“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” -Ephesians 5:25
In June, my wife and I will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary! It has been a joy, privilege, and honor to be her husband. I am beyond blessed to have her companionship as we navigate through this phenomenon called life.
From the very beginning of our marriage—my wife has served, loved, and respected me beyond my wildest dreams. When I was a pastor, even when she was busy at home taking care of the children—she would find opportunities to encourage and help me in organizing the ministry.
Being a pastor’s wife can be very stressful because of the unrealistic expectations people have. Nevertheless, she served very well in this role.
When I made the transition to medical school, she would tell me not to worry about the dishes but go upstairs and study—even though she was busy getting her nursing degree and was pregnant with our third child. When I would commute to the university, my beloved wife would always pack me both lunch and dinner to ensure I was eating healthy.
Simply put, my spouse emulates Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” She is a personal imitation of God’s grace in my life. I am humbled by her love.
As husbands, we are commanded by God to love our wives as Christ loved the Church. How did Christ love the church? By loving the church in a sacrificial way. Jesus took our penalty of sin on the cross and ensured our justification by grace through faith. This infinite love calls us to love, protect, and serve our wives to the best of our abilities.
(1) A Protecting Love
When my wife and I were married for only a few years and our oldest son was around two, there was a tornado that devastated our city in Indiana. I vividly remember the siren waking us up from a Sunday afternoon nap. Also, it was strange because—while the weather was warm in November—it definitely wasn’t tornado season.
Nevertheless, we took the sirens seriously and made our way to the middle of the house. Since we didn’t have a basement, the safest place for us was in the bathroom. My wife was holding on to my son in the bathtub and I was hovering over them.
As the wind began to howl and the ceiling started shaking, I thought to myself: “If the roof flies off, I need to make sure my wife and son are safe no matter what—I will need to be their protector and shield. This is my Christian duty as both a father and husband.”
Thankfully, the tornado missed our neighborhood. But just a few blocks away, many houses were destroyed. I will never forget this moment. It was a reminder to me how I am called to love my wife as her husband by safeguarding and protecting her the best way I know how.
(2) A Serving Love
Brothers in Christ, we must serve our wives. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” If that means you need to clean the bathrooms, her car, the toilets, take out the trash, do the dishes, then do it well!
Also, serve your wife by teaching the gospel. As husbands, we are responsible for making her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word (Eph. 5:26). Some ideas include: praying before bedtime, reading a short devotional together at the dinner table, and just having a conversation about how her day went—even trying to tie it in with spiritual significance.
Service is not always doing something, it’s investing as well. You must invest in your wives spiritual growth by encouraging her in the Word of God. This is our duty and calling as husbands loving our wives just as Christ loved the Church.Tweet
(3) A Faithful Love
God said from the very beginning, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and become united to his wife, and the two shall become on flesh (Gen. 2:24).” This one flesh union expresses commitment, faithful love, and holy unity. Marriage is a reflection of God’s covenantal relationship with us. He will never leave us or forsake us.
In the same way, we are to cherish, love, and remain faithful to our spouse—no matter what. Jesus told us, “If you look at a woman with lust in your hearts, you have committed adultery. (Matt. 5:28).”
Our culture today tries to lure both men and women into sexual immorality through the internet, television, magazines, and fashion. As husbands, we are to flee from this sin (1 Cor. 6:18) and cling to our wives.
(4) A Leading Love
If we want to lead like Christ did, we must follow in his footsteps. It’s crucial that we reflect his leadership. Listen to what he says to his disciples in Mark 10:42-45:
“And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
This verse proves that men are not to lead in a domineering way. Instead, husbands are to use their authority by serving their spouse in a God-honoring, Christ-exalting way.
As Jesus said, whoever wants to be first among you must be a servant of all. Therefore, as husbands, let’s serve our wives with a humble and gentle spirit.Tweet
In this daily devotional, I offered at least 4 ways for husbands to love their wives like Jesus did for the Church: through a protecting, serving, faithful, and leading type of love. May God bless, encourage, and equip you to do just that. Let’s pray.
Devotional written by Chad A. Damitz (M.Div)