Love is for Marriage. Ephesians 5:29

June 8th, 2009

Ephesians 5:29. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
--NKJ

Nobody ever hates his own body. Sure, we are some times depressed, or certain people have thoughts of suicide. More often though, people will go to great lengths to preserve their own life. People endure hardships at the hand of extreme situations. Surviving a plane crash, or a shipwreck, or some other crisis of life and death. The desire to keep living is strong. Even Christians with the assurance of being in heaven have that natural desire to remain alive. As much as we punish our bodies, we still love them enough to take care of them.

When those trials arise, we can survive them because we have taken care of our bodies. Once those situations are over, you know that you will again take care of your body, and restore it after such abuses. Battle scars may appear, but to serve as reminders of overcoming adversity.

Nourish and cherish. The word for 'nourish' is one that more fully means to grow or raise up to maturity. The word 'cherish' is more accurately said to be 'fondly warm'. Doesn't that describe how we think of our bodies. I don't know about you, but I've been atached to mine for quite a long time now. I've seen it grow from childhood to adulthood. I'ts not a perfect body. In fact it's beginning to show signs of falling apart, but it's the only one I have, and I'm still fond of it. Without it, where would I be?

That's the exact same way Jesus is with his church. Christians are his body. He has seen us grow up from our infancy and on to later stages of development and maturity. We are only human, and not perfect. He is warmly fond of us.

Now consider this in the context of where this passage was taken. It deals with the roles in a marriage. Men and women are not equal and opposite halves of a complete unit. We fit together in special ways. Each with our own special traits that we bring to the table. The model is exactly as that of Christ and his church. A head, and a body. You can't have one without the other and have a functioning, living organism.

A marriage is the smallest single cell that perfectly models who Jesus is. Spiritually, men can't be floating heads without a body. It doesn't work. Women can't be bodies without a head. Chickens with their heads cut off eventually do stop running around. And let's not even go to the issue of a situation of pretending that two heads, or two bodies represent a true picture of who Jesus is and how he works, or even what a true marriage is.

The more you examine the marriage and family unit, the more you can see it represents God's order of things and even secrets about his kingdom, who he is, what he is like, his nature, and how he expects us to be.

Marriages sometimes don't work. When they don't it can surely be traced to individuals who never saw the big picture. Self centeredness, not nourishing the other and being fondly warm to that person. Chopping off the head from the body to pursue selfish desire. Not appreciating, or being pleased and wanting to do the job of the other.

In marriage there are many daily chores and duties. How those details are split, andperformed can go in many different ways. Still the model of marriage is of a head and a body. How can you make your relationship better? If you are the body, how can you be the best body possible and stay attached to the head? If you are the head, what are you doing to pamper, nourish, and take care of your body?

Just as and the lord to the church. The perfect model is how Jesus relates to his church. As one human to another, the situation isn't so perfect, but we should strive to live according to that example. It takes both parts working together. It can't be all the work of only one.

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