“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”

“so ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.”
Literally:  “so ought husbands to love their wives as their {own}bodies”–With the same kind of love wherewith they love their own bodies.   Because they are one flesh.  

         The woman at first was taken out of the man, and on that account the wife may be said to be a part of her husband.  It is a common saying with the Jews, that a man's wife is “as his own body;” and it is one of the precepts of their wise men, that a man should honor his wife more than his body, and “love her as his body;” for as they also say, they are but one body
         After talking about Christ and the church, Paul then shifts the subject back to the husband and wife.  The thing a couple needs for their marriage ceremony is not a champagne supper; au contrare, what both need is to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Those “sophisticated” boys and girls who talk about sex and extramarital relationships today don’t have a clue as to what real love is.  They know a lot about sex, but they know nothing at all about the beauty and the ecstasy and the sweetness of a real Christian marriage. 

         A husband is to love his wife because the marriage relationship makes the wife a part of his own body.  It is like the Church is the Body of Christ, and Christ is the Head of that Body.  It is on this basis that the husband is the head of the wife–because they are one flesh, (v. 31). This is the subject on which Paul had been speaking, and from which he had been diverted by the allusion to the glorified church. The doctrine here is that a husband should have the same care for the comfort of his wife which he has for himself. He should regard her as one with himself; and as he protects his own body from cold and hunger, and, when sick and suffering, endeavors to restore it to health, so he should regard and treat her.
         The bond of marriage makes the husband and his wife one, and establishing an inseparable community of interests between them; so that the husband is to love his wife with the same sincerity and ardency of affection wherewith he loves himself

“He that loveth his wife loveth himself”
Literally:  “he  loving his wife loves himself”– His wife is part of himself, so that not to love her as himself is not only a sin against law, but a sin against nature.

1.      Because they are one flesh.
2.      Because she is one with him, and their interests are identified.
3.      Because, by this, he really promotes her welfare, as much as he does when he takes care of his own body.
A man's kindness to his wife will be more than repaid by the happiness which she imparts; and all the real solicitude which he shows to make her happy, will come to more than it costs.
  If a man wishes to promote his own happiness in the most effectual way, he had better begin by showing kindness to his wife. So there is the same love and the same union of body between Christ and the Church (vv. 30, 32). 

“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church;”|

“For then no man ever yet hated his own flesh”
Literally:  “for then no one hateth his own flesh”–And this is a natural reason why he should love his wife, and nourish and cherish her.

It is unnatural for a man to hate his own flesh, so the husband is to love his wife because she is his own flesh. This is urged as an argument why a man should love his wife, and show kindness to her. As no man disregards the happiness of his own body, or himself, so he should show equal care to promote the happiness of his wife.  So he should show equal care to promote the happiness of his wife.

“but nourisheth and cherisheth it”
Literally:  “but nourishes and cherishes it”–Christ, knowing the weakness of the Church, nourishes and cherishes her.  Husbands are to do the same for their wives.

        NOURISHETH:  (Gr.-ektrephei)– Literally: “nourishes it up,” namely, to (spiritual) maturity.  “Nourisheth,” refers to food and internal sustenance; “cherisheth,” to clothing and external fostering. The word nourishment here means, properly, to bring up, as children. The sense here is, that he provides for it, and guards it from exposure and want.

        CHERISHES:  (Gr.-phalpei)–Used only here and I Thess. 2:7;  Originally meaning, “to warm.”  The word cherish may mean here that he defends it from cold by clothing-and the two expressions denote that he provides food and raiment for the body. So he is to do for his wife; and in like manner the Lord Jesus regards the church, and ministers to its spiritual necessities.

Paul here is using the words that he uses in 6:4 and I Thess. 2:7 for the nurture of children.  But this should not be “spiritualized” too far. There is far too much of this “spiritualizing” already being done in the Church.  The general idea here is all that we want–that Christ has a tender concern for the wants of the church, as a man has for his own body, and that the husband should show a similar regard for his wife.

“even as the Lord the church;”
Literally:  “even as also the Lord the church”–Which is “his flesh and his bones,” verse 30. As a man cares for himself, and as Christ cares for his church, so a husband should care for his wife.

Exodus 21:10 prescribes three duties to the husband. The two former (food and raiment) are here alluded to in a spiritual sense, by “nourisheth and cherisheth;” the third “duty of marriage” is not added in consonance with the holy propriety of Scripture language: its antitype is, “know the Lord” (Hosea 2:19,20).

“For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.”

“For we are members of His body,”
Literally:  “because we are members of His body”–Of the mystical Body of Christ, the Church.  The point here is that there is a close and intimate union between the Christian and the Savior – a union so intimate that they may be spoken of as “one.” Therefore, He loves and cherishes us as His own flesh.

         Christ has partaken of our nature, as we have partaken of the nature of Adam. And as He is the Head of the Church and the Savior of this Body; so we, being members of the Church, are members of His mystical Body. That is, we are united to Him by one Spirit in the closest intimacy, even similar to that which the members have with the body.  
         What we have here is evidently an allusion to the language which Adam used respecting Eve, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh,” Genesis 2:23. This is language that is used to denote the closeness of the marriage relation, and which Paul applies to the connection between Christ and His people. Of course, it cannot be understood literally. It is not true, literally, that our bones are a part of the bones of Christ, or our flesh of His flesh; nor should language ever be used that would imply a miraculous union. It is not a physical union, but a union of attachment, of feeling, of love. If we avoid the notion of a physical union, however, it is scarcely possible to use too strong a language in describing the union of believers with the Lord Jesus.
         The Scriptures make use of language in describing this relationship that is stronger than that employed to describe any other connection; and there is no union of affection as powerful as that which binds the Christian to the Savior. Such a relationship is so strong that one is willing to forsake father, mother, and home; to leave his country, and to abandon his possessions for it; to go to distant lands, and dwell among barbarians, to make the Redeemer known; or to go to the cross or the stake from simple love to the Savior.
        Account for it as men may, there has been manifested on earth nowhere else so strong an attachment as that which binds the Christian to the cross. It is stronger love than that which a man has for his own flesh and bones; for it makes him willing that his flesh should be consumed by fire, or his bones broken on the wheel, rather than deny Him. Can the infidel account for this strength of attachment on any other principle than that it has a Divine origin?

        FOR:  (Gr.-hoti)– Literally: “Because” (I Cor. 6:15). Christ nourishes and cherishes the Church as being of one flesh with Him. Translate, “Because we are members of His body (His literal body), being OF His flesh and of His bones” [ALFORD].  The Greek expresses, “Being formed out of or of the substance of His flesh.”

         Adam's deep sleep, wherein Eve was formed from out of his opened side, is an emblem of Christ's death, which was the birth of the Spouse, the Church. John 12:24; 19:34,35, to which vv. :25-27 allude, as implying atonement by His blood, and sanctification by the “water,” answering to that which flowed from His side (compare also John 7:38,39; I Cor. 6:11). As Adam gave Eve a new name, Hebrew, (Isha), i.e.,  “woman,” formed from his own rib, (Ish), “man,” signifying her formation from him, so Christ puts the bones first because the reference there is to the natural structure. But Paul is referring to the flesh of Christ. It is not our bones and flesh, but "we" that are spiritually propagated (in our soul and spirit now, and in the body hereafter, regenerated) from the manhood of Christ which has flesh and bones. We are members of His glorified Body (John 6:53).        

“of His flesh, and of His bones.”
Literally:  “of His flesh, and of His bones”–Here we have an allusion to the language which Adam used respecting Eve, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh,” (Gen. 2:23).

This is the language that is employed to denote the closeness of the marriage relation, and which Paul applies to the connection between Christ and His people.   

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”

“For this cause”
Literally:  “Because of this”–The meaning of the phrase rendered “for this cause,” is, “corresponding to this;” that is, to what Paul had just said of the union of believers and the Redeemer.

         Here Paul is quoting from Gen. 2:24.  The Lord Jesus also quotes it in Mark 10:8.  Paul is referring to the relationship that existed in the Garden of Eden between Adam and Eve.  The first couple is a figure of the future union of Christ and the Church as Bridegroom and bride.    Eve was created to be a helpmeet for Adam.  She was taken from his side, not molded from the ground as were the animals.  Adam was incomplete until they were together.  God fashioned her, and I think she was the loveliest thing in creation when God brought her to Adam.  She compensated for what he lacked. She was made for him and they became one. 
         The propagation of the Church from Christ, as that of Eve from Adam, is the foundation of the spiritual marriage. The natural marriage, wherein “a man leaves father and mother (the oldest manuscripts omit ‘his’) and is joined unto his wife,” is not the principal thing meant here, but the spiritual marriage represented by it, and on which it rests.    

“Shall be joined unto his wife”
Literally:  “and shall cleave to his wife”–He shall be glued or cemented to her; so death alone can part the husband and wife; and nothing but death should dissolve their affection.

This implies a most strict union, and most intimate communion, and whereby they have one interest. Common goods, common friends, yea and all things common, as if they were but one person; but Paul further implies to us in v. 31, that this matrimonial union between man and wife, was designed by God, to shadow forth and represent that mystical union which is between Christ and His Church.

“This is a great mystery:  but I speak concerning Christ and the Church”

“This is a great mystery”
Literally:  “This mystery is great”–This profound truth, of the spiritual union of Christ and the Church, represented by the marriage union, is beyond man's power of discovering, but is now revealed. Clearly Paul means to say that the comparison of marriage to the union of Christ and the church is the mystery.

        MYSTERY:  (Gr.-mysterion)This means something which is concealed, hidden, or before unknown; something into which one must be initiated or instructed before he can understand it. “Mystery” does not mean that it is incomprehensible when it is disclosed, but that hitherto it, has been kept secret. When disclosed it may be as intelligible as any other truth.

Here it simply means that there was much about the union of the Redeemer with His people resembling the marriage connection, which was obscure to those who were not initiated; which they did not understand who had not been taught. It does not mean that no one could understand it, but that it pertained to the class of truths into which it was necessary for one to be initiated in order to comprehend them. The truth that was so great a mystery was:
1.      That the eternal Son of God should form such an union with men;

2.      That He should take them into a connection with Himself, implying all ardor of attachment.
         A strength of affection, superior to even that which exists in the marriage relation.
This was a great and profound truth, to understand which it was necessary to receive instruction. No one would have understood it without a revelation; no one understands it now except they who are taught of God.

         Rebekah consented to marry Issac, a man whom she did not know and never seen.  A servant, whose name is Eleazar, which means “God the Helper”–which is the OT equivalent of the N.T. word for the Holy Spirit (Paraklete), which means, “the One Who walks along side;, or is translated as, “The Comforter”–was sent into the far country to seek a bride for Issac, that miracle son.  This servant is a type of the Holy Spirit who is in the world today calling out, seeking out, and finding a Bride for Christ.  When He came, He came not to reveal Himself, but to reveal Christ.  The servant of old found Rebekah, unfolded to her the glories of his master, then said, “Wilt thou marry this man?”  How many women today would consent to marry a man whom they had never seen?
        We who love Christ are doing that today, “Whom having not seen, ye love…” (I Peter 1:8).  We are a part of the Body of Christ.  We have consented to marry a Man whom we have not seen.  There are no direct statements in the OT concerning the Church; there are only veiled illustrations of the relationship between the Church and Christ.  Through these types we better understand God’s plan.
         This profound truth, beyond man's power of discovering, but now revealed, namely, of the spiritual union of Christ and the Church, represented by the marriage union, is a great one, of deep import. So “mystery” is used of a divine truth not to be discovered save by revelation of God (Rom. 11:25; I Cor. 15:51).

1.      Mystery of the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (Matt. 13:3-50).

2.      Mystery of BLINDNESS OF ISRAEL DURING THIS AGE (Rom. 11:25, with context).
3.      Mystery of the TRANSLATION OF LIVING SAINTS at the End of this Age (I Cor. 15:51-52; I Thess. 4:14–17).
4.      Mystery of the N.T. CHURCH AS ONE BODY made up of both Jews and Gentiles (Eph. 3:1-12; 6:29; Rom. 16:25; Col. 4:3).
5.      Mystery of the CHURCH AS THE BRIDE OF CHRIST (Eph. 5:23-32).
6.      Mystery of CHRIST AS THE PHYSICAL EMBODIMENT OF GOD (I Cor. 2:7; Col. 2:2, 9).
7.      Mystery of the PROCESS BY WHICH GODLINESS IS RESTORED TO MAN (I Tim. 3:16).
8.      Mystery of the IN-LIVING CHRIST (Gal. 2:20; Col. 1:26-27).
9.      Mystery of INIQUITY (II Thess. 2:7; ref. Matt. 13:33).
10     Mystery of the SEVEN STARS (Rev. 1:20).
11.    Mystery of BABYLON (Rev. 17:5-7).

“But I speak concerning Christ and the Church”
Literally:  “I but speak as to Christ and as to the church.”–Paul is here saying expressly, that his remarks do not refer to “marriage at all” when he speaks of the mystery.

They refer “solely” to the union of the Redeemer and His people. Paul is, in effect, saying that my object is to direct your thoughts to the higher relation of Christ to His church, which is shadowed forth by the lower relation of husband and wife.

Verse 33:
“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife
{see}  that she reverence her husband.”

        NEVERTHELESS: (Gr.-plen)Literally: “But, moreover,” or “therefore, howbeit,”–not to dwell unduly on the matter of Christ and the church. As if to say, “But to drop this mystical application of the marriage relation”

         On the consideration of God's design in the institution of marriage, let every one of you love his wife as himself, because she is both naturally and by a Divine ordinance a part of himself.
         Paul here resumes the subject which he had been discussing in (vv. 21-29), and says that it was the duty of every man to love his wife as he did himself. This was themain topic, from which he had been directed by the discussion respecting the love which the Redeemer had shown for his church.

“let every one of you…so love his wife even as himself”
Literally:  “let each love his wife as himself”–Paul again expresses the thought and intent of the previous few verses.  

That is, with an extensive love, reaching the whole person, soul and body; with an intensive love, above all persons and relatives whatsoever; with an hearty love, without dissimulation; with an holy love, without alteration; and with great love, beyond comparison.

“And the wife {see} that she reverence her husband”
Literally:  “and the wife that she give deference to the husband”–The word “see” is not in the Greek text.  It was supplied by the English translators.

        REVERENCE:  (Gr.-phobêtai)– This word usually denotes fear.  She is to fear, i.e., to honor, respect, obey the will of her husband. The meaning is, that it was the especial duty of the wife to show respect for her husband as the head of the family, and as set over her in the Lord (vv. 22-23).

         It is not being implied here that it is not also her duty to love her husband, but that there should be no usurping of authority; no disregard of the arrangement which God has made; and that order and peace should be secured in a family by regarding the husband as the source of law.
         The great duty which the wife owes to her husband is reverence.  This is made up of three ingredients; namely, estimation, love, and fear: the wife that reverences her husband, esteems him and dares not think meanly of him; her esteem of him provokes her love unto him; and her love of him is accompanied with an ingenuous fear to offend and grieve him; and the wife expresses this reverence: in her:

1.      Gestures, by a respectful demeanor towards him;
2.      Speeche to him when with her, and of him when absent from her, always mentioning him with respect and honor; in her
3.      Actions,  or reactions, to his reproofs, and by her cheerful and respectful behavior towards him at all times and in all places, as well at home as abroad before the world.
Let the wife ever consider the husband as her head, and this he is, not only by nature, but also by the ordinance of God.  These are very important matters, and on them Paul lays great stress.  See the following observations.

From what is here said of the duties of husband and wife we may remark:
1.      That the happiness of society depends on just views of the marriage relation.
         It is true the world over, that the views which prevail in regard to this relation, determine everything in reference to all other relations of life, and to all other sources of enjoyment.

2.      God designed that woman should occupy a subordinate, though an important place in the relations of social life.
3.      It is not best that there should be the open exercise of authority in a family. When commands begin in the relation of husband and wife, happiness flies; and the moment a husband is disposed to COMMAND his wife, or is under a necessity of doing it that moment he may bid adieu to domestic peace and joy.
4.      A wife, therefore, should never give her husband occasion to command her to do anything, or to forbid anything. His known wish, except in cases of conscience, should be law to her. The moment she can ascertain what his will is, that moment ought to settle her mind as to what is to be done.
5.      A husband should never wish or expect anything that it may not be perfectly proper for a wife to render. He, too, should consult her wishes; and when he understands what they are should honor them.
6.      There is no danger that a husband will love a wife too much, provided his love is subordinate to the love of God.
         The command is, to love her as Christ loved the church.
What love has ever been like that? How can a husband possibly exceed it?
7.      We may see, then, the guilt of those husbands who withhold their affections from their wives, and forsake those to whom they had solemnly pledged themselves at the altar; those who neglect to provide for their wants, or to minister to them in sickness; and those who become the victims of intemperance, and leave their wives to tears.
         a.      There are many, many hearts made to bleed.
         b.     There is many a pure and virtuous woman, who was once the object of tender affection, now, by no fault of hers, forsaken, abused, broken-hearted, by the brutal conduct of a husband.
8.      Wives should manifest such a character as to be worthy of love.
        They owe this to their husbands.
        They demand the confidence and affection of man; and they should show that they are worthy of that confidence and affection. 
        A wife may easily alienate the affections of her partner in
a.      If she is irritable and fault-finding;
        b.      If none of his ways please her;
        c.      If she takes no interest in his plans, and in what he does;
        d.      If she forsakes her home when she should be there, and seeks happiness abroad; or,
        e.      If at home, she never greets him with a smile; i
        f.       If she is wasteful of his earnings, and extravagant in her habits,
9.      To secure mutual love, therefore, it is necessary that there should be mutual kindness, and mutual loveliness of character.
         Whatever is seen to be offensive or painful should be at once abandoned.

10.    The great secret of conjugal happiness is in the cultivation of a proper temper.
         It is not so much in the great and trying scenes of life that the strength of virtue is tested.
         It is in the events that are constantly occurring; the manifestation of kindness in the things that are happening every moment; the mundane events of daily living.



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