Read the whole thing.
The apostle Paul tells us that it is the love of the husband for the wife, imitating the love of Christ for the Church, and the respect of the wife for her husband, imitating the submission of the Church to the Lord. There it is--at the center of marriage is self-sacrificing love, and self-sacrificing respect.
But notice that these are not presented to us as stand-alone character traits. Paul is saying far more than "husbands, be nice," or "wives, be sweet." He is saying that husbands must imitate Christ's love for the Church, and this cannot be done [if] the husband despises the Church. If the husband is thinking to himself, "I don't know what He sees in her," he is in no position to love his wife properly, as commanded. And if the wife has no interest or stake in seeing the Church submit to Christ properly, then she is in no position to imitate that respect in her own station. The husband and wife are not being called to imitate the relation of Christ and the Church, a relation which is somehow "over there." They are doing this from within, they are doing it as members of Christ, as participants in the union between the last Adam and His bride, the last Eve. Another way of saying this is that at the center of every godly marriage, we find the Church.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Doug Wilson on Christian Marriage and the Necessity of Church Involvement
Maybe it's just because I've been thinking so much about marriage with mine coming up so fast, but this is a really insightful comment on Ephesians 5 and Christian marriage: