Building on his first exhortation for husbands, Paul now takes it one step further:
“In the same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one has ever hated his own body, but he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of his body.”
(Ephesians 5.28-30, NET)
In addition to the (somewhat) abstract idea that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church Paul now gets supremely practical and says that husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.
To command a love as Christ loved the church might feel beyond some husbands, might confuse some, or might simply mean nothing to some. Taking all of this potential doubt out of the equation we read that husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. The logic is that, ok guys, you take care of yourself, you do what is best for your own body, so love your wife in the same way, just as Christ also does the church.
A teaching that hits both the mature believer (vv.25-27) and the newer believer (vv.28-29) cannot fail to communicate its intent and shows us just how important it is. This kind of marriage is not optional for a Christian and is not the realm of a committed few: if we have put hope and faith and trust in Jesus then this is how our marriages should look. Both partners should seek the good, seek the best, of the other and can rest easy that their spouse is doing the same for them.
Tomorrow Paul will underscore this truth on marriage, but for today let us consider how we are loving our spouses as [our] own bodies.