Ephesians 5:30
As the duties of wives are comprehended in the single duty of subjection, the duties of husbands are comprehended in the single duty of love. The injunction is significantly repeated three times, as if to indicate that it was essentially needed to correct or qualify his sense of sovereignty or superiority over her. Consider three points.


1. It is peculiar in its nature, unlike the love of parent or child, friend or neighbor. "He is to love his wife even as himself."

2. It is single, exclusive, and undivided in its object; for the husband is to devote to his one wife all the affection of his life. "Rejoice with the wife of thy youth" (Proverbs 5:18, 19). This fact is the condemnation of bigamy and polygamy.

3. It is to be considerate and tender, excluding all bitterness. "Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them" (Colossians 3:19). Husbands are "to dwell with their wives according to knowledge" (1 Peter 3:7); that is, with a due consideration to their condition as "the weaker vessel," and with a disposition to hide or bear with their weaknesses or infirmities. It is to be a love that will make it unnecessary for the husband ever to command his wife. The gospel counterpart of "Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands," is not "Husbands, command our wives." but "love your wives."

4. It is to be mutual. The wife's love is presupposed, though elsewhere it is expressly commanded (Titus 2:4). The husband is to love her as she loves him. The rightful confidence and sympathy of married life are impossible without mutual affection. All marriages of convenience or self-interest are thus condemned. Love must be the basis of marriage.

5. It is to be constant and lasting, notwithstanding all the weaknesses or failings of the wife.


1. In providing for the temporal support of a wife. The husband is to "nourish and cherish" his wife. He that provideth not for his own is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:3).

2. He must consult her happiness and pleasure; for "he that is married is to care that he may please his wife" (1 Corinthians 7:33).

3. He must protect her life, her honor, her good name; for she is "the weaker vessel." He must "give honor to the wife" (1 Peter 3:7).

4. He is to seek her spiritual welfare. He is to pray for her and with her, remembering that she is an heir with him of the grace of life, "that your prayers be not hindered."


1. The original law of marriage. "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and the twain shall become one flesh." The union implies such an identification of interest, property, and relationship to the world as to make them almost one person.

2. The wife is the husband's other self. She is not only one flesh with himself, but she is his very body. "No man ever yet hated his own flesh," except the fanatics of ascetic devotion.

3. The help, comfort, and blessing she brings to him. She is given to him as "an helpmeet;" she is his companion. "Yet she is thy companion and the wife of thy covenant" (Malachi 2:14). The heart of the husband "safely trusts in her" (Proverbs 12:4).

4. She is the weaker vessel. A spirit of chivalry ought to surround her with the shield of protecting love.

5. She is "the glory of the man (1 Corinthians 11:7) - his honor and ornament and delight.

6. His union with her is typical of the blessed union that exists between Christ and the Church. All the love and self-sacrifice and service Which Christ expended upon the Church supply the type of a husband's duty to his wife. - T.C.

For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.

1. Members of the Church of Christ are such nominally and professedly. The Church is a visible organization — "a city set on a hill, which cannot be hid" — "the light of the world," which must shine wherever it exists. Membership in Christ's body supposes that we have been baptized, and are in the habit of receiving holy communion; also that we obey the laws, regulations, and discipline which have been made for the orderly government of the Church.

2. To be a member of the body of Christ implies that we are such spiritually and sincerely — in the homage of our minds, the devotion of our lives, and the affections of our hearts.

3. To be a member of the body of Christ implies pardon and regeneration.


1. Membership with the visible Church of Christ is necessary in order to the existence and perpetuity of the Christian Church. A Church naturally supposes members, just as the whole supposes parts; there must be members, or there can be no Church.

2. Membership. with the visible Church of Christ is necessary in order to a right understanding of some very important passages in the Word of God. The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.

3. Membership with the body of Christ is necessary in order to the full and entire performance of one's religious duties.


(2)Mutual edification.

4. Membership with the body of Christ is necessary as it may help to assist us against our spiritual enemies.

5. Membership with the body of Christ is necessary to give some proof of our attachment to Jesus Christ and His cause.

6. Membership with the body of Christ is necessary if you consider the spiritual benefits to be derived from it.

(P. Cooper.)

I. THE DOCTRINE. A difficult subject, liable to misrepresentation and abuse.

1. The apostle is speaking of believers only.

2. We must put away all sensual and carnal ideas from the consideration of this subject. It is a spiritual union that is here spoken of.

3. We must put away from the consideration of this subject all narrow-mindedness and bigotry. Now let us notice that the text conveys to us three ideas, as characteristic of the relation in which the Church stands to the Redeemer, viz.,




II. DUTIES resulting from this relation.

1. Love.

2. Reverence.

3. Obedience.

(Dr. Raffles.)

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