Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
In the Name of + Jesus. Amen. "Husbands love your wives." Outside of the Ten Commandments there is no harder law than this. That's because this is not calling husbands to simply love their wives once and a while and then call the job done saying, "I did my part, now she can do hers." No! St. Paul is calling husbands to love their wives fully, completely, constantly and freely. Christ doesn' t give husbands the, "unless you had a hard day" clause. Rather, He tells husbands to love their wives as He Himself loves his bride.
Christ gave His life for His church! Christ died the bloody, painfully, yet all-availing death for us — wives who neglected their husbands, husbands who lust after others — in other words: Christ died for sinners. All men have fallen short of the Glory of God and this sin, too, was cast upon Christ who died and was raised and further. In doing so, Christ "sanctified her, having cleansed her by the washing of water and word" in baptism.
These are the things of fidelity, these are the things of true husbandry, and these are the things of Christ. Husbands, speak to your wives the forgiveness of Christ. Wives forgive quickly. These are the ways of the head of the Church, for Christ and the church is a marriage united in blood and consummated in the resurrection of life. In this marriage there is ultimate fidelity. In this union there is true sacrifice. In this consummation there is life and salvation. All for you! In the Name of + Jesus. Amen.
Then here will I and mine today A solemn covenant make and say: Though all the world for sake His, Word, I and my house will serve the Lord. (LSB 862:5)
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