How Did Christ Love the Church?

Paul handed out a mighty command to husbands in Ephesians 5:25:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.”

Love your wives, husbands, as Christ loved the church. And how did Christ love the church? He died for her.

What, then, does it mean to be a husband in the Christian sense? It means you die for your wife. But I doubt Paul had in mind the “Bryan Adams, theme-song-of-robin-hood kind of “I’d die for yoooouuuu!!!” kind of death. It’s nothing that pretty. But in some ways, we want it to be.

Husbands, we look for the grand romantic gesture, the rescue of the damsel in distress, the heroic save-the-day kind of moment, and that’s fine so far as it goes. The problem is those opportunities don’t come along every day. In a real marriage, with real people, there might someday be a moment of huge sacrifice on behalf of your family, but maybe not. There will, however, be tons of smaller, more seemingly insignificant moments day in and day out when the “death” is worked out.

There are moments when you take the dish duty. When you sacrifice a few extra minutes of sleep. When you sleep in the tent even though your back is going to hurt. When you play a meticulously planned game of tea party. When you get up and go to work again and again, and then you put the phone down again and again when you get home. When you watch that episode of “Sophia the First” one more time. These are the moments of death – joyous, thankful, sacrificial death. These are the moments when you choose to die, and in so doing, you choose to truly live.

Husbands, don’t wait for the grand gesture; don’t postpone the small sacrifices at your door in favor of later. Embrace the small moments, and find the joy on the other side.

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