Ephesians 5:28-30 NLT - "In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the Church. And we are members of His Body."
I'm commenting on these three verses together for an obvious reason: they cover a main point that I hope will be instructive to all couples. A person is body, soul, and spirit - see 1 Thessalonians 5:23. All three parts of a person are united together as one. And God's Word makes clear that in marriage a husband and wife are united together as one - see Genesis 2:24. As a man cares for his own body so he should care for his wife because he has BECOME ONE with her! As much as anyone will do what they need to do to sustain life in their own body and do all they can for their own personal happiness and fulfillment, they will want to do the same for their marriage partner. If a person gets injured, for instance, their whole being, body, soul, and spirit feel the pain! That's true in a marital relationship as well. If a man's wife is hurt, physically or emotionally, he feels the pain with her (though certain aspects may not be felt as intensely!) But the idea here is that a husband can't, or at least shouldn't, disassociate himself with his wife's feelings.
The same is true with Christ and His Church. He cares for the Church because the Church is His Bride, but even more so, the Church is His Body! Christ can't separate Himself from His own Body no more than a man can separate himself from his own body, except through death. (That's another discussion). What Paul is teaching here is not so much "self-love" but "self-fulfillment." Paul is not talking about a selfish act of someone being "in love with themselves." He is speaking of the kind of care we give ourselves is the kind of care we should give to the person we are united to as one.
Daily commentary and insight from Pastor Eckardt.
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Mt Ephraim Baptist Church | 25 S. Black Horse Pike | Mt Ephraim, NJ 08059
Senior Pastor, Stephen A. Eckardt | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 856.981.7288