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As we have seen, it is the husband’s responsibility to love his wife. The Greek word here for love is ἀγαπάω (agapaō), which is the base of the word ἀγάπη (agapē). The Concordant Greek-English Keyword Concordance defines ἀγάπη as:

A complex emotion arousing appreciation or delight in and desire for the pleasure of its object, as well as to please and promote its welfare; to be distinguished from affection, fondness, which is aroused by the qualities of its object, while love may go out to the utterly unworthy, and also from passion [eros] (not found in the Scriptures) between the sexes.

There is nothing wrong with a husband having affection, fondness and even passion (eros) toward his wife. These are not bad or sinful; but the love to which the husband has been called is divine and is not that which “is aroused by the qualities of its object,” but is that which – like Christ has for us – “may go out to the utterly unworthy.”

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

Husbands, be loving your wives according as Christ also loves the ecclesia, and gives Himself up for its sake (Ephesians 5:25).

As we have already learned, the Greek word used for “gives” in the phrase “gives Himself up” is παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi). Here are its definitions:

  • To surrender, that is, yield up (James Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, G3860).
  • To give or hand over to another (E.W. Bullinger, A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament).
  • To give over to (Robert Young, Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible).
  • To give into the hands (of another); to give over into (one’s) power or use (Joseph Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament).
  • To give or hand over (W.E. Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).
  • To deliver over or up to the power of someone (Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary).
  • BESIDE-GIVE – give up, give over, give way (A.E. Knoch, Greek-English Keyword Concordance).

To help us appropriately apply the Greek word παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi), here are four other examples of the way the word “give” (as in Ephesians 5:2, 25) is translated in the King James Version, with the Concordant Literal Version translation in parenthesis:

Matthew 4:12 – “cast into prison” (“given up”)

Matthew 5:25 – “deliver to the judge” (“giving you up”)

Matthew 10:4 – “betrayed him” (“gives Him up”)

Acts 15:26 – “hazarded their lives” (“give up their souls”)

These words speak of sacrifice and loss of liberty. Husbands are no longer their own; like Christ, by choice, they have sacrificially “given themselves up” as an approach present to their wives. For husbands, Christ, Who forwent his “rights” in Gethsemane and proceeded to Calvary as a sacrifice and an approach present for us, is our preeminent example as to how we are to love our wives.

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

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January 2015
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