A note from our pastor:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”Ephesians 5:25
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
First, please note our study verse this week continues a series of verses which focus on the institution of marriage and the relationship between husbands and wives. The verses necessarily build on one another, and, thus, the meaning of the verses should be considered individually and within the larger context and meaning. Please take the time to go back and read the writings on prior verses if you have not already done so.
In our study verse last week, we considered the instructions for wives to be subject to their husbands. This week we turn to a paired instruction from the Apostle Paul which informs husbands regarding their appropriate actions within a marriage.
First, it is important to note the example the Apostle points to in Jesus Christ is far greater than what any husband can actually fulfill. Jesus Christ, in his love for his bride, came with the sole purpose of loving her with a self-sacrificing love. As husbands, men should strive to love their spouse in this way, but in reality selfish natures and imperfect lives will always interfere with this perfect love.
Perhaps the best explanation for the meaning of this verse is to go back and consider the traditions of the time in which the Apostle wrote this message. At this time and for many years after it was traditional for husbands to pay a dowry to the family of their future wives. In a sense, the dowry payment was to redeem her from her family. Depending on the wealth of those involved the dowry would be of various sizes and amounts. However, when it was paid the wife was viewed as moving from belonging within her birth family to belonging with her husband and her new family.
The message of this verse, however, is no matter the size of the dowry paid unless the husband has given his very life for his spouse the payment is not sufficient.
Although today we do not live in a culture where dowry’s are part of the marriage process, the message is no less true or less important. Husbands should be willing to give of themselves all the way to the point of being willing to sacrifice their very lives for their spouses. This is not a love which can be lived and fulfilled through a few hours a week, but one which takes active choices and dedication each and every day.
Let us focus on loving those which are closest to us with the best love, of which Christ is the example.
Our Prayers are with you daily,