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)