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Ephesians 5:28-30

Bone of My Bones

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Men have a great deal of difficulty with the idea of being a servant leader of the wife. We like to be waited upon and served, to take over the T.V. when football is on, to have the wife's attentions on demand, to make all of the important family decisions unilaterally, etc. We are usually more inclined to be masters than servants. But how would we act, if we truly considered our wives to be part of our own body?

Paul says that no man hates his own flesh but nourishes it and cherishes it. The Greek word, ektrepho, means "to raise to maturity, to nurture." It implies more than just providing for the wife's most basic needs. Paul used the same word, translated as "bring them up," in this verse concerning the father's responsibilities: "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)

There may be nothing more important to the husband's happiness than the happiness of the wife. A wife who is loved and served by her husband will gladly submit to his desires and needs. One who has also been fed the proper doctrines of the faith will understand that she is her husband's equal and that they each have different positions in the governing of the family unit.

The Greek term for "cherish" literally means to keep warm or to brood. Thus the husband should love the wife with such tender care and protection as a hen would give to her chicks. His wife is part of him, like his right hand. She was given to him by God to be a helper, to compensate for his weaknesses and to fill his emotional needs. A man might function very well without his right hand but he does so much better with it.

Once again, Paul compares the marriage relationship to the relationship that Christ has with His church. He thinks of us as members of His body; He wants us to be one with Him; and He prayed that it would be so. "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." (John 17:21-23)

Paul says, "For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." He is quoting what Adam said in Genesis 2:23 when God made Eve from his rib, but he does not mean that we are literally bone of His bones and flesh of His flesh. Paul is trying to illustrate the extremely close relationship that every Christian has with the Savior.

We might say that we were able to be born again only because Jesus sacrificed His bones and His flesh as a propitiation for our sins. King David wrote, "There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin." (Psalms 38:3)

The Son of David solved that problem when He died on the cross. "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death." (Psalms 22:14-15)

We are every bit of His flesh and of His bones, because He sacrificed them so that we could live. The same closeness should exist between husband and wife, because marriage is God's picture of Jesus' relationship with His church.

Before The Throne:

Pray for Christian husbands everywhere. Ask God to help them be true servants to their wives as Christ is to His church. Pray for the renovation of the social structure in our country so that marriage between one man and one woman should once again be the foundation of society. Praise God for making you a part of His church, the bride of Christ. Though your spouse might be disobedient to God, or though he or she might be absent, you always have Christ with you, and nothing can separate you from His love. That is something worthy of your praise.

For Further Study:

** as: Gen 2:21-24; Mat 19:5;

(v.29) ** hated: Pro 11:17; Ecc 4:5; Rom 1:31; ** nourisheth: Isa 40:11; Eze 34:14-15, 27; Mat 23:37; Joh 6:50-58;

(v.30) ** Eph 1:23; Gen 2:23; Rom 12:5; 1Co 6:15, 12:12-27; Col 2:19;


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