The Book of Ephesians: Nourishing and Cherishing Love.

28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.” (Ephesians 5:28–29 (ESV)

The Apostle Paul brings the subject of Jesus Christ’s love for the church and compares it to the husband’s love for his wife. When Paul writes “In the same way” he is referring the reader back to the immediate preceding context of vs. 26-27. The husband’s love for his wife is to be a sanctifying, splendid and holy love.

Furthermore, Paul states that husbands should (ὀφείλω; opheillo) or are obligated to love their wives as their own bodies. In other words, the husband is to infinitely love his wife as his own physical being. As the husband takes care of his physical being through rest, nourishment, and exercise so also he is to care for his wife. To provide for one’s physical body is natural and instinctive. So also should be the husband’s love for his wife.

Generally speaking, no individual ever hated (μισέω; miseo) or detested his own body. Rather, he nourishes (ἐκτρέφω; ektrepho) and provides food for it. Additionally, he cherishes (θάλπω; thalpo) or takes care of it.

The husband’s example of such love is Jesus Christ. Christ spiritually nourishes and cherishes the church because the church is referred to as the body of Christ.

Dr. John Walvoord writes, “Paul applied the truths given in verses 25–27. As the church is the extension of Christ, so is the wife an “extension” of her husband. No one hates his own body but takes care of it. Feeds (ektrephei; cf. “bring them up” in 6:4) and cares for (thalpei; cf. 1 Thes. 2:7) is literally, “nourishes and cherishes.” Thus as Christ loves the church, His body (of which all believers are members; cf. Eph. 4:25), so should husbands … love their wives as their own bodies (5:28; cf. v. 33). Men care for their bodies even though they are imperfect and so they should care for their wives though they are imperfect.”

May each of us who are husbands take these biblical truths seriously.

Soli deo Gloria!   

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