28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that sherespects her husband.
I love how Paul does this. Yesterday, we read the beginning of this thought on husbands and wives, discussing how husbands and wives should behave toward one another, telling us how God intends marriage. Here, Paul continues the thought but brings it back to Christ (doesn’t he always?).
In the explanation of marriage, Paul explained how husbands should behave to their wives with the caveat (just as Christ loves the church). Now, he is telling us that as a husband should love his wife, so does Christ love us, the church. This passage is meant to try to explain the depth of love Christ has for us. Certainly, it’s limitless, so I don’t think any explanation could be adequate, but this is pretty close. If we understand the gravity of “becoming one flesh,” we know that it means we are inseparable.
Let’s think about that for a minute. In marriage, two beings who at one time did not know each other become united in an inseparable way. Now, I know, some of you are raising your hands with the word “divorce” in your heads. Take a minute to read what God says about divorce, then continue reading this.
Once we are united with Christ in believing His grace and receiving His forgiveness, we are united as one flesh with Him. We are gifted with His Spirit. How do we divide a spirit from a body? It becomes part of us, intertwined with every cell of our body. We are forever joined with Christ in this way. Yeah, it can be difficult to understand how intricate we are interwoven with God at this point and what it all entails. Paul says it himself, this mystery is great.
I like how Paul makes sure that this short dialogue doesn’t distract from his point on marriage. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that sherespects her husband. Seems pretty cut and dry to me.
Are you married to Christ?