Main point summary
The resulting "one flesh" union of marriage between man and wife explains Christ's relationship to His church. This union is the grounds for His radical display of love. Husbands, follow suit.
g Husbands, love your wives,
as Christ loved the church
and h gave himself up for her,
that he might sanctify her,
having cleansed her by i the washing of water j with the word,
so k that he might present the church to himself in splendor,
l without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish. 1
In the same way m husbands should love their 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 Christ does the church,
because n we are members of his body.
o “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother
and hold fast to his wife,
and p the two shall become one flesh.”
This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
However, q let each one of you love his wife
and let the wife see that she r respects her husband.
In this passage you see husbands commanded to love their wives as Christ loved His bride, the church. One of the wonderful glories I have seen in this passage is that Christ is not said to have died to create His bride or to create His relationship to her , but rather Christ died for her because she was His bride. I noticed this because of the proposition is 27c. What I noticed was that these same words "might be holy and without blemish (or blamesless)" are used one other place in this very same book. In chapter one Paul says in vs.4 "even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him." Notice the temporal relationship and the purpose relationship indicated in this verse. "He chose us"...when? "before the foundation of the world". To what end did He chose these people? " That we should be holy and blameless before Him". I believe this passage unveils a wonderful and glorious reality of the believers relationship to Christ. Though we (some of us longer than others) lived in rebellion to Him and were hostile in mind and in deed toward Him, those who have come to believe in Christ, were by God's infinite wisdom and foreknowledge chosen and united to Christ before the world began. I believe this passage is meant to cause us to realize that though we lived in adulterous rebellion to our Husband we were nevertheless His beloved bride. His unfathomable love for His unfaithful bride resulted in His giving His own life for her in order to purify her and cleanse her from her wretchedness. It wasn't because we were holy and righteous, lovely and pure that Christ loved His bride in such glorious fashion, but rather to make her so. The words of the hymn " My Son Is Love Unknown " by Samuel Crossman "Love to the loveless shown, That they might lovely be" seem a fit description of the message of this verse. Truly "we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us." (1 John 4:16) How wonderful it is that God has given us such a glorious and archetypal pattern to follow as the blueprint for the love we are commanded to have and express for our wives. Father may we live out these commands by your grace so that the world would see a true reflection of Christ's amazing love. Amen