Loving Your Wife as Your Own Body

Recently, my wife and I started having family worship again, a time set aside each day for us to read the Scriptures and pray together. Although we pray and read on our own, we need time in the Bible together as well. We decided to start light with a seven-day reading plan on marriage. Our first passage was Ephesians 5:21–33. Verses 28–33 left me speechless and in tears:

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Paul, like a skillful artist, overwhelmed me with his picture of marriage. I could hardly speak, I was so convicted. I was awed. I asked my wife for observations so that I could gather my thoughts. But as she spoke about submission, I could only feel the weight of my responsibility.

I hadn't loved my wife as if she was a member of my own body. I failed to even aspire to love her as Christ does the church, his body.

The Benefits of the Body

The doctrine of “Christ’s body” teaches that there is a mysterious bond that exists between all believers who are connected with and dependent on Jesus Christ. In verse 30, Paul refers to us as members of Christ’s body. As members, we receive the benefits of being nourished and cherished by Christ (Ephesians 5:29).

This expression paints an intimate picture of our communion, unity, and oneness with Christ as believers. Christ as our head leads us and guides us. We submit to him just as our hands, legs, and other body parts submit to our brain.

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