So [also] husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Ephesians 5:28 NABRE
Paul speaks of love in this somewhat famous passage about Christ’s love for the community and addresses the love between husband and wife. For Christ, the bond of marriage is anointed by the Spirit. When a couple is married before Christ’s representative this is a bond enacted legally but more so spiritually. Christ refers to the creation story’s reference of man and woman being joined and the two becoming one, it is sacramental. Paul tries to compare the love Christ has for the community with the love husband and wife should have for one another. God desires marriage so we see in it a way we are loved by God. Marriage is a unique relationship that calls us to love someone other than ourselves more than we love ourselves. Paul uses the analogy of a husband loving his wife like he loves his own flesh. Men take care of their bodies, they feed them, exercise them, care, and maintain them with exacting precision, usually. If we do this for ourselves, we should know that we are called to love our wife as much if not more.
God gives everything for us and in marriage we are called to give everything for our spouse. In this giving we will find true pleasure, satisfying something in us that will last a lifetime. When we do good for our spouse it will be pleasurable for ourselves, creating a cycle of giving which escalates in giving to one another. Paul declares by loving our spouse we love ourselves. Showing love for another, we are saying we love ourselves. Discovering the deep need of another we reveal ourselves to ourselves. Love given is a gift that gives as much as is given.
Are you married? How do you feel you show love to your spouse?
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