Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. – Ephesians 5:25-27
The Apostle Paul gives husbands the ultimate example of love and selflessness and says, “There, love your wife just like that.” I confess that I’m still working on it. Later (v.33), Paul seems to give us a better chance by saying that a husband “must love his wife as he loves himself.” I’m still working on this too.
More than making me a better husband, this truth of Jesus’ sacrificial love reveals two important points:
1. By his love, Christ made his church spiritually perfect (holy, clean, radiant, stainless, wrinkle-free, blemish-free, blameless). That’s what Christ’s love made us through faith in him.
2. If I love Sweet Sue like Jesus, I will make her an even better (holier) wife and person in this world (I’m not saying she needs it). Loving her and others like Jesus provides them a sanctifying benefit. I can’t make my wife or anyone else perfect. But I can help them make headway by loving them like Jesus.
The gospel reminds us that Jesus made us spiritually holy for himself, by his amazing love. He calls us to help move others to holiness through the sanctifying power of our love.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:8