“…for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,” (Eph. 5:29”
This statement is built on a proverbial principle. Out of all the human beings who have ever lived, surely one of them hated his own flesh. But, that is not the general rule. The general rule is that humans have regard for themselves including certain built-in mechanisms that protect the sanctity of life. So, we can establish the truth that people don’t hate themselves.
Ego is a strong thing and most of us grow up being assertive in protecting ourselves and our property. We learn early on not to bring hurt to ourselves, to avoid pain or discomfort. Most of us avoid bodily harm when possible and do not purposely injure or maim ourselves.
No, we are not self-haters as a rule. As a rule, we are more self-lovers. We nourish our flesh. We delight in eating delicious meals and sitting in comfortable chairs and lying on comfortable beds. We expend a lot of our hard earned money providing the niceties of life for our own enjoyment.
“Look at me,” is not just a child’s cry. Seeking self-gratification not just for a few egotistical people. We thrive on taking care of our personal needs and when we encounter someone who doesn’t we are astonished. We can’t figure out why some people “go to the dogs” or commit suicide. It doesn’t seem normal to us. We would say, “That’s not how normal people act.”
Christ on the other hand, always put others first. He loved the church, his kingdom, with his dying breath, giving up everything that he might have her as his bride. It is a challenge for husbands to find this kind of love. To take the love they have for themselves and transfer it to another is a difficult thing and obviously, from the number of broken marriages we see in our world today, someone is failing to love.
I think it is fair to point out that Christ was the first to love. He loved the church before the church was ever aware he existed. He wanted the church to be his bride and he didn’t care what the bride price was. Could it be that because the price was so high he cherished her the more?
“He who loves his own wife loves himself,” is the preliminary to this verse. Let’s put it in an easy to grasp statement.
“The husband who truly loves his wife as he loves himself not only takes care of himself then; but also takes care of his wife in the same way and to the same degree. It will look like the picture of Christ and his bride.
Task for Today: Do a true self-inventory of how you nourish your body and cherish your life and then compare it with how you feel about your wife. Wives, it wouldn’t hurt to do the same things since this is a two into one relationship.