Loved Truly

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… ~Ephesians 5:25

            A common complaint today is that men don’t grow up!  Content to play video games and live in basements, many wonder where the men have gone.  In light of this one emphasis when teaching on Christian marriage is the responsibility that husbands bear to lead their families.  However, in most ancient societies the authority of the husband was assumed and accepted as a fact of life.  Thus, when Ephesians gives instructions to husbands the instruction is, explicitly, to love their wives.  Not to rule but to love.  Not to love in just any way but as Christ loves the church. 

            Those who understand the love of Christ revealed in his sacrificial death on the cross understand something of how husbands are meant to love their wives.  On the other hand, when husbands love their wives rightly they display something true about the love of Christ for his people.  Genuine, joyful, sacrificial love marks the love of Christ for you and me as Christians.             

            When a husband rightly loves his wife he sacrificially labors for her good.  He sets aside his own rights and desires and he works for what is truly good for his wife.  When a husband rightly loves his wife he desires her to be her best and wishes her to be honored by all.  When a husband rightly loves his wife she is able to fully trust him in every way.  The way a great husband loves his wife is a small and imperfect picture of Jesus’ love for his people. 

            Our Lord gave up his own life to pay for our sins in order to rescue us from the penalty that we rightly deserved.  Our Lord cleanses us and clothes us in righteousness.  Our Lord presents us in glory and splendor as he wills that we share in his glory.  Our Lord may be fully trusted in every way because he loves us perfectly and has proven this at the cross.  We can rest secure in the realization of his great love.

            Are you secure in the love of Christ or are you trying to earn it?  Do you worry that you have disappointed Christ one too many times?  Have you slipped into keeping up your relationship with Jesus by your good works?  If so, you are invited to stop striving and to rest in the gracious love of the Lord which does not depend on you.

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