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How To Love One’s Wife Like Christ Loved The Church

In this article I delve into the marriage between the husband and wife as a representation of the relationship between Christ and the Church. A fundamental principle to bear in mind is that all visible creations crafted by God serve as symbolic reflections of unseen realities. This principle extends to earthly entities, each possessing a spiritual counterpart, including the institution of marriage.

By understanding the connection between Christ and the Church, one can gain insight into the dynamics of the marital relationship between husband and wife. Paul offers an analogy in Ephesians 5:25-27, illustrating the relationship between a man and his wife.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

1. Jesus’ Love For The Church

Let us initially delve into the profound love that Jesus demonstrated for the church, providing valuable insight into how husbands should love their wives. Jesus displayed an extraordinary love for the church, sacrificing himself to atone for her sins. In addition, he willingly surrendered his life to redeem her, bearing the weight of her transgressions so that she could be purified and presented as faultless before him. Essentially, Jesus’ desire was to unite with the church, necessitating her cleansing through his sacrificial blood to establish a unified relationship of purity and holiness.

2. Western Weddings As An Analogy For The Marriage Between Christ And The Church

In traditional Western weddings, the groom typically wears a white shirt and a black suit. While the bride wears a white gown. The symbolism behind these choices is profound. Firstly, the groom’s white shirt symbolizes the purity and holiness of Christ. This symbolism draws from the biblical account where James, Peter, and John witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus, where his countenance radiated like the sun, and his garments became dazzling white (Matthew 17:2), revealing a glimpse of his divine nature. Secondly, the black suit worn by the groom represents the sins of humanity, as Jesus bore our sins on the cross so that the Church may be made holy (1 Peter 2:24).

The bride is a representation of the church


Finally, the bride’s white gown signifies the purity and radiance of the Church, which is depicted as spotless, without blemish, or wrinkle, and deemed holy and blameless to be united with her husband in an inseparable bond. The two distinct entities – Christ and the Church are now equally yoked and eligible to form a union as the Church has now been redeemed to become partakers of the divine and holy nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4).

3. The Marriage Between Adam And Eve

In the first marriage, between Adam and Eve, there also exist parallels. God created Eve from Adam’s rib and presented her to him. Upon seeing Eve, Adam declared, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23). This statement signifies that Eve shared his likeness and nature thus forming the basis for their marriage as husband and wife.

4. How Husbands Are To Love Their Wives

Husbands are instructed to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Christ in his love for the church was shown by sacrificing his life for her. Correspondingly, husbands are expected to exhibit authentic love by willingly making sacrifices for their wives. On the other hand, wives are called to submit to their husbands, mirroring the church’s submission to Christ. In other words, a godly wife yields to her godly husband’s leadership just as the Church allows Christ to lead. Essentially, a devout wife yields to her devout husband’s guidance, as the Church follows Christ’s leadership.

The commitment to sacrifice and unity within the union of marriage is a profound responsibility that should not be underestimated. In Matthew 19:10-12, the disciples acknowledged the weightiness of this commitment when they remarked, “If this is the situation between husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” This realization underscores the sacrificial role expected of husbands in prioritizing the well-being of their wives and families.

5. Final Remarks

It is an interesting observation that historically, the duty of engaging in warfare and risking one’s life in battle has predominantly fallen upon men. Men have traditionally shouldered this burden to protect and provide for their wives and families. Additionally, this sacrificial act is grounded in the belief that a man’s sacrifice ensures the safety and well-being of his loved ones, drawing a parallel to the sacrificial narrative of Christ, who gave his life to absolve humanity of sin, offering the promise of eternal life.

When the man enters the marriage the question is, is he willing to sacrifice his life for his wife? Likewise is the woman willing to yield to her husband’s leadership?

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