“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Explanation and Commentary of Ephesians 5:25
As Paul states, marriage is a profound mystery (Eph 5:32) concerning Christ and the bride that is so precious to him that he gave up his life in order to sanctify her and make her holy (Eph 5:26). We did not have the opportunity to witness Jesus in a marriage to a woman during his earthly ministry. He was a celibate. However, we can learn everything we need to know about being godly husbands by witnessing his divine headship over his Church. To love a wife as Christ loved the Church is to lay down your life for her.
We first give up ourselves when we take wedding vows. That is, we give up ourselves as we were when we were single. We become one flesh. Adam gave up at least a rib to have a wife, but Christ gave his whole life for his Church. We die to the possibility of breaking asunder “what God has joined” (Mk 10:9) when we lock the door and throw away the key on the marriage in commitment until death do us part.
That is only the first time a righteous husband will die for his wife. He will die when she is upset and emotional if he can keep his calm and be her tender rock. He will die when he gives up what he wants for what she wants. He will die when he washes her with the Word (Eph 5:26), instead of spending his time fulfilling personal desires. He will die when he is tempted to look to another person, even his wife, for a sense of identity and self-worth, but she is unable to give it to him. A good husband will die when his bride is being unreasonable, and he cannot give in but must lead as the head, knowing that God will hold him accountable if he gives in to avoid the pain of her displeasure.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Ephesians 5:25
God designed the marriage covenant to be for one man and one woman. God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of the man, and the husband is the head of his wife (1 Cor 11:3). It is a privilege and a blessing for a man to be called to this role.
#2 “love your wives,”
While men respond best to respect (Eph 5:33), wives will respond best to a show of love. This is how God designed men and women. A wife will flourish who is loved, and who feels loved.
#3 “just as Christ loved the church,”
Our model for marriage and being godly husbands is Christ. His bride is his Church.
#4 “and gave himself up for her…”
The most important marriage lesson we learn from Christ is to die for our wives, physically if necessary, but spiritually every day. This is only one way that God calls all men to “take up our cross” and follow Jesus (Mt 16:24). Once we take on this role of being the head of a woman, we live out the maximum expression of servant leadership.
Bible Study on Ephesians 5:25
Expert Overview of Ephesians
Biblical Translations of Ephesians 5:25
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.