As Christ Loved the Church

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…so husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church” (Eph 5:25, 28-29).
The central duty of husbands is to love their wives. Most men who know the Bible intellectually know this. Yet, the model of love’s application is staggeringly high in practical demonstration. A husband’s love for his wife should mirror the perfect, selfless model of Jesus Christ. In His boundless love for the church, He willingly suffered to the uttermost to save the church from ruin. Where is such an example of this today?
We are very saddened by the recent tragic, senseless shootings in Tucson, Arizona, which wounded 13, including a U.S. Congress woman, and killed 6. Dorwan Stoddard, age 76, was among the slain and Mavy, his wife, was among the wounded with 2 gunshots in the leg. Both of them were members of the church of Christ in Tucson. I knew them, since they visited the congregation where I preached in Tucson back in the 1990’s to see Mavy’s sister. Yet, we see a wonderful lesson here, of the sacrificial example of Christ-like love in that Dorwan died shielding his wife from gunfire. The Arizona Republic reported that members of their home congregation “described Mavy as a woman who knew every minute how much her husband loved her.”
I hope all husbands reading this would gladly die shielding their beloved wife from harm, as Christ did the church. Yet, what are doing on a daily basis to sacrificially show our love for our wives, as Christ selflessly loved the church? Or, are we basically selfish, uncaring or indifferent to our wife’s emotional, physical or spiritual needs?
We may never have the rare opportunity to take a bullet to save our wife, but we husbands have the daily duty to show our wives, in deed and word, that we truly cherish them and that we would gladly sacrifice anything for their welfare, as Christ did for the church. Husbands, remember: “love is patient, love is kind; love…does not seek its own…love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things; love never fails” (1 Cor. 13:4-8).
God bless you, Mavy, in your recovery. We are indebted to Dorwan’s marvelous example for husbands of Christ-like love toward their wives.
–W. Frank Walton; Focus Magazine

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