Today’s verses are from Ephesians 5:31-32. I am going to admit that I the days have progressed, it has gotten harder for me to directly specifically about how husbands should love their wives. I am going to use my SOAP and then go directly to words from John McArthur.
31 For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh. 32 This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church
If you are in student of scripture, you know that verse 31 is quote Genesis 2:24 – God’s illustration of marriage. God’s intention for marriage is very clear. Leave and cleave. Verse 31 has been preached on, talked about, claimed, used, etc to the point where I am completely focusing on verse 32.
“This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”
From verses 22 to 32, Paul has used the illustration of Christ loving the church. He is trying to show how Christ loves the church. He is the Savior of the church, He gave himself for the church, He cleansed her, His love keeps her from being defiled, He loves the church because she is a member of His body. Jesus doesn’t cast away the church! He loves us (the church)even when we are unlovable. He is faithful even when we are unfaithful. God’s intention is that husbands and wives love one another the same way. The mystery is great but it has been revealed.
God’s intention, and His illustration is clear. As Christ loves the church, so you are also to love your wife. In reality, to do this a man must be filled with the Holy Spirit , to be IN Christ!
And now thoughts from John McArthur: So, in Ephesians again, God’s design as indicated back in Genesis, is that a man and a woman leave their respective families and come together, clinging to each other and enter into a physical union. They become one flesh. And they cling to each other. This oneness is intimate, unique and personal. This oneness is special. Individual identity is lost. Individual identity is lost. You become really a new person, co-mingled with your life partner.
Would you notice the word “leave” in verse 31? It’s a very intense word, it’s another one of those verbs with a preposition on the front of it, kataleipo, it means “to leave behind,” it means “to abandon,” literally “leave.” And, of course, we have to give advice about that lots of times to young couples who have started to cleave but forgotten to leave, which is very helpful. The word “cleave,” proskollao, it means “to be glued to.” You come together to stick, oneness of physical union which incorporates oneness of mind, oneness of purpose, oneness of heart, oneness of emotion. And you enter into this most private magnificent intimate personal relationship.
So you love your wife with a sacrificial love. You love your wife with a purifying love. You love your wife with a caring love that nourishes her and cherishes her. You love your wife with an unbreakable love that just keeps forgiving and forgiving and forgiving and forgiving. Can a man cast off his wife? I can answer that question with a question. Can Christ cast off His church?
The manner of love in our passage here, sacrificial, purifying, caring and unbreakable. Let’s talk about the motive. What should motivate us to love like this? Verse 32, “This mystery is great but I’m speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”
Why should I love this woman like this? Why should I love her sacrificially, why should I love her to the degree that I lead her to holiness, that I care for her? Why should I commit myself to an unbreakable love which means I relentlessly forgive her and never become embittered?
Motive–because of the sacredness of marriage. That’s the issue. Because of the sacredness of marriage. Marriage isn’t just marriage, marriage is a mystery. A marriage among Christians is a picture of Christ and His church. This mystery is great. And you need to treat marriage with reverence and awe because marriage is a sacred symbol of Christ’s relationship to His church.
Ladies and Gentleman – what do you think?