couples enrichment cruise called “Love it like you mean it” every year if not at least a marriage retreat every year. Zoey has done her associates, bachelors, and now finishing her master degree while we have been married and I try to encourage and uplift her to finish strong. When my wife sees that her husband is cheering her on in her intellectual, emotional, and spiritual life she feels loved.
Cherish your wife!
Cherish your wife!
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
But there's a third aspect of loving your spouse as a revelation of the immeasurable, unfailing love of God found in and that is “cherishing your wife.” “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.”
Again, Paul uses the illustration of a person caring for his own body. The verb translated cherish in verse 29 is a unique one. Found only twice in the New Testament, the verb θάλπω (thalpo) means to cherish, to comfort, to keep warm. The only other usage is in in reference to a nurse or nursing mother caring for her children: “But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.” What a beautiful picture! To reveal the immeasurable, unfailing love of God to your wife means not only to sacrifice for your wife and to nourish your wife, but also to cherish your wife. To comfort. To keep warm. And that’s not just talking about warming cold feet on a wintery nights, but making your spouse feel special, precious, cherished.
I know that Zoey loves when I hold her hand, when I kiss her when I leave her side, when I give her something just to demonstrate my love towards her, when I open the door of the car for her, when compliment how beautiful she looks, when I compliment her cooking. So I try to make this my mission that my wife feels special, precious, cherished. I try to treat my wife as a precious rose. I try to speak to her with encouragement rather than tearing her down. The more I cherish her the more she feels loved (agape).
Respect your husbands!
Respect your husbands!
Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
children.” What a beautiful picture! To reveal the immeasurable, unfailing love of God to your spouse means not only to sacrifice for your spouse and to nourish your spouse, but also to cherish your spouse. To comfort. To keep warm. And that’s not just talkivng about warming cold feet on a wintery night, but making your spouse feel special, precious, cherished.
Paul goes on to give only one instruction to the wife. The word that Paul uses in his instruction to the wife is φοβῆται (phobetai). Yes that is where the English word phobia comes from. On the other hand, this word is also used to described regarding feelings of respect and reverence. In other words, God calls us wife to respect our husbands.
In every guy, there is one thing that they can agree on. That makes them feel loved by their wife. Believe it or not that one thing is respect . When we respect our husbands they feel achieved and loved. I understand that many times they don’t deserve to be respected, but your 100% should be to respect him. Let us not confuse respect with abuse. Respect is when you accept your husband’s role as a leader (respect your husband as the leader of your home), a provider (respect your husband as the provider of your home. Not only financially, but also spiritually, emotionally, physically), the authority (because God called your husband to be the head of the home. He is your provider), in a relationship (your husband is not only your friend, he should be your best friend and always in relationship with you), and intimacy (we will talk more about this topic this evening, please do not forget to come. On the other hand, your husband needs to be respected in an intimate level. Even with your sexuality).
Making sure that I respect my husband decisions with our children even when I do not agree with them is important. This is the outmost respect. Being able to hold your tongue even when you disagree. He is the head of the house hold, thus given him the authority to lead. Later on in private, you can speak and discus with him (still with an open mind) why you disagreed with the decision he made in regards to the children. This way, he knows that it must of been hard to hold your tongue, but you did out of respect for him. Therefore, making him feel loved by doing so.
I have also been blessed with a life companion who has been a revelation to me of God’s amazing love. That hasn’t been easy, because I’m not a perfect spouse. What makes the miracle even more remarkable is this: she isn’t a perfect spouse either! But she asks the Lord to fill her with His agapé love and she loves me with a heavenly love—of respect and I ask God to fill me with His Spirit so I can love her with a heavenly love—sacrificing, nourishing, and cherishing her. So today, 24 years and a few months after we said “I do,” I want to publically thank her for a revelation of the immeasurable, unfailing love of God.
I bought some flowers to say thank you, but
These roses are for any of you who would like to thank your spouse for sharing God’s love with you.