Previous Verse


Husbands, love

Go to footnote number

your wives, even as CHRIST loved the assembly of the called-out ones

Go to footnote number

and handed himself over for her.


Husbands, love your wives with your will, not with your emotions; do this in the same way that THE SPIRIT ANOINTED MESSIAH chose to love those who answer His call and demonstrated it by abandoning Himself on her behalf.



This is the “agape” kind of love. That means it was based on a choice, not an emotion. It was a choice which in a way, saw something of value in the recipient, but in another way was not deserved.


This word is usually translated “church;” it means “the called out-ones” or “the assembly.” Thus it refers to those who hear the call of God and have chosen to answer that call by gathering together with others who have also answered the call.


The standard is even higher for the husband than for the wife. He is expected to lead through self-sacrifice, and the example for him to follow is that of the greatest act of self-sacrifice ever recorded in human history. It was a high standard before Jesus died on the cross and before Paul stated so pointedly that our example is Jesus; now it is even higher.

If a husband follows this command for all the years of his marriage, he will never abuse the authority given to him over his wife and children. He may make some unwise judgement calls, but he will never abuse his authority if he follows what the New Testament teaches about a man’s authority.

The wife is expected to set aside her natural tendency to minimize her insecurity by taking control; the husband is expected to set aside his innate desire to save his skin and instead be ready at any moment to give up his life for his family.

Men naturally understand that fulfilling their God-given role correctly will not be easy; it is serious business. Therefore many men shrink back from such a high calling and high standard. They wonder if they can fulfill this responsibility well, so they often choose to hide from it. This can take many forms; it might be watching sports, or drinking alcohol, or working insane number of hours, or just letting the wife make all the decisions, or any of many other manifestations. I am convinced that the reason men go passive is that they are afraid to fail in this thing called leadership of the home, or because they don’t want to deal with any negative responses from their wives, so they choose the easier route which is to not do anything and let her do everything.