God’s Household Rules: Marriage and Family (7)
1. As we continue our study of Ephesians 5:25-29, a passage that spells out God’s expectations for Christian husbands, let’s recall the outline of Paul’s argument. There is a command, followed by two analogies or illustrations. This morning we will consider the first analogy or illustration. This evening we will consider the second.
2. Here, again, is an outline of Paul’s argument in this passage:
1. The Command - Love your wives (25a)
2. Analogy #1 - Like Christ loved the church (25b)
a. Purpose of Christ loving the church - to sanctify her (26)
b. Ultimate goal - the glory of the church in holiness and perfection (27)
3. Analogy #2 - Love your wife in the same way you take care of yourself (28a)
a. Elaboration #1 - in a real sense you are caring for your own self when you love your wife (28b)
b. Elaboration #2 - that means, specifically, nourishing and cherishing her (29a)
c. Elaboration #3 - just as Christ nourishes and cherishes the church, as members of his own body
3. We have spent two weeks reflecting on the love command to husbands, and we have said repeatedly, in light of what we’ve already learned in Ephesians, in light of what Paul says here and elsewhere, that God calls Christian husbands to a radical, God-originated, Gospel-based, Grace-empowered, Spirit-wrought, Atonement-illustrated, Christ-emulating, self-denying love for our wives — in which we seek to serve our wives and to care for our wives’ best spiritual and temporal interests
4. This morning, we looked at Paul’s elaborations on the love command in Ephesians 5:25-27 and saw four specific points: (1) church, (2) atonement, (3) sanctification, (4) glory.
5. Tonight, we turn to the following section of this great passage, and consider the second analogy/illustration that Paul gives for the purpose of instructing husbands on how to love their wives.
6. At first it may appear that Paul is appealing to base self-interest, but we quickly see that he has something deeper in mind (and verses 31-33 confirm this).
Paul says that God expects Christian husbands to love their wives, by nourishing and cherishing them the way would their own bodies, because of the way Christ cares for his body, the church - that is
I. Love your wife as your own body/self
[Husbands, love your wives, as your own bodies] (28)
28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
II. Love your wife as you care for your own body/self
[Love your wife by nourishing and cherishing her] (29a)
29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it,
III. Love your wife in light of Christ’s love for the members of his body
[Husbands, love your wives, as your own bodies] (29b-30)
29 . . . just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.