I had no idea how to love my wife the way God calls husbands to when I got married. I was clueless.
The first revelation God taught me in regards to being my wife’s hero is found in the New Testament of the Bible, in the book of Ephesians, Chapter 5.
The apostle Paul (One of the pillars of the first century church) was writing to a church in a city of Ephesus (thus the name Ephesians) about how Godly family relationships should work. Take a look at what He writes:
Ephesians 5:25–33 (ESV)
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
There it is. “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church….”
Boom. I remember the first time I read that as a husband. I had no idea what it meant. However, over time God has made these words come alive to me countless times in my victories and my failings.
“Husbands love your wives.”
“Ok. But, what does that mean?”
To get the “what” we need to see the analogy that Paul uses in this passage. Let’s look at those first verses again:
25 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”
How did Christ love the church?
“…[He] gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her….that she may be without spot or wrinkle.”
When Paul mentions the church here, he’s speaking of all those that have placed their faith in Christ as savior and leader of their life. To make sure we’re all on the same page, let’s recap. Jesus is savior because He willingly laid his life down on the cross and was crucified for the sins of humanity (that’s you and I) so that anyone that would place their faith in Him would be saved from their sins and be given eternal life with God. Jesus is also the leader of their life because those that have placed their faith in Jesus have chosen to follow Him and allow Him to call the shots.
So when Paul writes that husbands are to love their wives like the church, he’s talking about sacrificially laying down our lives for them. Does Paul mean this literally? If need be. However, there’s more to being a hero husband than jumping on a grenade or taking a 9mm round to the chest for the Mrs. It’s actually more inconvenient than that. Check this out:
28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
Just like Jesus laid his life down to take care of the needs of The Church, husbands are called to nourish and cherish their wives like they would their own body. Why?
Answer: Because you and your wife have become one body through covenant. To point to this idea of caring for her like we would our own body, Paul quotes a verse from the Old Testament found in the book of Genesis:
31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
You say, Nathan, I got it, but how do we nourish and cherish our wives? Glad you asked. To find out, let’s look at what these two words mean.
Nourish: to provide with substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition.
Cherish: to protect and care for someone or something lovingly.
Based on this description above we’re called to give our wife everything she needs in this life to thrive. We do that by lovingly protecting and caring for her.
To nourish and cherish our wives we’re going to look at the four categories that make up all of your wife’s needs:
In my upcoming posts I’m going to be sharing some ways of how we can meet these four crucial needs of our wives. I invite you to join me on this journey. If you haven’t subscribed to these posts, you can do so here. You can also check out out my podcast, Hero Husband Hero Dad. I’m looking forward to where God takes us.