True Love

In our Journey through Ephesians this past week we finished up studying Chapter 5 verses 21-33. This half of chapter 5 talks about marriage relationships and the relationship of the Church (body of Christ) with Jesus. Recently I have heard about so many messed up marriages and divorces, even within the Christian community. It is so sad what I am hearing about these people. I hate hearing about families being torn apart. God never intended for men and women to marry and then divorce. Marriage was meant to be a life long commitment.

In today’s society we are not taught how our relationships are supposed to be with husbands and wives. Here is what a real marriage is supposed to look like.

And further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything. And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church. And we are his body. As the scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.  (Eph. 5:21-33 NLT)

Notice the Bible tells us wives to submit to our husbands. That doesn’t mean we live in a dictatorship or that we are going to live as a servant to our husbands. We are still their help mates. However, there is a line of authority just like in the body of Christ. Husbands are set as the head of the home.  But the verses do not just stop there and many times that verse is used by some men to try and control their wives, which is wrong.

What comes next is not usually as easily swallowed, especially by the men in the Church. Because of what they require of them.  These verses also tell us that men are supposed to love their wives just as Christ loves the church. Christ gave up his life for his bride and men should be willing to make the same sacrifice. A lot of time they are not.

Most people do not realize that the word love is really a verb. Which means it’s an action. Love is not a feeling.  You make a choice whether or not you are going to show love to others. Love is what you do on a daily basis when you do things for your spouse. Love is putting up with each other’s quirks even when we don’t want to. Love is sacrificing our own time for someone else. Love is definitely different from like. You may not always like someone but God requires us to love others even our enemies.

When women learn to submit to and respect their husbands and men learn to truly love their wives to the point of sacrificing themselves then marriages will stop ending in divorce. But men and women have to be taught these principles and willing to truly live by them. Who is going to teach them these things?

The Church. At least that is who should be teaching these things. But for some reason in recent years we have lost this and the church is not focusing on it as much. We need to go back to the basics here and remember to teach the young men and women what marriage truly is and what it really takes for it to survive.