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… gave Himself … (Ephesians 5:25; KJV).

… gives Himself up … (CV).

Women in our society understandably reject headship and patriarchy, because they undoubtedly have never seen the Pauline model in action. Shamefully, what they have seen is an abundant example of self-absorbed, self-centered, self-serving men deceitfully professing these ideals and roles.

Paul instructs the husband to model Christ Who “gave Himself up.” Exactly what did that phrase mean to Paul? The context of this “giving up” goes back to :2 where he defines it for us:

Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God …

The Greek word translated “gave” from :25 is παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi), the same word translated “given” in :2. Paul tells us directly in :2 what that “giving” of Christ’s love for us was: (1) an offering, and (2) a sacrifice. The Concordant Literal Version translates “offering” as “approach present.” An approach present was a gift offered to win another’s favor. It was a humble, sacrificial act to enable the giver to draw near to the recipient. An approach present was not chocolates and flowers. It represented a most significant sacrifice on the part of the giver. (A detailed study of the approach present can be seen in Bible Student’s Notebook #436.)

According to Paul’s own context, the husband’s love is to be an “approach present” and “offering” up of himself to his wife.

We’ll look more at this Greek word παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi) in tomorrow’s Daily Email Goodie.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving)

Husbands, love your wives (Ephesians 5:25).

After the example of Christ, the husband is to be the lover. He is the divinely appointed initiator and sustainer of marital love. Going beyond the Law, the Pauline mandate is, “Husbands, love your wives.” Love is uniquely the role of the husband. We’ll seek in vain to find such a command for wives. There is never a directive that says, “Wives, love your husbands.”

According to Paul, exactly what is the standard of husbands’ love of their wives? “Even as Christ loved the Ecclesia” (:25). Christ’s love suggests three basic characteristics:

Realistic Love. His love knew that we were: sinful (mistake ridden), unlovable and unreasonable. “… While we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)

Sacrificial Love. His love was extremely costly. His love “gave” (:25), spending for the benefit of the object of His love.

Unreserved Love. His love for us was without limit, without condition, and without reservation. He not merely “gave,” He “gave Himself” (:25).

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving)

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January 2015
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