Friday, August 31, 2012

Husbands, What Is Your Goal For Your Wife?

As you think about your answer to that question consider the goal that Jesus has for his bride.  In Ephesians 5:25 we read that “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”.  In verses 26-27 we see the reason why.  The sacrifice of Christ for His bride had an end in mind:

…that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

The goal that the Lord has for his bride is her sanctification.  But notice in verse 27 the words “so that”.  Even her purity has a goal; namely, that she might be presented to Him without blemish—that she might be holy before him.  If one considers the thrust of the Old Testament and the reasons for purity it is not a leap to say that the reason why Christ purifies His bride is for the sake of an unhindered relationship with her. 

This is much the same thing that Romans 8:28 is referring to when Paul says that, “all things work together for good”.  In the context of Romans and in light of such passages as Psalm 16 we know that our greatest good is conformity to Christ.  Our greatest joy is found in having an unhindered fellowship with the One of whom it is said, “In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” 

Christ fights for the joy of His wife by helping her find joy and satisfaction that is as deep and lasting as that found in Psalm 16:11.

What This Means For Husbands

After considering the sacrifice of Christ in securing the joy of His bride Paul says in Ephesians 5:28, “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself”. 

Does Paul mean that just as Christ fights to secure His Bride’s joy in Himself so husbands ought to fight to make sure that their wives find their joy in themselves?  Of course not.  That would be idolatry. 

What Paul is saying is that husbands find their joy in the joy of their wife.  If we think that the greatest joy they will find is in ourselves we profoundly rip them off.  No, we must have the same goal as Jesus; namely, that their joy is as deep and lasting as Psalm 16:11.  Anything else is not a high enough goal.  And the miracle of Ephesians 5:28-32 is that as we nourish and cherish our wives in such a way that they find lasting satisfaction in Jesus we also find our own joy. 

Men, may our goal for our wives be as big as Jesus. 


For a really good sermon on a similar concept check out this one by John Piper: No One Can Take Your Joy.

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