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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.” —Ephesians 5:25 (NLT)
Have you ever seen the film The Princess Bride? One of my favorite parts of the film involves a pair of characters named Vizzini and Inigo. Throughout their scenes together, Vizzini constantly says, “Inconceivable!” At one point, Inigo turns to him and says, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
There are few words that are thrown around as often as love. People use it so much, for seemingly irrelevant, insignificant things, that I constantly find myself saying, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
In many ways, love has lost its meaning, and there are few areas in life where this is more evident than in marriage. So what’s the problem? In my opinion, it all stems from our devaluation of what love really means.
Men, consider with me the words of the apostle Paul: “For husbands, this means love your wives.” The word used here for love is agapaó, which means to actively, continually choose to be full of affection and preference towards your wife. It is the same root word (agape) used to denote God’s love. It’s a sacrificial, unconditional, divine love that springs forth from your soul and takes up residence in the soul of the recipient.
Paul tells men to have this kind of love towards their wives; to the point of being willing to give it all up for her—the way Christ did for the Church. And the thing that’s so beautiful about the love of Christ for the Church is that He counts Himself incomplete without her. He put us first, humbled Himself, became a servant . . . and that’s what we are to do for our wives. The call for a wife to submit to her husband as unto the Lord must correspond with the husband loving the wife as Christ loved the Church. This parallel restores the balance.
Today, many women consider this to be harsh, that the wife must submit, but husband, if you’re loving her with a Christ-like love, harsh will be the furthest word from your wife’s mind. Her face should be stamped on your heart and her name engraved in your soul.
So, today, if you’re married, make it a point to intentionally show your wife that you know what loves means, and that your love for her is sincere, pure, passionate, constant, persevering, and abiding. And don’t just say it from time to time, say it and show it every day!
DIG: Read Philippians 2:1–11; Romans 5:6–11; Romans 8:35–39; and 1 John 4:7–21.
DISCOVER: What are ways you can tangibly show your wife the kind of love Christ has shown us?
DISPLAY: Take time today—and every day—to tell your wife how much you love her and be intentional to show it through your actions.
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Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.