Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
– Ephesians 5:25, ESV
This is the radical part of Paul’s message to the Ephesians. And, maybe, this is the radical part of Paul’s message to us, as well.
To love like Christ loved the church is an immense task to be given. Christ who, for us, left heaven for earth, was born into a poor carpenter’s family, lived among sinners, was tempted, was insulted, was tortured, was killed. Christ’s love is sacrificial love. Paul instructs, in Philippians:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:5-8, ESV
Though He is God, he humbled himself and gave everything for the church. This is what is Scripture calls for in marriage.
Why don’t we talk about this this in church? We love to preach submission and authority and headship, yet somehow we miss out on the whole Christ-like love thing.
Maybe because loving someone like Christ loved the church is anything but easy. It means sacrificing everything for another’s well-being.
We are selfish, and love is hard.