Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church
Ephesians 5:25-26 (New American Standard Bible)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
The Lord has called us to love our wives as He loved the church. When we examine the type of love that Jesus demonstrated, it is a love that is unconditional. It is a love that is sacrificial. It is a love that is not based on feelings or emotions, but it is born out of a decision to love.
When we examine humanity and how fallen and broken we are, there is nothing within us that would warrant the love of God. But Jesus chose to love us anyway. Jesus chose to endure the cross, the shame, and the suffering because of His love for us.
This is what makes Christian marriage so wonderful. Divorce in our world today is rampant. Often you will hear people say "I just don't love you anymore". Or they may say "I just don't love them anymore". But this is not the love that the bible speaks of. This is not loving our wives as Christ loved the church.
Will there be times when we become irritated, angry, annoyed, and even bitter at times against our spouse. The answer is yes. When two people who are imperfect come together in marriage, there are going to be challenging moments. But the key again is to love our spouse as Christ loved the church. It is a willingness to choose to love without condition.
What makes for a strong marriage is praying for one another. The longer we are married to someone, the more their flaws become apparent to us. When we first get married we may believe they are perfect and without fault. But once we get married and begin our journey together, we come to find out that indeed they are not perfect and like us they are simply human.
When a marriage is placed in the hands of Almighty God is when that marriage will thrive. It will be built upon the solid rock of Christ Jesus. God desires to lead and guide us through every challenge. Even in those moments when we may be irritated or angry at our spouse, it is God who will enable us to navigate through life without falling victim to the schemes of the enemy.
May we never forget Satan loves to divide and conquer. If we give him a foothold into our lives, he will try to come in and bring as much destruction as possible. But the key to a strong marriage built upon Jesus Christ is focusing on our relationship personally with Jesus and growing daily with Him. As we are transformed by the work and person of the Holy Spirit, the Lord will make us the husband or wife He has called us to be. Success in marriage is possible, but Jesus must be at the center and He must be the foundation.