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Ephesians 5:28-29 meaning...

The opening statement draws a parallel between the love a husband should have for his wife and the care he naturally extends to his own body:

Husbands Ought to Love Their Own Wives as Their Own Bodies: The use of "ought" implies a sense of duty or moral responsibility. The passage sets the expectation that husbands should extend a love to their wives akin to the care they naturally provide to themselves.

He Who Loves His Own Wife Loves Himself: The reciprocal nature of this love is emphasized. The act of loving one's wife is intricately connected to the well-being and fulfillment of the husband.

  • Nourishing and Cherishing: The Holistic Love

No Man Ever Hated His Own Flesh: The assertion underscores the instinctual tendency for self-care. It implies that individuals naturally seek to preserve and care for their own well-being.

But Nourishes and Cherishes It: The act of nourishing and cherishing goes beyond basic care. It conveys a sense of intentional and holistic well-being, encompassing physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions.

  • The Divine Parallel: As the Lord Does the Assembly

The passage draws a profound parallel between marital love and the way the Lord cares for the assembly, referring to the collective body of believers:

Even as the Lord Also Does the Assembly: The comparison aligns marital love with the divine model of care. It suggests that the love husbands are called to exhibit mirrors the sacrificial and nurturing love demonstrated by the Lord toward the assembly.

Significance for Marital Relationships Today

Mutual Care in Marriage: The passage emphasizes a mutual responsibility for care within marriage. It challenges husbands to view the well-being of their wives as integral to their own.

Holistic Love: The concept of nourishing and cherishing goes beyond mere provision. It speaks to the emotional and spiritual dimensions of love within marriage, encouraging a holistic approach to well-being.


Colossians 3:19: "Husbands, love your wives, and don’t be bitter against them." This parallel exhortation underscores the importance of love in marital relationships, coupled with a warning against bitterness.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: "Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." This passage resonates with the idea that our bodies, as well as the marital relationship, have a spiritual dimension and significance.

Conclusion: Ephesians 5:28-29, within the broader context of Paul's letter, offers a profound perspective on love within marital relationships. It challenges husbands to extend a love that mirrors the innate care they provide to themselves and aligns this love with the divine model of sacrificial care. As couples navigate the intricacies of marriage, may they draw inspiration from this passage, fostering relationships characterized by mutual care, holistic love, and a reflection of the divine love that cherishes and nourishes the assembly.

See also: vs 25-27

Ephesians 5:28-29. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord also does the assembly.


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