Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church — for we are members of his body.
Lord Jesus, it doesn’t get much clearer than this! You love Your church, Your bride, and You want us to love our brides with you as a model and pattern. I know there isn’t a one-to-one correspondence. I can’t make my wife holy. My life in sacrifice for hers can only be effective on the physical and emotional level. It won’t save her soul eternally.
But I can be concerned about her spiritual growth as she can mine. I can be of help to her in that area as much as I am spiritually mature. I can seek to help her develop to the maximum of her potential as You have gifted her and developed in her unique talents. I can sacrifice myself for this cause because I love her with Your love.
I can treat her as if she is me and I am great at giving myself credit for the slightest of good motives, rationale for the most egregious of sins, and pampering when I am the least bit uncomfortable. If I give myself the benefit of the doubt, I must do so for her as well.
Pretty simple…pretty hard! Help me, Lord Jesus. You’re my only hope.