Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Ephesians 5:25-27 (ESV)
In Ephesians 5:25-27 the apostle Paul gave us three reasons why Christ gave himself up for the church. 1. That he might sanctify (make holy) her. 2. That he might present the church to himself without spot or wrinkle. 3. That she (the church) might be holy and without blemish.
Christ died for his church not only so that she could be forgiven for her sins and have eternal life, but also that she would live a life of holiness. To the Colossians Paul wrote, And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him. (Colossians 1:21-22 ESV) The writer of Hebrews wrote, So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. (Hebrews 13:12 ESV)
The love Christ had and still has for his church desires the best for her. The best thing that could happen to the church is to be presented holy and blameless to Christ in this present age and at his return. Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church, Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV)
In much the same way husbands should give themselves up for their wives so that she will be presented to Christ holy and blameless. In fact the most important thing a husband can do for his wife is encourage her to live a holy life. He should do this not only in words but also by providing her with the resources she needs to cultivate a pure life. A husband who loves his wife will only desire the best for her and will lay down his life to protect her from anything that would be harmful to her spiritual growth. He will also be an example to his wife by also pursuing a godly life.
John MacArthur wrote, “When a husband’s love for his wife is like Christ’s love for his church, he will continually seek to help purify her from any sort of defilement. He will seek to protect her from the world’s contamination and protect her holiness, virtue and purity in every way. He will never induce her to do that which is wrong or unwise or expose her to that which is less than good.”
A husband can help purify his wife by encouraging her to read God’s word and spend time in prayer and fellowship with God. He will discourage her from reading or looking at sensual material that would defile her conscience and encourage her to only watch wholesome television programs. He will encourage his wife to develop Christian friendships and ensure that he and his wife are involved in a bible believing church that encourages the sanctity of marriage.
Husbands, are you encouraging your wives to live a holy life?
Scriptures for meditation:
2 Peter 3:14