Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her (Ephesians 5:25, NKJV).
So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church (Ephesians 5:28-29 NKJV).
In the scriptures above, husbands are instructed to love their wives; but it also emphasizes that the wife a husband is to love is his own wife. In today’s world, which I would describe as overstimulated and exposed, the specification of own wife is truly significant and appropriate. People are bombarded with contemporary guidelines for successes that direct us to focus primarily on our own needs and desires above all else. As husbands living in the “me generation”, God’s Word gives, yet again, another reason to pause and ponder how to actually walk and live the love commanded here.
Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church and was exemplified in the ultimate act of self-denial and sacrifice. Christ was willing to give up His position in glory to come and die for the object of His love: the Church or Body of Christ. Many of us will say to our wives that we will give our very lives for them but won’t take ten minutes to listen and provide positive feedback concerning their value to you and your family. Christ’s joy was made full, knowing that He had made the way for mankind to be reconciled back to Father God. The cost and sacrifice were indeed counted but given secondary priority to the coveted goal of meeting mankind’s greatest need for redemption.
I know we can’t die physically every day in demonstration of our love for our wives, but we can make a decision to give them first priority – second only to God, Himself – to love them as our own self or body. This would be awesome to execute for the “me generation”. Think about it: all the wonderful dreams of fulfillment and satisfaction we desire for ourselves being shared and targeted with our resources toward our wives.
I believe no man in his right mind hates himself but endeavors to be successful and possess a sense of personal wellbeing. If you love yourself, the best way to bless yourself is to nourish and cherish your wife; to dare to believe that God has established a love plan that benefits both you and your wife. Commit to, selflessly, invest in the growth and development of your wife, knowing that God assures blessings and fulfillment to all involved.