When a husband and wife are living in harmony with God’s will, every man is living in submission to Christ who is his head and every woman is living in submission to her husband who is her head (1 Corinthians 11:3).
Paul describes the characteristics of submission to Christ and His example which a Spirit-filled man cultivates. It is written, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own 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 the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’” (Ephesians 5:25-32).
Like Christ’s love for the church, a husband’s love is to be sacrificial. Agape love is inherently sacrificial because it seeks what is in the best interests of another, regardless of the cost to self. Jesus spared no personal sacrifice for His bride.
Like Christ’s love for the church, a husband’s love is to be tender. When a man takes a wife, they are one flesh. No one ever hates his own flesh; therefore, a husband ought to inundate his wife with tenderness. Like fine china, she is a weaker, more delicate vessel of great value; tenderness is essential (1 Peter 3:7).
Like Christ’s love for the church, a husband’s love is to be nourishing. When a fruitful vine (Psalm 128:3) is nourished, it flourishes. When a wife’s spirit is nurtured with words of genuine praise and appreciation, she will flourish.
Like Christ’s love for the church, a husband’s love is to be cherishing. To get His bride, Jesus died—literally. He paid the most expensive dowry ever (1 Peter 1:18-19). To wonder if He cherishes His one and only bride is unthinkable. According to God’s original and enduring intention, a man will only have one wife. That is a most unique woman! A Spirit-filled husband cherishes his wife for her exquisite uniqueness.
A blessed marriage does not happen accidentally. It is only possible when a husband and wife follow the model God used for marriage.