Ephesians 5:25 (ESV)
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so 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.a 28In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30because we are members of his body. 31“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
As I was pondering the idea of intimacy during our prayer time this morning, the verse “Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church” came to mind. Paul, writing to the church in Ephesus, gives us the analogy of a husband and wife relationship being like the relationship between Christ and the church. (Eph 5:25). One of the things I have gathered from studying the word this year is that: for truth to be truth, it must remain true even when the parts are reversed. In this case, the statement could be read: “Christ loves the church and gave Himself for her the way a husband ought to love his wife.” It’s interesting to me that he used the husband to wife analogy. He could have used a father son relationship, or mother daughter relationship or even a brother to brother relationship.
I believe the reason Paul used the marriage relationship is that it has the weight of a covenant. It conveys ownership. My body belongs to her, her body belongs to me. Nothing can divide what God has joined in the covenant relationship between a husband and wife. It has been said, “The highest level of protocol between a husband and wife is exclusivity.” He doesn’t relate the Christ / bride relationship to that of a boyfriend and girlfriend, though there may be the feeling of love. We know, according to Yahweh’s highest order of righteousness, it is illegal for a man and a woman to be intimate outside of covenant. Paul is explaining, it’s the same thing with you and Jesus. The power of the cross is the covenant between Christ and His bride. The cross gives you permission to enter into an intimate relationship with the Lover Of Your Soul. Religion, on the other hand, tells you: “Go to church (if the service isn’t too long)”, “Serve in a ministry (if it’s not too inconvenient)”, “Sing during worship (if that’s your thing or don’t if it’s not)”, “Sit here and listen to the preacher (as long as he doesn’t ‘go there’)”. But Jesus! (I love that phrase), but Jesus says “you are Mine, and I am yours”, I want to know you (yes, the Bible way)”. He wants to put something on the inside of you that wakes you up in the middle of the night, something that moves in the deepest part of who you are, something that changes your appetite for the things of this world.
Just as the intimacy between a husband wife relationship isn’t formed in a day, the intimate relationship with Jesus takes time. Browse Song of Songs 2:2 in The Passion translation for a glimpse of how He sees you. Don’t rush this. It is going to take the rest of your life to know Him.
Song of Songs 2:2 (TPT)
Lets Pray: (as in the words of David in Psalm 27:4)
- Father God, you are the one thing I crave, the one thing I seek above all else: I want the privilege of living with You every moment in Your house, finding the sweet loveliness of Your face, filled with awe, delighting in Your glory and grace. I want to live my life so close to You that You take pleasure in my every prayer.
- Jesus, I ask you for the revelation of Your desire to know me, and the grace to desire to know You. Thank you for your faithful pursuit and provision of my best interests. AMEN